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Ways to Settle In to Your New Home and Community


After months of planning and preparing for your PCS, you’ve finally arrived at your new destination. Now it’s time to settle in to your new home and community. Military OneSource offers a number of resources and services to help you engage with your new military community so you can get settled and into the swing of things more quickly — from recreation and education to employment and more.

School liaisons help with school transitions.

Contact your local school liaison for all your pre-K-12 education needs and to help with a smooth school transition.


Connect with a sponsor before and after your move

Before you PCS, you should be assigned a sponsor at your new duty station. They are typically assigned through your unit and are similar in rank or family make up.

Sponsors normally contact you well before you arrive at your new destination, making your transition easier. Once you arrive, they 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.

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Request a sponsor.

If you haven’t already been contacted by a sponsor, you can request one through your local Military and Family Support Center.

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Military sponsors help you make a smooth transition.

Connect your children with the youth sponsorship program

If you have children, the youth sponsorship program can help them get settled both at school and in the community.

Installation school liaison

Your school liaison can help make youth sponsorship referrals.

Youth programs office

Contact your youth programs office for youth sponsorship referrals.

Find a Sponsor

Contact your Relocation Assistance Program for referrals and services

A relocation assistance service provider can help you embrace your new community. Consultations cover everything from housing and child care to spouse employment and stress management.

Contact your installation Military and Family Support Center for information about the array of Relocation Assistance Program resources and services.


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Explore child care options before you move.

Parents of preschool-age children can learn more about military child care programs here:

Ensure smooth education transitions with the help of school liaisons

School liaisons are located at each installation and are the main contact for military families, local school systems and installation command for school-related matters pre-K through 12. They provide a wide variety of services for students and families, including transition support before and after a PCS. School liaisons can:

  • Provide information on school districts and boundaries
  • Assist with transfer of credits and class registration
  • Help locate after-school and extracurricular program
  • Set up tutoring and make youth sponsorship referrals
  • Help explore nontraditional schooling options
  • Assist with college, career and military readiness

Need help with special education? Your school liaison can connect you to the Exceptional Family Member Program and your school’s special education department, as well as help you navigate your new school district’s special education program.

School liaison support is free of charge and open to all Defense Department identification card holders.

Learn more about school liaisons

Learn more about how school liaisons help with pre-K-12 education needs.

Installation school liaison

Contact your local school liaison for help with your child’s school transition or other educational needs.


Meet new neighbors through Armed Services YMCA programs

Armed Services YMCA provides several programs designed to help military families grow their networks of support – with a particular focus on helping junior enlisted service men and women.

Operation Camp sponsors family, youth and teen camps at military-supported YMCA branches and affiliate locations. These meaningful experiences help families bond with other members of the military community while offering tools to help manage 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.

Explore Morale, Welfare and Recreation activities

Connect with fellow military families as you hit the links, go bowling or play basketball with your children at the recreation center. MWR programs offer a variety of options — something for everyone to enjoy — both on and off on the installation.

Find out more about MWR and your local installation

Join a military spouse networking group

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.

Engage with your Family Readiness Group

The Military Family Readiness System empowers service members and families with the support and information they need to thrive in their military lives and widen their support networks.

Each service branch has a unit family readiness program, but the names and resources available may differ. Special focus is given to helping spouses and families prepare for short- and long-term deployments, increasing communication between families and unit leadership and boosting unit morale and a sense of community.

These groups host family-friendly unit activities, where spouses can meet, find support and learn from each other.

Make your new destination home by connecting with your local military community so you can make connections and get to your new normal faster.

Resources and benefits to help you settle in to your new home and community

Learn about military bases worldwide. Get installation overviews, check-in procedures, housing, neighborhood information, contacts for programs and services, photos and more.

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