In response to world events, deployments may result in service members being away from home for extended periods. Deployments can cause service members and families additional stress and increase the challenges of deployment readiness, managing separations and successful reunions. To assist families in preparing for deployment and throughout the deployment process, the Department of Defense provides several deployment-related resources.
- The Military Deployment Guide is intended to help service members and their families prepare for deployment, serve as a resource during the deployment and help navigate the challenges of a service member's return and reintegration. Information presented in the guide applies to deploying service members of all service branches and components and their families.
- Plan My Deployment is an online application with information and tools designed to support service members and their families throughout the deployment process - from pre-deployment through to reunion and reintegration. Content is geared toward individual audiences, including active-duty, Guard and reserve members, married and single service members and service members with families. Users will find information on topics such as tips for a successful reunion, creating a power of attorney and important benefits and entitlements information. The Plan My Deployment site allows users to create a personalized checklist of tasks to meet their unique needs.
- Military OneSource offers a wealth of resources related to deployment 24/7, including:
- A deployment page that includes several helpful articles, downloadable materials and popular links to help ease the stress of deployment
- Confidential non-medical counseling, available face-to-face, on the phone or online on a wide range of issues including anger management, stress, relationship troubles and more
- Financial counseling with a certified financial planner by telephone on issues such as budgeting, money management and debt consolidation to help service members and their families prepare for financial issues that may arise during deployment
- Specialty consultations online or by phone with a trained professional in areas such as health and wellness, elder care, wounded warrior and much more
- Deployment support programs, operated by installation military and family support centers, assist service members and their families throughout the three main stages of deployment - pre-deployment, deployment and post-deployment (return and reunion) with the following services:
- Pre-deployment - The military and family support center works closely with other installation programs, such as the Legal Assistance Program, the Personal Financial Management Program and the chaplains, to ensure that service members and their families are properly prepared prior to deployment.
- Deployment - The military and family support center partners with other groups, such as the family readiness groups and counseling programs, to assist family members in coping with the emotional stress of having a loved one deployed and the responsibilities of dealing with issues such as child care and bills.
- Post-deployment - In preparing for the return of a deployed service member, the deployment support program provides information and resources to service members and their families about smoothly transitioning back to normal life.
- Deployment programs address practical preparation including wills, powers of attorney and updated contact information; financial readiness with regard to issues such as budgeting and credit card limits; personal preparation including education and training plans; and emotional readiness including an understanding of the emotional cycle of deployment and children's reactions.
- The Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program also offers National Guard and reserve service members and their families deployment cycle information, resources, programs, services and referrals. In addition, the deployment support programs provide information and resources to educate service members and their families about specific benefits and entitlements available to them during mobilization and deployment.
All active-duty members, activated or deployed National Guard and reserve members and their families are eligible for deployment support programs and resources.
Deployment programs and resources are available world-wide, both on and off military installations.
Department of Defense Policy
Department of Defense Legislation
Department of Defense Service Regulations and Orders
Sesame Workshop Partnership Info Paper