Deployment Basics By Service Branch

Service members walk towards their next location.

At some point in your loved one’s military service, you’ll probably hear the words, “I’m deploying.” What does that really mean, and how can you support your service member?

The word deployment can mean different things, depending on your service member’s job, and their unit and service branch, but it generally means a scheduled time away from the usual duty station, and usually outside of the United States. It may mean seven months on a Navy ship, 12 months at a forward operating base or three months in a town with restaurants and shops you’d recognize back home. Sometimes, your service member may serve in dangerous situations, but they have intense training and are well prepared for the challenges they may face in their specific mission.

The deployment cycle is the period of time from the notification of a deployment, through predeployment training, through the deployment and immediately after deployment. Every deployment cycle is different, but here are some general things to know:

Army deployment

Soldiers can deploy in large or small groups, or even individually. Many soldiers will do predeployment training at large training centers such as the National Training Center, the Joint Readiness Training Center, or at specific training centers located at bases across the country. An average deployment cycle will include months of training at their home base and at these specialized courses.

Soldiers with specific skills may go individually or in smaller units. They will have different types of training requirements based on the job, their prior preparation and the location of the deployment.

Learn more about Army deployments »

Marine Corps deployment

Many Marine Corps deployments happen on Navy ships, or they may fly to their deployment location. The majority of Marine Corps deployments include approximately one year of training followed by six to seven months of actual deployment time. However, a significant number of Marine Corps deployments may be scheduled for one year or more.

The Marine Corps prepares to support a wide variety of missions, often on short notice. Deployment types include training exercises, force readiness, supporting ongoing missions and humanitarian support.

Learn more about Marine Corps deployments »

Navy deployment

Many Navy deployments are on ships or submarines. Whether your service member is permanently assigned to the ship or sub, or joining the vessel as part of a separate unit such as an aircraft squadron, they’ll spend many months before the deployment participating in a wide variety of training both on and off the ship or sub. Ship or sub-based deployments typically last six or seven months, though occasionally, they will go longer. The time at sea may be broken up by port calls, where the ship pulls into a town and the sailors are permitted to go ashore and enjoy some time off.

Sailors who deploy without a ship or sub may go to a variety of locations to perform a wide range of jobs. Their predeployment training may be part of their regular job, so there may not be much disruption to their regular schedule, or they may need to learn entirely new skills for the deployment. These deployments may be with Navy units, joint units or they may be assigned to a unit of a different branch of the military. The latter is usually called an individual augmentee job. Sailors deployed without a ship or a sub may go for as little as 30 days or for more than a year.

Learn more about Navy deployments »

Air Force deployment

Airmen participate in many different types of deployments. Most Air Force deployments involve flying to another location, often an overseas Air Force base, a joint base or the base of another service. Airmen may live on those bases or stay in hotels.

Some Air Force units have a faster deployment cycle, with shorter deployments and shorter times between deployments. While they still may follow the six to 12-month average of the other branches, they may also do a series of two to three-month deployments in quick succession. Differences in deployment tempo are usually based upon job and unit.

Learn more about Air Force deployments »

How You Can Support Your Service Member

Deployment can bring about a wide range of emotions for both the service member and the family at home. They may be excited to do the job for which they’ve trained, sad to be apart from their family and perhaps nervous about how the deployment will unfold. It’s natural to feel all these things, sometimes all at the same time.

Realistic expectations are an important part of making it through the deployment cycle. Three key things to remember throughout the process:

  1. Your service member has been training to use their skills during a deployment. They are well prepared to do this job and may be very focused on the mission they’re doing.
  2. Things can, and will, change frequently. Trainings and deployments can be moved up, delayed or cancelled altogether. Departure and return dates will shift. Communication may be limited. The more understanding you are, the more your service member will feel supported.
  3. Your service member will not be able to answer all your questions. Your loved one may not know the answer to your question, or they may not be able to tell you the things they do know.

You can help your service member by asking what they want and how you can help. For example, they may want you to come to homecoming for one deployment but not for another, based upon a wide variety of factors including location, likelihood of date changes and post-deployment requirements. They may need help with things like paying bills or storing their car.

It’s also smart to talk through a couple of “what-if” scenarios and to get some basic information. Be sure you know the specific name of their unit and at least one phone number to call if there is an emergency back home.

