Even the most competent and motivated service members sometimes find themselves in difficult situations, facing problems that can affect service member and unit readiness. That's where Military OneSource can help -- by assisting with issues ranging from debt problems to deployment readiness. Military OneSource is a free support service provided for service members and their families by the Department of Defense. It serves as an extension of installation support services and is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The program is especially useful to military members or families who live far from an installation, or those who can't seek assistance during normal working hours. No problem is too big — or too small.
How Military OneSource helps service and family members
Military OneSource provides support from professionally trained consultants by phone and online. Many Military OneSource staff members have military experience and all receive ongoing training on military matters and military lifestyle. Military OneSource offers practical help for an extremely broad range of issues for service members and their family members:
- Access personal non-medical counseling services. Independently licensed counselors are available in person, via telephone, or online using a secure, real-time "chat" format.
- Request research about children's issues. Find out about a new community, including school reports; research child care options; find support groups or educational assistance for a child with special needs; discuss ways to deal with a child's behavior problems at school; identify the pros and cons of homeschooling; find a summer camp; or learn creative ways to keep kids connected with a deployed parent.
- Get financial guidance. You can discuss your financial situation and plan a budget or talk to a financial counselor about tax-related issues.
- Get college information. Research options for college or get help with federal applications for financial aid.
- Find a reputable company for home repairs.
- Have a lease, marriage license, adoption paperwork, or other "qualifying document" translated from or into another language.
- Talk with elder care experts about reliable options for a family member.
Military OneSource can't provide information about pay, personnel, or other military administrative issues, but it can provide a referral to the appropriate military resources. Consultants will help you connect directly with the appropriate resources, so you can quickly and effectively address your concerns or get the support you need.
Letting service and family members know about Military OneSource
Military OneSource can provide expert help before a problem becomes overwhelming. That's why it's important to spread the word about this valuable resource. Here are some effective ways to make sure service and family members know it's there and how they can use it:
- Schedule a briefing. A consultant will come to your command and describe the services available. To schedule a briefing, you can use the resource request form.
- Order materials. Marketing materials — brochures, magnets, and wallet cards — are examples of items available to order in bulk, free of charge. Educational materials such as CDs and booklets are also available. Call 800-342-9647 for more information.
Referring service and family members to Military OneSource
If you know someone who could use these services, it's best to offer help early. Explain that the service or family member can reach Military OneSource by phone or online:
- Dial 800-342-9647. (See below for overseas access.) A Military OneSource consultant will listen to your concerns and help assess your situation. The consultant will read you a privacy statement explaining the limits of confidentiality.
- Visit the website (www.militaryonesource.mil). You can access a wide range of resources by visiting Military OneSource online:
- Email access to Military OneSource consultants. Consultants are available via email 24/7, and your privacy is still assured.
- Articles. You can easily find articles on a wide range of topics including spouse employment, education, financial matters, child care, parenting and recreation activities.
- CDs and booklets. Educational materials are available in a variety of formats and can be ordered or downloaded. Materials and shipping are free.
- Non-medical counseling link. Users can access in-person, non-medical counseling, specialized telephone consultations, or online consultations using a secure real-time "chat" format.
- Video tips. You can view videos with consultants addressing common issues.
- Search and decision tools. Locators help you find summer camps or schools. Calculators help you determine how much your mortgage payment will be or how long it will take you to pay off your debts.
- Discussion boards. Military OneSource has active discussion boards featuring information for single service members, families, and retirees.
- . . . and more. Prepare and file your taxes, sign up for newsletters, download podcasts, or view military-related news through real-time data feeds.
When referring a service or family member to Military OneSource, remember these tips:
- Address problems early on. Connecting service members and military families with quick support can keep small problems or concerns from becoming serious issues.
- Don't diagnose the service or family member's problems. Let specially trained professionals make the assessments and referrals.
- Explain that talking with a Military OneSource consultant is private. All Military OneSource records are confidential. The service or family member will be read a privacy statement that explains the limits of confidentiality.
- Express your care and concern. Be patient, understanding, and sympathetic when you meet with the service member or family member.
Contact Military OneSource
Contacting Military OneSource is easy. Services are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Visit Military OneSource online or call one of the following phone numbers:
- Stateside: 800-342-9647
- International: 800-342-9647 or 703-253-7599 (Calling instructions for your specific international location can be found in the "Contact Us" section on the website.)
- Collect from overseas: dial an international operator first then ask to be connected to 703-253-7599
- Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP): if you have a VoIP account set-up, you can use VoIP to call Military OneSource at 800-342-9647
- En español llame al: 877-888-0727
- TTY/TDD: Dial 711 and give the toll-free number 800-342-9647
If you or someone you know needs assistance, information or resources, or is going through a difficult time — remember — that help is only a phone call away.