Military Life Cycle
Confidently navigate life in the military – from basic training to separation and transition and all the steps in between.
Plan My Deployment: A Must-Have Tool for Deploying and Coming Home
Whether you're on your first tour of duty or your fourth, Plan My Deployment helps you, your family members and loved ones prepare for – and stay strong and connected – through every phase of deployment.
National Guard and Reserves Reintegration
You’re coming home after a deployment. It’s been a long time coming and you deserve to celebrate. But it’s important to know what other adjustments you might face post-deployment.
The Department of Veterans Affairs Homeless Prevention Program
The Department of Veterans Affairs has programs specifically to prevent homelessness or provide relief for veterans who are already homeless.
Programs That Hire Veterans
Many organizations in the civilian world value your experience, skills, work ethic and training as a service member. Here are ways to connect with employers committed to hiring veterans.
VA Health Care for Veterans
There are many reasons to sign up for VA Health Care, the first being low- to no-cost, quality health care. Learn more about which health care benefits you qualify for and how to apply.
Veterans Affairs Benefits for Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation New Dawn Transitioning Service Members
Active-duty, Guard or reserve service members returning from Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation New Dawn deserve a smooth transition back to civilian life.
Overview of Veterans Affairs Benefits
You served. Now let the Department of Veterans Affairs serve you by helping you live life to the fullest.
Military Insignia: What Are Those Stripes and Bars?
The stripes and bars on a military uniform signify rank. If you’re new to the military, you know enough to understand that rank matters.
Department of Defense Identification Cards
One of the most valuable assets to service members is their military ID. The Department of Defense issues distinct identification cards to uniformed service members, their family members and other eligible individuals to serve as proof of the cardholder's identity and Department of Defense affiliation.
Are You Financially Fit? How to Make Financial Wellness Happen
They say money can't buy happiness, but a financially-healthy future can buy peace of mind. Plus, financial security at home allows service members to be more focused and mission-ready.
How to Write a Resume
Your resume is a summary of your background and experience, and it's likely to be the first information about you that an employer will see. These tips will help you make a resume that stands out.
Small Business Administration Veterans Services
If you are retiring from the military and thinking about the next chapter in your life, opening a small business can be an attractive option. The Small Business Administration can help you turn your entrepreneurial dream into a reality, offering programs and information specific to military veterans.
Your Leave and Earnings Statement
Your monthly Leave and Earnings Statement, or LES, is one of the most important financial documents you have for mastering your money and achieving your financial goals. Here's how to decipher the code.
Cancelled or Postponed Deployment: Time for Contingency Planning
Gearing up for a deployment can be stressful. But getting those orders cancelled or postponed can be more so, especially after spending weeks, even months, preparing yourself for the mission—and your family for the changes.
VA Benefits for Disabled Veterans and Service Members
The Department of Veterans Affairs provides benefits and services to meet the needs of veterans and service members. While many VA programs are designed to serve veterans, particularly disabled veterans, VA services are not limited to those who have left the military.
12 Ways to Land That Civilian Job
You've proven your commitment, discipline and resourcefulness in the military world. Now it's time to trade in your experience for a great job. Just like everything, it's all about readiness and attitude. Start early. Be prepared. Go for it.
How to Create a Family Care Plan for Caregivers
Whether it's a deployment or training, sometimes our military careers take us away from loved ones and we leave them in the care of others. A family care plan is designed to guide caregivers, providing the important details about child care, school, medical care and family activities.
Re-enlist, Reserves, or Transition? 4 Things to Consider
Maybe you're just ending your first tour of duty. Maybe you've fulfilled your obligation to your country. Now, you're at a crossroads—re-enlist, reserves, transition out? How do you know you're making the right call?
When Your Guard or Reserve Service Member is Called to Active Duty
Your spouse or partner is preparing for deployment and transitioning from reserve status to active duty. Take advantage of several deployment support programs.
Stress Management During Deployment
In the military, stress happens. But too much stress can have negative effects on performance, safety and well-being. During deployment, it is especially important to know the signs of stress and to be ready with good stress management techniques.