Whether you are a parent, sibling or friend, you probably have a lot of questions about your loved one’s deployment. Feel more prepared with Military OneSource’s Plan My Deployment and the predeployment checklist.


Check out the rest of the Friends & Extended Family content on Military OneSource to keep connected with your service member’s military life.

Voting While You’re Away From Home: The Absentee Voting Process

Hands filling out absentee voting form.

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. It only takes a few quick steps to cast your vote no matter where you are in the world:

Getting Started with Absentee Voting

Here’s how to make sure you cast your absentee ballot correctly.

  • Complete the Federal Post Card Application. The Federal Voting Assistance Program encourages the use of the Federal Post Card Application to register to vote, request an absentee ballot, and update any contact information. If you (service member, military spouse or of-age dependent) are stationed or relocated outside of your voting jurisdiction, you are encouraged to submit a new FPCA every year and each time you move. You can fill it out online with an assistant’s help, download a PDF version or pick up a hard copy version from your unit voting assistance officer.
  • Sign and send the FPCA to your local election office. Your local election office is in the county where you have established residency. Most states accept the FPCA by email or fax, while other states require the FPCA by mail. You can find the email, mailing address and phone number of your election office. You can also ask for the contact information from your voting assistance officer.
  • Receive your absentee ballot. In Section 5 of the FPCA, you can even request to receive your ballot by email.
  • Vote, sign and return the ballot. After voting and signing your ballot, return it to your state before the ballot return deadline arrives. Check your state’s specific deadline for military and military families on

Votes from service members and their families who are away from their home state matter in every election. The outcome of a close race often can’t be announced until after absentee ballots are counted.

How to handle any voting issues

What if you don’t receive your ballot on time and the deadline is approaching? What if you don’t know your state’s deadline because you just moved? Here are your options:

  • Use an emergency backup ballot. If you do not receive your ballot and are in danger of missing the absentee voting deadline, your voting assistance officer can provide you with an emergency or backup ballot called an SF 186 Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot, or you can use the FWAB (Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot) online assistant to help you fill out the form. All states accept this ballot for all federal elections. In most states, voters need to have previously submitted an FPCA earlier in that election year to be eligible to use a FWAB.
  • Know your state’s absentee deadline. Every state sets its own due date for absentee ballot applications and the actual ballot, so make sure you know it ahead of time. Learn everything you need to know about your state’s deadlines by selecting your state from the home page. Also, the Military Postal Service Agency estimates mail delivery times from all over the world before each election, which eliminates guesswork. To be on the safe side, follow the recommended mailing dates.
  • Submit a new FPCA every year and when you move. Add this task to your moving checklist so you’ll be prepared for every election.

Where can I ask for help?

You can get assistance online or face-to-face:

Your vote matters and no matter where you are, you should cast your ballot in every election. It’s your right. Learn more about primary elections. Keep track of your state’s primary election dates and take these simple steps to ensure your voice is heard on Election Day.

Your Vote Always Counts, So Be a Responsible Voter

Service member holds up voting ballot

Voting While You’re Away from Home

No matter where you are in the world on Election Day, you can still make your vote count. Learn more about the absentee voting process and find voting help if you need it.

It’s your civic duty as an American to vote, and a precious American right. Remember that your vote always counts – not just in close elections, but in every election. You don’t have to be an expert on the issues to cast a vote. But with the proper research, you can vote confidently this election season.

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Together While Apart, Military Families Connect for the Holidays

Keeping Your Family Strong

You can make this holiday meaningful even if you are thousands of miles apart. Get creative by connecting with your family and creating new traditions. Think outside the box to create special moments that can be just as nice as if your service member was home decorating the tree with you. Holidays are not about how much you give, but about celebrating each other.

Don’t miss out on holiday family fun!

COVID-19-Safe Travel Tips

If you decide to travel, stay safe by following the latest CDC guidance and travel recommendations.

Being apart doesn’t have to mean missing out on family bonding. With the help of technology, here are simple ways you can help bridge the gap until deployment is over:

  • Use video chat to bring the family together.
  • Connect through social media. 
  • Send pictures, letters and kids’ artwork.
  • Do something together (while apart) like watch a movie or read a book and discuss it.
  • Send a meaningful gift like a recipe or homemade (non-perishable) treat, a book read in your voice or a personalized do-it-yourself craft.

