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If you’ve recently married into the military, or you or your spouse has just joined, you may be feeling both nervous and excited about the future.
During the adjustment period, spouses take on new roles, adapt to new schedules and learn new ways of handling many of life’s obstacles. To successfully do so, it’s helpful to know about the military spouse support available to you.
What’s on the installation
Your installation Military and Family Support Center is a good place to start for anything from local recreational opportunities to a personalized introduction to installation services including spouse career and employment opportunities, personal financial management classes, activities for children and families, military spouse resources and more.
Staying positive during a deployment
The power of being positive along with a little help from friends and family can make time apart from your partner your time to shine. Follow our tips to stay positive and make that time go by just a little bit faster.
Living on an installation for the first time
You may experience many emotions if you’re planning to live on an installation for the first time as a military spouse. While it’s perfectly understandable to feel some uncertainty, there are several ways to ensure the transition is a success.
- Be proactive and keep a positive attitude. Take advantage of opportunities offered to you on the installation.
- Get your children involved in activities. The installation youth center offers a wide range of sports, activities, events and social clubs. This is also a great way to meet other parents.
- Get to know your neighbors. Other families are getting used to the new installation too.
- Participate in military community activities. Pay attention to upcoming events and join in the fun. You can try new things and meet new people at the same time.
Stay in touch with the military spouse online community
You might be amazed at what you can accomplish on your own and with a little help from other military spouses. The Blog Brigade is the place to read about tips from other military spouses around the world.
Spouse Education and Career Opportunities
Continuing your education or advancing your career when you’re constantly on the move can be tough. But there are many employment and education resources that are only available to military spouses.
- Whether you’re in need of help writing a resume or simply deciding what career is best for you, the MySECO website is your one-stop shop. MySECO provides education and career guidance to military spouses worldwide, offering comprehensive resources and tools related to career exploration, education, training and licensing, employment readiness and career connections.
- Depending on your individual interests and skills, there are many job opportunities available to you. Get your resume ready and explore what’s out there on and off the installation.
- There certain preferences for military spouses when applying for Department of Defense civilian jobs. With the help of the Military Spouse Preference Program, you can build your career as you move with the military.
- If your job requires a professional license or certification and you move due to a permanent change of station, you can apply for up to $1,000 in reimbursement of relicensure or certification fees from your service branch.
A move overseas can shake up your world as new possibilities and experiences await you. Finding a job overseas as a military spouse presents a unique set of challenges. Here are some tips to help you with your search.
Confidential non-medical counseling
Both Military OneSource and the Military and Family Life Counseling Program offer services for life situations, such as coping with deployments.
Having a baby when your partner is deployed
If you ask any mom, not much is as thrilling and emotional as having a baby. When your partner is deployed, there are ways to bridge the distance before and after your child’s birth.
- Enroll in the right TRICARE region.
- Enroll in childbirth classes at your installation’s hospital or military treatment facility.
- Get a medical power of attorney. Choose someone you trust to make medical decisions on your behalf in the unlikely event medical staff can’t get your or your partner’s consent. Visit your legal assistance office for more information.
- Familiarize yourself with local Red Cross procedures. This way, when you go into labor you can have your medical provider notify your partner.
When you become your spouse’s caregiver
When your spouse is severely injured or has a debilitating illness, you face the prospect of starting a whole new chapter of your life — one you hadn’t expected. Becoming your spouse’s caregiver presents a unique set of challenges that can affect you emotionally and physically, and can often seem overwhelming.
Read about common reactions to becoming a caregiver, resources for support and tips on taking care of yourself throughout the caregiving process.
All military jobs take dedication, and being a military spouse is no different. We hope this list of resources can help you through any challenges that may arise along the way.