Count on us to guide you home

New Military Spouse Guide: What I Wish I Knew

What I Wish I Would Have Known

I have been a part of the military community for the past 15 years.  In those years, there have

been many times I have found myself asking questions such as, “What entitlements should we

be receiving now that my spouse is deployed?”  “Our dental plan carrier has changed; what are

the new benefits?”  “How do I get a copy of my spouse’s LES?”  I hope to enlighten you on a few

things I wish I knew before I married into the military.

The biggest question I hear a lot is, “How do I get assigned to a PCM (primary care

manager/Dr.)?  When you first marry, you and your spouse will have to go into a DEERS office

and submit some information.  Normally, you will need to submit an original marriage license

and identification.  The DEERS office, may or may not be the same place you can obtain a

military ID.  In order to be enrolled in Tricare, you will need to enroll in DEERS first!  If you do

not enroll, it is as if you do not exist.  Getting enrolled in DEERS and obtaining a military ID are

the first things you will want to do when you get married.  Once you are enrolled into DEERS,

you will be able to call Tricare and be assigned to a PCM.  This is also something you may be

able to do on a military instillation; really just depends if there is an office that offers that

service.  You may be able to choose who you would like to see; however, they will take into

account your distance, 30+ miles, from a military medical facility.  Once you have those things,

you will have access to all the amenities the military instillation has to offer!

“We just got married and I moved all of my stuff to my spouse’s duty station.  How do I

get reimbursed?”  This is a big one for military newlyweds.  What I have learned is that a lot of

service members are afraid to ask questions.  Or, they will ask another person and get a, “Yeah,

they will reimburse you.”  But it isn’t as black and white as you may think.  The service member

does rate a home of record move; meaning the military will transport his belongings from his

place to his new duty station.  If the married couple are from the same area, it can be as easy as

consolidating all of your belongings to one location.  If you are from opposite sides of the

country, it can be tricky.  You will have to be on the service members orders in order to get your

stuff moved.  All of this can be set up from DMO (Distribution Management Center) office. 

The list is pretty endless when you think about what you wish you knew before you got

married.  It doesn’t make it any easier when the military acronyms are always changing.  When

you first arrive at your duty station, take some time to get to know the base and your way

around it.  Get in contact with the unit FRO as she/he will be able to provide you with lots of

valuable information.  Also, look into taking a LINKS class.  It will give you an abundance of

useful information about the base and the service in general.  And don’t forget, there is always

someone who has the information you need.  You just have to be proactive and find that