Keep things simple and don’t forget to take care of yourself. Being away from your family can add to holiday stress. Reach out for help if you need it.

Military OneSource offers a wide range of resources to you. Call and connect with a Military OneSource triage consultant on one or a number of the following resources:

  • Health and Wellness Coaching can help if you’re looking for a no-cost way to shed some of those extra holiday pounds, deal with stress or just get healthier.
  • Confidential non-medical counseling can help if you’re dealing with short-term issues like adjustment, marital problems, parenting, stress management or grief and loss.
  • Financial counseling can help get your budget back in shape after the holidays.

Stay Deployment Strong

If you are stationed overseas and your spouse is deployed, check out the Plan My Deployment tool on Military OneSource for resources to help you stay connected. This tool acts as a how-to guide for valuable tips, resources and articles that will help you and your family prepare for all phases of the deployment cycle. Sort by Pre-Deployment, Deployment, and Reunion and Reintegration to find the information most relevant to your situation.

Ins and Outs of Tax Filing When You Are Deployed

Man propels on rope

Deployed service members are expected to file their taxes. Fortunately, the Internal Revenue Service realizes service members and their families face unique circumstances and offers tools – and some special extensions – to make tax filing easier. Military OneSource also provides a suite of free tax services for eligible service members and their families.

Getting started on free military tax filing

If you are a service member or filing taxes on behalf of a service member, keep the following in mind when getting started on your taxes:

Free MilTax Software

MilTax’s tax preparation and e-filing software is available mid-January to mid-October. Easy to use and guaranteed 100% accurate.

  • Get your statement online: You can go to myPay to get your military W-2 form. It is posted there before being mailed to you. You’ll need your Common Access Card or personal identification number to access it.
  • Gather other important information. Other documents you may need to file your taxes include 1099 forms, deduction and credit information, receipts for child-care expenses, last year’s tax return, and any documents for investments, rental properties or mortgages. You’ll also need your military ID and every family member’s Social Security number, bank account and routing numbers if you are filing electronically, and receipts for charitable donations.
  • File the return in your permanent state. If you are stationed away from your permanent home address, you will still pay taxes in your home state in most cases. Note: military spouses who work and live with their service member in a state other than their home state as a result of military orders may not have to pay income tax in the state where they work.
  • Make sure you have a power of attorney in place if someone is filing on your behalf. If your spouse or someone else is filing your tax return, make sure they have all your information and attach the power of attorney – a legal document that provides them authority to make financial decisions in your absence. The person filing your taxes on your behalf will need to attach IRS Form 2848 with the tax return.

Deadline extensions for combat zone and hazardous duty

Filing your taxes after the tax deadline is more common than you think. This is especially true for service members who are deployed. The IRS extends filing deadlines – and paying of your income taxes – for service members who are:

  • Serving in a combat zone or directly supporting those in a combat zone, serving in a contingency operation, or having a “missing” status. Your tax extension generally starts the day you begin serving in the combat zone for the period of your service plus 180 days afterward. The spouse and family members of those serving in combat zone or contingency operation sometimes also qualify. Your command will notify the Internal Revenue Service of your deployment, so you can receive an automatic federal tax return extension. You may still want to write “COMBAT ZONE” in red on top of your tax return when you do file. You can double-check they have this information by e-mailing the IRS directly at: with your name, stateside address, birth date, and date of deployment.
  • Hospitalized outside the United States because of injuries suffered in a combat zone or hazardous duty area. This applies for the period the service member is continuously hospitalized outside of the United States as a result of injuries sustained while serving in a combat zone, including 180 days thereafter. For hospitalization inside the United States, the extension period cannot be more than five years.

Getting help filing taxes, getting an extension

In addition to serving in a combat zone, there are other ways service members can obtain an extension on filing taxes beyond the tax deadline. To find out more about your obligation to file taxes, obtain an extension, and discover service member-specific tax benefits, call 800-342-9647 to schedule a free appointment to talk with a Military OneSource MilTax consultant.

Other tax assistance for service members and their families can be obtained through:

  • The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. Offered for free by the IRS, this program is for those living on or off the installation and includes sites for military members overseas. VITA staff can help you with military tax issues.
  • Military OneSource MilTax free tax filing services. MilTax preparation and e-filing software, available mid-January through mid-October, allows you to prepare and file your federal and state taxes with ease. It’s designed to address military-specific scenarios, such as those described above. If you have questions along the way, call 24/7 to schedule an appointment with a MilTax consultant, 800-342-9647.
  • The IRS has a web page on tax information for military members who serve in the U.S. Armed Forces and uniform services.

