After months of planning and preparing for your PCS, you’ve now landed at your new destination. Now it’s time for the fun part – building a nest and making it home. Here are a few ways to tap into the military community so you can settle and get into the swing of things more quickly.
1. Connect with a sponsor to see how the locals live
Before you PCS, you will be assigned a sponsor at your new duty station who is of a similar rank or family situation to help you during this PCS. Sponsors are typically assigned through your unit. You also can request a sponsor through your local Military and Family Support Center’s relocation assistance service provider. A sponsor can be a friendly face with knowledge and experience who can make those critical first introductions, guide you to important resources and give you an insider’s perspective of your new duty station and community.
2. Work with a relocation assistance professional to get referrals to other services
A relocation assistance service provider can help you embrace your new community with consultations on everything from housing and child care to spouse employment and stress management. Find a relocation service provider by selecting relocation assistance program and your installation from the drop-down menu on MilitaryINSTALLATIONS.
3. Check out Armed Services YMCA programs for family bonding opportunities and meeting new neighbors
Armed Services YMCA provides several programs designed to help military families – with a particular focus on helping junior enlisted service men and women – grow their networks of support. Operation Camp sponsors family, youth and teen camps at their 34 branches and affiliate locations. These meaningful experiences help families bond with other members of the military community while offering tools to cope with the unique challenges of military life. Operation Little Learners teaches strategies to help with early childhood development in a community of support where parents and children can learn from each other.
4. Explore Morale, Welfare and Recreation activities to have fun and meet new people
Meet new people and connect with fellow military families as you hit the links, go bowling or play air hockey with your kids at the recreation center. As the military’s network of support and leisure activities, the Morale, Welfare and Recreation program sponsors a variety of activities – something for everyone to enjoy – both on and off on the installation. Take advantage of opportunities to relax, laugh and bond with your new neighbors.
5. Join a military spouse networking group to “talk jobs” with other spouses
For military spouses seeking employment at their new duty station, joining a networking group can be a great opportunity to meet fellow military spouses while advancing your career. Begin with the Military Spouse Employment Partnership spouse group on LinkedIn.
6. Benefit from your Family Readiness Group to widen your network of support
Family readiness programs empower service members and family members with the support and information they need to thrive in their military lives. Each service branch has a family readiness program, but the names and resources available may differ. Special focus is given to helping families prepare for short- and long-term deployments and boosting unit morale. These groups host family-related unit activities, where families can meet and learn from fellow members of their military community.
Make your new destination home by connecting with your military community. Connecting helps you to get to your new normal faster.