Help for Veterans
As a service member, you’ve been taught to expect the unexpected. The unexpected can require a little support. As a veteran, you have help at hand. Find out about what kinds of assistance are available to you.
Is Your Next Step Joining the Reserves? Get the Basics.
More than one in four active duty service members tell us they intend to join the reserves. It can be a great option for lots of service members.
Military Retirement: Do You Have This Covered?
Transitioning to civilian life is just like everything else in military life. Doing it successfully takes preparation.
Veterans Affairs Benefits for National Guard and Reserve Members
Guard and reserve members are entitled to benefits and services offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs, just like their active-duty counterparts. The VA can help Guard and reserve members cover the cost of school, secure a home loan or acquire life insurance.
Credentialing Your Military Experience
You're looking to join the civilian world and that means job-hunting. Here's the good news: As a service member, you're part of one of the best-trained workforces in the world.
Your Career Path: Finding the Right Job
What kind of job are you looking for when you leave the military? Most people look for location, salary and job stability. But there's much more to finding great jobs for veterans.
Building Your Federal Resume
A federal government job is often a great transition for military personnel. But a resume for a federal job is different from a civilian resume. It's longer, more detailed and includes specific job-related terminology.
The Department of Veterans Affairs Home Loan Basics
The first step toward owning your own home is meeting with a lender to secure a loan. The Home Loan Program, through the Department of Veterans Affairs, is a substantial benefit you have earned with your military service. These invaluable loans require no down payment, no private mortgage insurance, and negotiable interest rates.
4 Tips for Transition and Career Success
Making the transition into civilian life is exciting, but does take preparation. Make sure you are well-prepared by following these four tips.
Read This: Must-Dos for Separating
You've made the decision. Now it's time to make the most of it. There's a list of tasks to accomplish, and most of them come with a due date.
Deciding Where to Live When You Leave the Military
The day will come when you're preparing to get out of the military. You might have spent many an hour already thinking about where you want to live when you get out. Now it's time to get practical.
Transition Assistance Programs and Resources
The military has an extensive array of services to help make your separation a success. If you're an active-duty service member, National Guard and Reserve Component service member, or service member's spouse, you can take advantage of these transition assistance resources and more.
Voting While You’re Away From Home: The Absentee Voting Process
When military life takes you away from home, you and your family can use an absentee ballot and ensure your voices are heard on Election Day.
Support and Resources Through the Commissary and Exchange
You may already know that shopping for groceries at the commissary or for electronics at the exchange can amount to significant savings. But you may not know that these stores also offer additional perks like contest prizes, scholarships and family employment opportunities, all while supporting your war-fighter overseas. Check out our listings below for benefits you may not have heard about.
9 Tips for Reintegration After Deployment
Your deployment is over and now you are returning home. Next, it's time to reconnect with your family and friends and return to your "normal" life.
Life Insurance for Veterans
Life insurance is one of those things we tend to avoid. But as a service member, you’re automatically provided life insurance.
Safe Driving Tips at Home After Combat Duty
The driving habits that kept you safe in a war zone can endanger you and others now that you're home. Reduce the risk of injury to yourself and others by retraining yourself to drive in normal conditions.
Military Clause: Terminate Your Lease Due to Deployment or PCS
Service members are protected by the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act if they need to break their lease on account of a deployment or permanent change of station.
Make a Home Accessible With Department of Veterans Affairs Programs
If you're disabled, it is important to feel comfortable at home. Depending on your unique needs, modifications can make a big difference in your accessibility at home.
Meeting Fitness Standards
Physical fitness is a big part of life in the military. It’s required. Each service member is regularly tested. A Military OneSource Health and Wellness Coach can help you get or stay fit.
Returning From Deployment: Helping Your Family Transition
Armed with the right information and understanding, reuniting with your family after a deployment can go more smoothly for everyone. Educate yourself on what to expect upon reintegration, and be patient with yourself, your spouse and your kids. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Follow these eight tips to ease your adjustment.