Preparing and filing taxes is a citizen and service member duty. But as a member of the military family, you can obtain 100% free access to tax consultants and financial counselors with military expertise. Contact Military OneSource anytime, 24/7 at 800-342-9647 to take advantage of this benefit.

Tips for Communicating in a Long-Distance Relationship

Service member and girlfriend get photo taken before deployment

Long-distance relationships are a challenge that many military couples face at some point in their relationship. Being apart from your loved one can create anxiety, sadness, even trust issues. But the separation can also bring couples closer, particularly if both partners set expectations and find ways to stay connected. With planning and commitment, you and your partner can keep your relationship strong while apart.

Plan ahead for staying in touch

The best time to talk about how you will stay connected during your geographic separation is while you are still together.

  • Set expectations about how you will stay in touch and how often. What works best for you as a couple? Phone calls, video chats, email, text, letters? A combination? How often will you call or write? Factor in your other commitments and activities so you don’t overpromise and risk disappointing each other or adding stress to your lives.
  • Agree on a time to speak with each other that works for both of you. Different time zones can make this tricky. One of you may be starting your day while the other is ending theirs.
  • Prepare yourselves for the unknown. It’s possible that you won’t know much about your communication options ahead of time. Wi-Fi may be spotty or nonexistent in the area where the service member will be. Mail or email service may be limited. Mission requirements may make communication impossible for days or longer. Discuss these very real possibilities so you won’t be caught off guard.
  • Pick a time each day to focus your thoughts on the other. Play the same song, if possible – maybe as one of you is drifting off to sleep and the other is starting the day if you’re in different time zones. This can be reassuring when communication isn’t possible.
  • Hide notes for each other to find during your geographic separation. Tuck little messages into gear, books, clothing, or in unexpected places around the home.

Nurturing your long-distance relationship

It takes effort to maintain closeness when you are physically distant from each other. But gestures, small and large, can feel particularly meaningful when you are missing your loved one.

  • Plan ahead for birthdays and anniversaries so cards or gifts arrive on time.
  • Be there for each other emotionally. Keep track of what is happening in your partner’s life so you can check in after a big day or send virtual, reassuring hugs when needed.
  • Keep each other up to date on new developments in your lives. Talk about friends you’ve made, interests you’ve developed, new favorite foods. Passing along these types of details will make reintegration easier when you are together again.
  • Try to keep your conversations positive. Don’t hide your struggles, but don’t let them dominate conversations either. Positive communication during deployment is linked to less anxiety among military couples on return.
  • Deal with challenges constructively as they come up. Address issues right away before they become bigger problems down the road. Doing this also makes the adjustment smoother when you are back together.
  • Know when to pull back a bit. There’s such a thing as being in touch too often. If phone calls or video chats begin to feel burdensome or you are struggling to find things to talk about, speak less frequently. This will help keep your conversations fresh and your time reconnecting will feel more special.
  • Have shared experiences. Read the same book or watch the same movie and compare notes later. Play an online game together. Listen to the same playlist. Having shared experiences brings couples closer together.

Resources for staying close while apart

The Department of Defense, through Military OneSource, offers resources for military couples coping with a geographic separation.

  • Strengthen your relationship with the Building Healthy Relationships Staying Connected While Away specialty consultation. A consultant will meet with you by phone or video to help with emotional coping and staying connected.
  • Get expert help with non-medical counseling when you need more support than friends and family can provide. Non-medical counseling is free and confidential and available wherever in the world you are.
  • Tap into the Love Every Day app to practice your relationship communication skills and kindle your romance.
  • Visit the Re the We page on Military OneSource for access to articles, tools and resources to rekindle, repair or reset your relationship.

Military OneSource is there for you 24/7 to help with relationship issues and other concerns. Call 800-342-9647 to connect with a consultant. OCONUS? Use these international calling options.

