Married to the Military
If you just married into the military here are the things you need and things you need to do.
1. If you are a military spouse you are a "dependent." Dependent: any member of the military member's family. Sponsor: the military member.
2. You will need to get a military ID card (brown laminated card). Make an appointment through DEERS. You will both need to go with a certified copy of your marriage certificate. Only children 10 years and over will need an ID card. You and the children will be eligible for military services, including healthcare. You will need your military ID with you at all times. To get on and off base, buy things at the commissary, appointments, movie theaters, etc they will ask to see your military ID. You can also get discounts at select stores (list on this blog) if you show them your military ID.
3. After you register for DEERS you can register for TRICARE, which is the military's health-care insurance. You can go to the hospital on base and visit the TRICARE office or register online. Tricare has different plans such as Prime (appointments will be at your local military hospital) or Standard (those who prefer to see a civilian provider (which has the highest out of pocket costs for dependants). If you live here on Camp Pendleton you are in the TRICARE west region or TriWest. You can contact them at 1-888-874-9378 or www.triwest.com. Your PCM is your primary care manager. You can request one or they will find one for you.
4. Remember your Sponsors Social Security Number. You will be needing it alot. When you call in to make an appointment they will ask for your SSN (sponsors social security number). Bring your Military ID to all appointments. You will need to show it so they know you are eligible for treatment.
4. Your husbands pay stub is called an LES. Your husbands basic pay is the same no matter what branch of service your husband is in. You will need to know your husbands rank and years of service to determine how much he makes. Here is a Military Pay Table Below.
5. Your husbands occupation is his MOS (military occupational specialty.)
6. Once you register in DEERS, your spouse will start getting BAH with dependents which is a big difference between BAH without dependents. Depending on your husbands rank and dependents you can be eligible for a larger home. BAH is different for all locations and change yearly based on the local housing rental market. When you move or PCS (permanent change of station: orders to move to another base) the BAH could be higher or lower than your last residency. If you live on base it will use your entire BAH, but you dont have to pay utilities and if anything goes wrong, family housing will fix it for you. Its also nice to live by other wives and families who know what you are going through and you can feel safer on base as only military members are allowed on base.
7. If your husband is deployed you are eligile for the Family Separation Allowance (FSA) which is $250 per month for all pay grades. Your husbands pay is also non-taxable while on deployment.
8. On base there are tons of stores and things to do such as the Exchange (department store- on Camp Pendleton this is called the MCX or Marine Corps Exchange. tax free!), the commissary (grocery store for military families, you can save over 30 percent every year by shopping at the commissary. tax free!), gas stations (cheaper to get gas on base then off base), gyms (free for military members and their dependents), hobby shops, hospitals, child care centers, schools, and more!
9. If you want to buy a home off base you can apply for a VA loan if your husband is active duty or retired. This can help you get a lower interest rate with less money down.
14. Family Employment Readiness Programs assists you with your resume, cover letter, and interview technique, as well as with offering career counseling services. They have local job listings and computers available to search for jobs, create resumes, and cover letters.
15. If you need financial help, the PFM (personal financial management counselors can help you create a budget, manage debt, and work out plans for large purchases.
16. You are entitled to 11 free counseling sessions per issue. You can call militaryonesource or go to their website to get a referal to see a counselor.
17. If you are a mommy there is New Parent Support which works with parents with children from birth to three years. You can either go to classes on base or they can come to your home. They provide developmental resources and help stimulate your child's brain through learning and give positive support.
18. If you live on Camp Pendleton, you can attend free classes events just for military wives by adding Taylor Jones Hewlett on Facebook and she can add you to the Make It Count group. You will get invites to tons of free classes and events and they provide free babysitting so you can attend.
19. The Family Advocacy Program offers tools to help prevent, identify, and deal with the aftermath of spousal or child abuse.
20. If your husband is deployed you are eligible for respite care which offers you 16 hours of free babysitting a month. (more info on free stuff for military wives page).
21. Military One Source is a website that offers everything you need to know relating to military life. They also have a toll-free number to assist you 24/7 at 1-800-342-9647. You can choose up to 10 items a year from their website for free!
*If you have painted your house and are moving out, you can get FREE paint from the Housing Office. Call them and tell them you need paint and that you have your own bucket (as long as you have a bucket to put it in they will give you all the paint you need for free to paint your house back to the color it was).
*UltraStar Oceanside Mission Marketplace Cinemas has Parent Movie Morning every wednesday @10 AM. Bring the baby!