Congratulations on your recent nuptials. Now, you’re officially a military spouse. With that new title as “Mrs.” comes many new responsibilities and tasks that can be overwhelming.
When I married my husband, I wished there was some sort of checklist that told me exactly what I needed to do and learn as a new military spouse. Unfortunately, that didn’t exist. Through my own experience, I have created a checklist for others who are now living in my shoes.
- First, it’s important to know a few key acronyms listed below. There will be many more of these to come in the military world, but this will help you get started.
- DEERS-Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System
- BAH-Basic Allowance for Housing
- FRG-Family Readiness Group
- POA-Power of Attorney
- Second, Request a copy of your marriage certificate from the county registrar, where your minister filed it. (you will need this to change your name, sign up for DEERS/benefits, and your husband will need this to take to finance for BAH set up).
- Third, while waiting for your marriage license to come back, go ahead and get a Power of Attorney completed with JAG on base, or with a private attorney for a fee. With a POA, you can complete things that need to be taken care of in your husband’s absence. Guard this document with your life, as it is the golden ticket when you need to get things done and your husband is at work, in the field, gone to training, or deployed.
- Fourth, Call the DEERs office and set up an appointment to sign up for benefits. This is also when you are issued an ID/dependent military ID (another golden ticket needed on post). Your husband will need to be there with you, unless you have the POA in hand. Once you receive your ID, you will be automatically enrolled in Tricare Standard. If you would like Tricare Prime, you will need to call to enroll at 1-877-874-2773. *Be sure to bring 2 forms of ID, and your marriage certificate with you to your DEERS appointment.
- Fifth, legally change your name.
- Go to your local Social Security office. Take your driver’s license, and your marriage certificate with you.
- Go to the DMV to change your name on your license.
- Call your bills and accounts and change your name on those, and request new bank or credit cards with your new name.
- Notify Human Resources with your employer.
- Contact the FRG in your husband’s unit, if they haven’t already contacted you, and make sure they have all of your information correct.
- Lastly, and most importantly, learn about OPSEC and other rules and regulations to follow as a military spouse.
What is OPSEC? Click here to find out.
© Wendi and Strength 4 Spouses, 2017.
“I Do” Photograph taken by Aimee Sue Photography.