When Your Guard or Reserve Service Member is Called to Active Duty

Service member with ballistic glasses looks into the distance

Your spouse or partner is preparing for deployment and transitioning from reserve status to active duty. Take advantage of several deployment support programs. They can help you with everything from mobilization to your service member’s reintegration. The following support services are available to assist you during this deployment:

  • Command communications
  • Military and Family Support Center
  • Yellow Ribbon events and family readiness activities
  • Military OneSource
  • Family Assistance Centers
  • Your unit’s family support staff and volunteer network

Command communications

Your command leadership will provide information to you as efficiently as possible through a unit website, email, a toll-free number and or automated multimedia communication systems.

Military family support websites

The Department of Defense and each branch of the military provides online information for military families, including those in the National Guard and reserves. These websites will tell you about:

Contact Military OneSource 24/7.

You can get personalized help 365 days a year by telephone and online.

Overseas? See OCONUS calling options.

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Yellow Ribbon events and family readiness activities

Military commands typically host Yellow Ribbon events to help families prepare for and stay strong during and after a deployment. The Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program can:

  • Prepare service members and families for deployment
  • Sustain them during deployment
  • Provide information and support for reintegration

At pre-deployment events, you and your service member will learn about benefits and support, such as:

  • Military pay
  • Financial readiness
  • Family care plans
  • Family support through the military

Events during deployment provide information and outreach to family members to help with the impact of separation and connect you with other families going through the deployment. Family and deployment readiness means knowing and using the resources available to you. During a deployment, you may:

  • Have financial or legal questions
  • Need support for your children
  • Have concerns about your emotional well-being
  • Want to connect with other military families

After service members return home, Yellow Ribbon activities help families reconnect and readjust. Participate in these activities and get information on:

  • Communication challenges
  • Relationship stress
  • Combat stress
  • Department of Veterans Affairs benefits
  • Employment

Ask questions and receive information answers from briefings and group discussions. You’ll also meet unit leaders, family support professionals and volunteers who will be important resources during the deployment. Check out Yellow Ribbon events online and Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program.

Family Assistance Centers

Family Assistance Centers are located in every state to serve geographically dispersed military families. They provide information, outreach and referrals to services in your community and serve all active and reserves service members and families.

Installation family support programs

Immediate family members of active duty National Guard or reserve members are entitled to use services at military installations. These resources offer a variety of professional support services, and information and referrals to community resources. The centers include:

  • Marine Corps Community Services
  • Fleet and Family Support Centers
  • Airman and Family Readiness Centers

Use MilitaryINSTALLATIONS to find contact information.

Unit family support staff and volunteer network

National Guard and reserve commands have organized family support systems of staff and volunteers, such as:

  • Family assistance coordinators
  • Family readiness assistants
  • Family readiness officers
  • Other designated family support specialists

It’s easier to ask for help when you need it if you get to know key staff and volunteers before your service member deploys.

Support for children

There are many forms of support available to National Guard and reserve parents, children and caregivers, including:

Use these programs and resources to help your children cope with the emotions that can come with having a deployed parent.

Seek community support

Look for support outside the military community — neighbors, coworkers, school personnel or leaders in your religious organization about any support services they offer or recommend.

Take care of yourself

Don’t forget to take care of yourself during your loved one’s deployment. Remember that family separations and deployment can be an opportunity to nurture your own physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.

Plan for your deployment

Manage the deployment process by knowing as much as you can about your benefits and support resources available. Be proactive about getting support at home before, during and after your partner’s deployment to ensure a positive experience.

Deployment Resources for Families

Service member holding hands with military spouse.

While military families know how to stand strong, the stresses of deployment can bring extra challenges. At Military OneSource, we’re here to help — by connecting you to a wide array of programs and services designed for military families. Here are some resources you should know about when the service member in your family has been deployed:

The Military Family Readiness System

The Military Family Readiness System is a network of programs, services and agencies — all collaborating to promote your family’s readiness and quality of life.

  • Through this system, you can receive or request deployment assistance to help your family adjust to all phases of the deployment cycle. 
  • You’ll also find assistance for many other areas of military life while your service member is deployed, from financial management to emergency family assistance. 

How to access services:

Non-military community organizations are also part of the Family Readiness System.

Your Military and Family Support Center and Reserve Component Family Program can connect you to people who can help you. You can also call Military OneSource at 800-342-9647.