Leaving Your Children With a Caregiver During Deployment
As a service member, you will benefit from some planning and organization when you leave your child with a caregiver during deployment. The more information everyone has, the better.
For Veterans: All the Benefits of Home
You saw your share of moving in the military. Now, as a veteran, maybe you're thinking about settling down. Thanks to your service, you've earned good benefits. Here are some other programs to check out.
Marine Corps Boot Camp and Officer Candidates School: What to Expect
Marine Corps Basic Recruit Training is the first step in preparing you mentally and physically to serve. The second step is the School of Infantry, where you'll develop core skills for service.
Thrift Savings Plan Options: Making Your Retirement Dollars Work for You
It’s never too early to start saving for retirement. The best way to get started is the Thrift Savings Plan, a retirement savings plan for federal employees and members of the uniformed services that gives you two ways to sock away some cash.
Securing the Home Front: Deployment Paperwork Prep
Life in the military is about being ready for deployment. You may be duty-ready, but don’t overlook preparations on the home front. That includes having or updating essential legal documents. Don’t let it slip off your radar before deployment. Do it for your family’s sake.
What to Pack for Basic Training
You'll need to take only a few basic things when you head off to basic training - everything else will be provided for you. Your recruiter will give you a list of what you must take and what you definitely shouldn't pack.
Your Deployment Plan for Staying Fiscally Fit
Deployment can impact a household budget. Your pay could change, or you could incur some unexpected expenses. With the right information and a little extra effort, you can stay fiscally fit during deployment and stay in command of your household budget. Follow these tips to achieve financial stability and health even while you're gone.
Four Steps to Put Your Financial House in Order
During deployment, you may be eligible for military pay entitlements, like family separation allowance or combat pay. This is an ideal time to save money or pay off debt. Here are steps to reach your financial goals.
10 Tips to Take to Basic Training
Basic training varies by service branch, but it’ll help you to know these facts of military life before you report for duty. Own these 10 bits of advice from people who have been there.
Army Basic Training and Officer Candidate School: What to Expect
Basic training is the first step in preparing you to be a soldier. It starts with basic combat training or Army boot camp. Then comes specialized training in your career field — or you may go to Officer Candidate School to master Army leadership skills.
American Red Cross Support for Military Families
The American Red Cross offers important support to service members, veterans and their families. You'll find the Red Cross in hometowns across America, on military installations around the world and deployed with the armed forces to Afghanistan, Kuwait and Djibouti.
Navy Boot Camp and Officer Candidate School: What to Expect
Navy Boot Camp is the first step in turning you into a sailor with all the skills to perform in the fleet. If you're on the Navy officer path, you'll attend a 12-week course to prepare for an officer's responsibilities. Know what to expect and arrive ready for Navy training.
Managing Your Money as a New Service Member
You're learning a lot of new skills in the military, and money management should be one of them. As a service member, you may earn more, get special duty pay or have new expenses. It's your money. Make the most of it by creating a financial plan. Staying on top of your finances is important for your security clearance, your career and your future.
Get Ready for a Military Homecoming
While reuniting with your family after a deployment is an exciting time, there are a few things you may want to remember...
The Savings Deposit Program
If a combat deployment is in your future, be sure to learn about the Savings Deposit Program, a savings account that earns you 10 percent interest. An effective way to collect some savings, the Savings Deposit Program can help you and your family achieve your financial goals.
Air Force Basic Training: What to Expect
When joining the Air Force you can choose one of two paths, either enlist or get a commission as an officer. If you enlist, your first stop will be Air Force Basic Training, eight-and-a-half weeks of physical preparation to serve, before you move onto more technical training. If you take the officer path, you’ll go to Officer Training School, the U.S. Air Force Academy or Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps.
Which GI Bill Is Best for You?
The Department of Veterans Affairs has several programs that can cover the cost of education and training, housing fees and more. Review the benefits of each program and find out which one works best for you.
Veterans Programs, Services and Resources
The Department of Veterans Affairs and other government agencies offer numerous programs and services for veterans, their dependents and survivors. Beyond benefits, these programs and services are helpful.