Preparation is critical to a successful deployment. In addition to preparing your gear and your Marines, you must ensure your personal affairs are in order. Your command will provide opportunities to complete pre-deployment preparations. The topics below will provide additional resources to assist in your personal deployment preparation.
Things You Need to Do
- Complete Your Deployment Budget – Visit your installation Personal Financial Manager (PFM) for assistance on creating a spending plan.
- Open a Deployment Savings Account – Visit your installation PFM for assistance with using incentives and special pays to increase your savings account and increasing your Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) allotments.
- Identify Car Insurance Changes - Notify your insurance company of your intent to put your vehicle in an "off-road" status to save money. Ensure car title and registration are updated and located in the vehicle.
- Review Medical, Dental, and Life Insurance Coverage for you and your family (including pets).
- Consider Placing a Fraud Alert on your credit file at the three major credit bureaus. Military members can place a one-year active duty alert.
- Replace Filters on Heating and Air-Conditioning Systems. Check smoke detectors and ensure batteries are replaced if needed.
- Update Your Property Inventory with serial numbers and secure a location for high-valued items. Photograph or videotape condition of property.
- Prepare a Household Emergency Kit – Secure a container complete with a first aid kit, flashlight, candles, fire extinguisher, batteries, matches, electrical tape, bottled water, and MREs.
- Notify Your Landlord – Provide contact information for next of kin in case of emergency.
- Complete Deployment Legal Documents – Visit your Base Legal office to ensure your documents are in order, including Power of Attorney, Wills, Advance Directives, etc. If married, do you and your spouse have a Power of Attorney or Form 2848 signed by both of you?
- Develop Your Deployed Education Plan – Meet with your Education Services Officer (ESO) to identify education opportunities available to you while on deployment.
- Update Your Individual Development Plan – Meet with your Personal and Professional Development Advisor and Education Services Officer (ESO) to identify education and career development opportunities available to you while on deployment.
- Complete Your Extended Absence Plan - This plan specifies the following for the period of absence: a legal power of attorney to accomplish personal and financial requirements, a plan for covering financial obligations, the disposition of car and auto insurance, allotments for appropriate monthly expenditures, and the disposition of other financial issues that might occur during the period of absence. Contact your PFM for assistance.
- Update Your Family Care Plan - A Family Care Plan ensures your family is taken care of during times of drills, annual training, mobilization, and deployment. Discuss your plan with your PFM and Base Legal Office. Complete form NAVMC 11800. Update address and telephone numbers of immediate family members of both spouses. LifeSkills Training and Education offers courses to assist you in completing your Family Care Plan.
- Update Passport or visa in possession, if required.
- If You Haven't Already Done So, Register for eBenefits – eBenefits is a portal; a central location for Veterans, Service Members, and their families to research, find, access, and, manage their personal benefits information, and access the Veterans Employment Center.
- Sign Up for Virtual Library Access – Library resources are available on-line 24/7/365. The online databases provide academic research, professional and recreational material including databases covering academic, research, health, criminal justice, web-based foreign language lessons, over 200 digital magazines, over 500 online self-improvement and lifelong learning classes, and thousands of streaming films for informational and recreational use.
- Identify Your Family Readiness Officer (FRO) - The FRO is the direct link to Marines and their family members. They serve as a one-stop-shop for Official Command Communication, Resources and Referral Information, Readiness and Deployment Support and Volunteer Management.
- Update Your Record of Emergency Data Card – Ensure your Military Personnel Record is updated with a current list of immediate next of kin, legal information, and trusted contact information of close friends.
- Update Your Emergency Contact List - Include information for the Red Cross and ensure your family is instructed on how to use their services in case of an emergency.
- Update Your Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) – The TSP is a great way to increase your retirement savings plan with the extra money you've earned. Contact your PFM for assistance.
- Register for Online Access – Obtain pin numbers and passwords as needed for accounts accessible online. Establish automatic payment plans to have your bills paid.
- Family Advocacy Program (FAP) – Check in with FAP to verify open cases or rank related responsibilities.
- Family Members?
- Ensure they are registered in the Defense Eligibility Enrollment Reporting System (DEERS). This system allows the military to verify that only authorized people are treated in its facilities. DEERS should be updated anytime a service member moves, changes status, gets married or divorced, has an additional dependent, etc. DEERS information should be reviewed for accuracy once a year.
- TRICARE – Ensure your family members are properly registered in TRICARE, the military health care program for Service members and their families registered in DEERS.
- Review/Update Your Service member's Group Life Insurance (SGLI) – Designate or update beneficiaries, reduce or decline coverage, or restore previous coverage. Download and complete SGLV-8286 (SGLI Election & Certificate) and submit the completed form to your personnel office.
- Review/Update Your Family Service member's Group Life Insurance (FSGLI) – FSGLI provides term life insurance coverage to spouses and dependent children insured under SGLI. You pay the premium for spousal coverage. Dependent children are insured at no cost. Complete and submit SGLV Form 8286A to update your coverage.
Things You Need To Know
- Marine and Family Programs – Marine and Family Programs provides assistance with services such as relocation, employment opportunities, financial education, personal skills-building classes, deployment planning, volunteer opportunities, outplacement assistance and assistance with crisis situations.
- myPay – myPay is the accounting firm of the Department of Defense (DoD). Service members, military civilian employees, and retirees can resolve various pay issues.
- Information and Referral Specialists provide information on programs and services for service members and families. They maintain a database of base and community resources and will make appropriate referrals to internal or external military and community agencies.
- Education Services Officers (ESOs) – ESOs are available to assist and advise you on education and testing programs, the Joint Services Transcript,American Council on Education (ACE) college credit recommendations, Tuition Assistance programs (Financial Aid, GI Bill, Scholarships, and Grants), and preparing for the Leadership Scholar Program.