Deployment for spouses of Guard and reserve service members

Is your service member preparing for deployment or transitioning to active duty? These support services for National Guard and reserve families can help you every step of the way, from mobilization to reintegration:

Services for children and deployment

A number of organizations offer help for families with children whose mom or dad is deployed:

  • Sesame Street for Military Families offers several resources for children of deployed service members, including videos, tips, downloadable documents and more. 
  • ZERO to THREE has resources for military and veteran families with infants and toddlers. Check out their tools, resources and strategies for parents, especially during deployment. 
  • MilitaryKidsConnect offers Kids Deploy Too, a website designed to help military kids (ages 6-17) face the challenges of a deployment using engaging and interactive activities. 

Services and help for deployed service members’ family caregiver

Are you the designated family caregiver for a deploying service member? There are a number of documents and legal considerations you’ll need to address.

An official family care plan is required for military members and it must be kept up-to-date. Find guidance on the family care plan for your service branch below:

For more information about the documents that a designated family caregiver needs, talk with a Military OneSource consultant at 800-342-9647. The legal assistance offices on your installation can also help with any legal documents you need to support your family care plan.

Plan My Deployment—for service members and families

With Plan My Deployment, you can access information and resources to help manage your deployment. Customize the task-and-consideration list to successfully navigate the re-deployment, deployment, and reunion and reintegration phases of the deployment cycle.

Understanding a Military Power of Attorney: A Primer for Families

Someone writing a power of attorney

At some point in their military career, your service member may ask if you can help them with certain personal business that can be hard to handle if they have limited communications or access to technology. This may include a wide variety of transactions including paying bills, handling banking or insurance, or selling property.

To hand off these responsibilities they need to create and sign a power of attorney that designates you or someone they trust as their representative. A POA is a legally binding planning tool that gives one person the authority to act on another’s behalf for legal or financial issues for a specified time. Conversations with your service member can help you better meet his or her needs.

The military maintains legal services offices to prepare powers of attorney for service members, and may bring the legal services to the individual units before deployments or other operations. Even better: These services are free to your service member.

General, limited and specific powers of attorney

Powers of attorney may be general or written to address a specific transaction(s). Your service member will have to think through and determine the types of transactions they may need you, other family members or trusted people to complete. If they are unsure about their needs, an appointment with the legal services office can help them determine the right POA for their situation. This conversation or prompt can determine which types of powers of attorney are needed.

If you are someone’s POA, here’s what to know:

  • A general power of attorney gives the you the legal right to take any action on behalf of your service member, or grantor. While this can be easier, it also has drawbacks as some institutions may not accept a general POA, or at least beyond the most basic kinds of transactions.
  • A special power of attorney, or limited power of attorney, is specific to a certain transaction or business relationship. This may include powers of attorney for specific bank accounts, vehicles or actions such as the sale of a particular property. A special power of attorney should include detailed information. The downside to using special powers of attorney is that you need to have one for every business relationship being covered.

If you are being asked to be a POA then you will need to know detailed information such as the bank account name and number, Vehicle Identification Numbers, or insurance policy companies and numbers, whether or not they are added to a POA.

Regular, durable and springing powers of attorney

Another important aspect of a power of attorney is when they take effect and when they terminate. Here are common terms to know about POAs:

  • Regular: Most regular powers of attorney take effect when they are signed. A regular power of attorney lasts until it expires, until it is revoked, until the grantor becomes incapacitated or until either party dies.
  • Durable: A durable power of attorney also usually takes effect when signed and lasts until it expires, until it is revoked or until either party dies. However, a durable power of attorney contains special language that continues the representative’s powers even if the grantor is incapacitated.
  • Springing: A springing power of attorney does not become valid until a certain event occurs – a common use is for the power of attorney to become valid if the grantor is incapacitated and unable to make their own decisions. They may or may not have an expiration date.
  • Termination: A power of attorney is limited to a specific period of time or around a certain event, such as during the length of a deployment. The POA automatically expires when that time period or event has concluded.

Using the right POA forms

In many cases, the company or organization may require that you use their specific form, that you pre-file the power of attorney with them, or they may have other requirements. Your service member should check with their bank, insurance company or other institutions with whom they expect that you will be able to do business to find out their preferred format and policy for submitting the documents.

Being asked to serve as someone’s POA is an important responsibility. Make sure that you understand what you are being asked to do.

Your military member can contact a Military OneSource consultant or access the military’s free legal locator if they have other questions about when and how they can use powers of attorney to take care of their personal business when they are unavailable.