Saturday, January 8, 2011

So, you married a soldier

Now you are wondering "whats next?" After you get married to a soldier its important to do several things. You MUST MUST MUST get enrolled into the DEERS program-Defense Eligibility Enrollment Reporting System. It is what keeps track of you and any dependants a soldier may have. You wont get ANYTHING done until you are in that system. Next is ID card, VERY important since EVERYTHING in our world typically involves showing your ID card, ie: access to post,Medical, dental, commissary, px, library, discounts and anything and everything else. If you have children 10 years and older, they are required an id card as well. The only time a child under the age of 10 would have an ID card is due to a divorce or single parent situation. *NOTE* Try to NOT lose this important item.. MOST installations now will require you to do an MP report for the loss of an ID card and to get a new one takes a POA(power of attorney) if your soldier cant go with you, 2 forms of ID, Birth Certificate, Marriage license(to be on the safe side) SOME units will counsel a soldier if their dependant loses an ID card.. We never want the ID CARD to come ino the hands of someone who could use it to gain access to a military post and cause harm.. Next, you will want to enroll in TRICARE, which is our medical "insurance" You can get Prime or standard. Standard is where you are seen off post and possibly pay somethings out of pocket. Prime is the way to go for most and has worked fine for our family. Take the self care class at your installation, it takes less than an hour and it will enable you to get certain over the counter meds for free at the on post pharmacy, such as-tylenol in many forms, pepto, cough drops, sudafed,aspirin,some sun screens, condoms,etc.. Basic things but they are helpful and free, but to get them you must have taken the SCC. Next, im sure you will want to find out about housing on post. Each post is different and the waits will vary, so be flexible if you dont get housing on post. After these things, run to your nearest ACS(Army community service) they are the brains and know all of each installation. They offer MANY classes on finances, parenting, resume services, the list goes on and on. One of their best programs is AFTB(Army Family Team Building) its a series of courses that teach spouses about the military, how to problem solve, etc... Eventually you can even become an instructor :) They usually offer free childcare during these courses, which is very nice.. Have your soldier introduce you to his superiors so you can put a name to a face. Learn ranks(many websites can help with that, along with AFTB) Learn how the Chain of Command works and how to use it(it is typically a last resort for spouses, as soldiers should be taking care of any issues that would need any COC stepping in to help. Prepare yourself for pay mistakes-YES it happens and YES it sucks, BUT it will be rectified.. Key is to realize that finance has to take care of MANY pay issues and WE , SHOCKINGLY, arent the only soldier/family that is having a pay issue. Live within your means, if you arent-get the ACS for a budgeting class.... Join your FRG (Family Readiness Group) and be active in it.. They also are a wealth of knowledge and will help YOU, help yourself during a deployment.. That leads to my last item for the day-DEPLOYMENTS, yes they suck, but they ARE a way of our life and the quicker you get that into your head the quicker you will be able to move on and not dwell in the sadness. Before a deployment, soldiers tend to be SOOO very busy and sometimes it seems that they are never home, so enjoy when they are. At times you will each be testy as well, that is SO normal... Well, now you are a military spouse.. How does it feel? Did you feel the pride when you entered that gate? Were a gazzilion thoughts going on in your head? Did you look at your soldier in that uniform and melt? Yep, I know.. So, welcome to this wonderful, crazy life.. Do your best...

1 comment:

  1. Hello,

    I am in a relationship with a 31yo male who is ready to sign up for the Army! My first reaction was... "Nooooo what are you thinking..." He shared that this has always been his dream and really what to make this decision. I have decided to stand by him inspite of wanting him to make this decision. We want to get married and that means I would be a "Army Wife".. I thank God for your blog and you have educated me in the first 10 minutes of my investigation. Please tell me more..