Getting Settled - The Essentials

New to the military? That means new surroundings, new digs and new routines. You’ll want to get up to speed on your new living arrangements, rules and ways to get rooted in your new military community.

Here are the essentials:

Be prepared and fit when you join.

Come prepared to start your military service. That means knowing what to expect, packing correctly for basic training and understanding what all those stripes and bars mean. And physical fitness is a big part of life in the military. It’s required – and you’ll be tested regularly, regardless of age, grade or duty assignment.

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Make the most of your installation’s offerings.

When you join the service, housing, eating and living choices can be confusing. There are new terms, new rules and new schedules. The good news is that most military installations have a lot of affordable resources that are developed with you in mind.

A visit to your installation’s exchange (department store) and commissary (grocery store) is a great place to start when getting settled. No matter where you are stationed, you’ll find products you recognize at prices you can afford.

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Understand how housing works.

Get up to speed on your new living arrangements and perks. You’ll want to take advantage of the free on-base housing and dining and learn how housing allowances work when it’s time to live off the installation.

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Get to know (and maximize) your paycheck.

Getting paid in the military is one of the things that makes the hard work pay off. Make sure you know how to read your regular payment statements, take the right tax deductions, and budget and save for your success. Getting started in the military is a good time to understand your government savings options and all the resources you have available, including the ability to talk to a financial advisor through our specialty consultation program.

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Joining the military can be overwhelming. Whether it’s deciphering all those acronyms or figuring out how to access your new military benefits. Fortunately, we’re here to help. Our non-medical counseling staff is always a phone call away. Give us a call at 800-342-9647 or send a chat request, we’re ready to help. OCONUS/Overseas? Click here for calling options.