- Personal Financial Managers (PFMs) – PFMs provide financial education and training on money management, debt and credit management, savings, investing, and retirement planning. Plan to register and attend various workshops such as Car Buying, Budgeting and Saving, and other topics to support your personal financial fitness.
- Command Financial Specialist (CFS) – The CFS functions as your unit's principal advisor on policies and matters related to financial education.
- Personal and Professional Development (P&PD) Advisor – P&PD Advisors are committed to providing a full range of education, career, and transition services that educate, encourage and empower you and your family in achieving personal and professional success.
- Family Readiness Officers (FROs) - The unit FRO is the direct link to Marines and their family members. They serve as a one-stop-shop for Official Command Communication, Resources and Referral Information, Readiness and Deployment Support and Volunteer Management.
- Family Member Employment Assistance Program – This program provides military family members with the tools they need to successfully search for employment. Resources include career exploration, resume writing, job search skills, interviewing techniques, and career assessments.
- L.I.N.K.S. (Lifestyles, Insights, Networking, Knowledge & Skills) and LifeSkills classes - The L.I.N.K.S. program offers an orientation to the Marine Corps lifestyle, helping spouses, Marines, children and teens, and parents/extended family members understand and adapt to the unique challenges military life often presents. L.I.N.K.S is a resource of Marine Corps Family Team Building (MCFTB).
- Understand the Blended Retirement System – For an overview of the new Blended Retirement System take this training course and read this brief article.
- Verification of Military Experience and Training (VMET) - Select the link to read more about the VMET (Verification of Military Experience and Training), DD Form 2586, and how it documents your military career and training.
- Joint Services Transcript (JST) – The JST is a military service transcript showing American Council on Education (ACE) credit recommendations for military training and college courses. Contact your ESO for assistance.
- Marine Corps Training Information Management System - (MCTIMS) guides Marines on career training and education requirements, tracks training completions, and includes information on training standards and MOS Roadmaps to learn the steps necessary to achieve a high level of MOS proficiency and other recommendations for further enhancement training.
- United States Military Apprenticeship Program (USMAP) – USMAP is a military training program supported by the Department of Labor that provides the opportunity to improve job skills and complete civilian apprenticeship requirements while on active duty.
- Kuder Journey Personal Assessment – Journey is a career planning system that assists you with effective career exploration and planning, both while serving and in transition. Kuder Journey's assessments support your career planning process and can assist you in informed decision making about your future.
- Credentialing Opportunities On-Line (COOL) – COOL will help you find civilian certifications and licenses that are related to your military occupation.
- Online Academic Skills Course (OASC) and College Placement Skills Training (CPST) – Contact your ESO to decide if it would be beneficial for you to review your math and writing skills in order to improve job skills, pass exams, advance in your career or continue your education.
- Base Legal Office - Military installations have legal assistance offices available to assist you with legal matters such as will preparation, powers of attorney, contract review, debit/credit problems, landlord/tenant issues, family law, tax law and estate planning. All of these services are a no-cost benefit to you for your active duty service.
- CREDO - The Chaplains Religious Enrichment Development Operation (CREDO) is a retreat program that supports Marines, Sailors, and their families with high-quality, evidence-based education and enrichment opportunities focused on marriage and family relationships, character-building and personal growth, unit cohesion, individual and corporate resilience, moral and ethical decision-making, and crisis intervention skills development.
- Information, Tickets and Tours (ITT) - ITT is your one-stop, fun shop for discounted tickets to the movies, museums, zoo, theme parks, sporting events, water parks, festivals, theatre, concerts, and more. They are located at every installation and offer tickets for your round attractions, seasonal attractions, and sites all over the country.
- Military OneSource is a confidential Department of Defense-funded program providing comprehensive information on every aspect of military life at no cost to active duty, National Guard, and reserve members, and their families. As a virtual extension to installation services, information provided includes, but is not limited to, deployment, reunion, relationships, grief, transition, parenting, and childhood services. Comprehensive education and career exploration services are also available at no cost to all eligible military spouses through the SECO career center.
- Single? Participate in the Single Marine Program (SMP) – The SMP exists to improve the quality of life for single Marines. The program plans recreation, social events, and community participation activities.
- SemperFit – Locate the fitness facilities aboard your new installation and speak with the SemperFit team to see what's unique to your new location.
- Contact the New Parent Support Program (NPSP) – NPSP provides parenting education, support and assistance to expectant parents and parents with children ages 0-5. Services include group parenting workshops, baby boot camp, and individual family home visits.
- Check out the School Liaison Program - The School Liaison supports Marine families by advocating on behalf of the family to optimize the educational experience and transition of elementary, middle and high school students in local school districts.
- Check out Children and Youth Programs – Children & Youth Programs Resource & Referral offices can assist you in starting the enrollment process to ensure your children have a safe haven for recreation activities, and before and after school programs.
- Family Members with Special Needs? Check out the Exceptional Family Member Program - EFMP supports Active Duty Service Members and families to ensure that they are assigned to Duty Stations where services exist to support the EFM with Continuum Of Care, ensuring access to and availability of medical and educational services.
- Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS) – NMCRS provides financial, educational, and other need-based assistance to active-duty and retired Sailors and Marines, their eligible family members, and survivors.
- Visit Your Local Base Library – Library resources and services are available to Marines and families on board all USMC installations and on-line 24/7/365. The online databases provide academic research, professional and recreational material including databases covering academic, research, health, criminal justice, web-based foreign language lessons, over 200 digital magazines, over 500 online self-improvement and lifelong learning classes, and thousands of streaming films for informational and recreational use.