Major Life Event Checklist
Major life events include changes in marital status, adding family members, sending children off to college, and other milestones in life. As with other action points on the life cycle there are a variety of resources to assist you through these events. Visit the topics below for more information on these programs and resources.
Things You Need to Do
- Obtain Copies of Important Documents – You should have an "original certified copy" of important documents such as marriage or birth certificates.
- Obtain a Military ID Card – Obtain a card for your spouse or new child to gain access to military benefits and facilities such as the commissary, Marine Corps Exchange, and medical and dental services. You will need DD Form 1172 and your marriage certificate to obtain an ID card. Visit the RAPIDS Site Locator to find a registration office near you.
- Update the Defense Eligibility Enrollment Reporting System (DEERS). DEERS should be updated anytime there is a change that would affect benefits and entitlements for you and any dependents. DEERS information should be reviewed for accuracy once a year.
- Update Your TRICARE Coverage – Ensure your family members are properly registered in TRICARE, the military health care program for Service members and their families.
- Update Your MetLife Dental Program – MetLife is available to active duty family members and National Guard and Reserve members and their families.
- Update Your Servicemember's Group Life Insurance (SGLI) and any other life insurance policies.
- Update Auto Insurance policies.
- Meet with Your Personal Financial Management Specialist (PFM) – Your installation PFM can help you identify insurance changes, attend a Home Buying/Selling Workshop, check your debt-to-income ratio, understand spouse unemployment options, identify non-reimbursable expenses from your move, and if in a deployable status, set up an allotment for your spouse.
- Update myPay – Update Federal and State Income Tax to reflect home of record or changes in withholding/exemptions.
- Contact the Housing Office – If your spouse will be living with you at command, apply for base housing or ask for a list of off base referrals.
- Contact Your Banking Institution – If desired, change bank accounts to joint status.
- Update Name Changes - If your spouse's name changes, contact the Social Security Office to receive a new Social Security Card.
- Update Your Family Care Plan – Having a Family Care Plan is mandatory and 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. LifeSkills Training and Educationoffers courses to assist you in completing your Family Care Plan.
- Meet With the Education Services Officer (ESO) – Verify transferability options for your GI Bill benefits. ESOs are available to assist and advise you with your education choices and benefits.
- 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.
- Contact the 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.
- New Baby or Young Children?
- Contact Installation Community Counseling Services – There are several programs that are designed to help new parents, including the New Parent Support Program (NPSP), which provides parenting education, support and assistance to expectant parents and parents with children ages 0-5. Other services include group parenting workshops, baby boot camp, and individual family home visits.
- Contact the Child Development Center on your installation – Most installations have full time daycare from age 6 weeks to the start of Kindergarten.
- Contact the School Liaison Program – The School Liaison supports 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.
- Contact 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? Contact the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) – 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.
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.
- 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.
- Family Member Employment Assistance Program – They can provide 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.
- Personal and Professional Development (P&PD) Advisors – 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.
- Command Financial Specialist (CFS) – The CFS functions as the individual unit's principal advisor on policies and matters related to financial education.
- Family Advocacy Program (FAP) - FAP provides a variety of programs and services to military members and their families to enhance life skills and improve their quality of life. Support resources include information on spouse/intimate partner and child abuse, victim advocacy, counseling for individuals, couples and children, as well as classes on stress, anger management, domestic violence, communication and conflict resolution skills, and positive parenting.
- 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).
- Blended Retirement – Overview of the new Blended Retirement System: training and brief article.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) – The TSP is a retirement savings plan for United States civil service employees and retirees as well as for members of the uniformed services. Contact your Personal Financial Manager (PFM) for assistance in setting up automatic pre-tax deductions from your paycheck.
- Remain Competitive for Re-enlistment or Promotion by completing the PME requirements for your current rank. The 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.
- SemperFit – Locate the fitness facilities aboard your new installation and speak with the SemperFit team to see what's unique to your new location.
- 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.
- Joint Services Transcript (JST) – The Joint Services Transcript is a military service transcript showing American Council on Education (ACE) credit recommendations for military training and college courses. Contact your ESO for assistance.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.