Any relationship is exciting and challenging, but it only magnifies when your dealing with a man in uniform. If you just married your man who is a United States Marine, you’re in for a WILD a ride. The fact remains that there is no ONE place on the Web that tells you what to do when you get married! And there’s no manual that the Marines get, either, telling them what to do.
Here is a list of tips and tricks that will make the transcension from a normal calm life to a WILD roller coaster ride that never stops!
When you first get married to a man/women in the military there is a lot of paperwork that needs to be done and it can be overwhelming! I Know, from experience that it can be overwhelming, confusing and VERY new. Unless you grew up in the military lifestyle, You pretty much know what to do, But when you grew up nowhere near a military base, You will have no idea where to start.
Here is a printable list of VERY important paperwork that needs to get done when you get married and make the process easier!
Here are also detailed information that will help you during the process!
Your Marine should take proof of your marriage certificate to the personnel office. They will enter you into the DEERS system. This has to be #1, because to the military, if you’re not in DEERS, you don’t exist. To confirm enrollment, contact DEERS at 1-800-538-9552.
BAH (Basic Allowance for Housing)
S/He should also take proof of your marriage certificate to his pay office. They will make sure he is getting the correct pay. Their BAH, if S/He doesn’t live in base housing, will go up slightly by changing to the “with dependent” when s/he gains a dependent (a wife/husband or child/children). It only goes up once.
Myth busting: You do NOT get more pay for more babies! Once the Marine has ONE dependent, beyond that, the number of dependents has NO impact on income.
You need to go get your ID card. What you need to bring with you varies by base, so call ahead, but generally speaking you’ll need your driver’s license, social security card and proof of marriage. Look HERE for the closest ID facility to you. You will probably be required to have your Marine with you. If he is not available, due to being deployed or in a different state, he can fill out an 1172 form and send it to you to present to your local personnel office. Important note: Once you have your ID card, it is YOURS. The federal government issued it to you. Your Marine does NOT have the right to take it away from you, no matter what. You are not required to surrender it unless you divorce, or he separates from the military.
You need to enroll in Tricare, which is the military medical insurance. You will automatically be enrolled in Tricare Standard, but you may choose to enroll in Tricare Prime instead. You can research the difference HERE.You will need to enroll in Metlife dental insurance.
S/He needs to update his SGLI (Serviceman’s Group Life Insurance). Each service member is eligible for up to 400,000 in life insurance. Make sure he changes his beneficiary to you! As long as we’re discussing beneficiaries, your Marine should make sure that you are the person put down as the recipient of his death benefit and outstanding pay. (It can be you or other family members, depending on his situation) It’s important that S/He remembers to do this. Most unmarried guys or gals in boot camp fill out the forms so the parents are the beneficiaries, and never think to change it after marriage, And since the death benefit is $100,000 these days, make sure it’s right!
Consider spousal SGLI. Your Marine has the option of getting 100,000 life insurance for you and $10,000 for each child. Consider it carefully if you don’t have other life insurance. It is very affordable, currently about 9 (or more) dollars per month for 100K on the spouse, and they take the premium right out of his check.
APPLY FOR HOUSING
Want to live in base housing? You’ll need a housing application, Go down to the bases housing office. You will need: your Power of Attorney (if your Marine isn’t available during the application process), and a copy of your Marine’s orders assigning him to that duty station. You will be placed on a waiting list, which is prioritized by the date the Marine detached from his previous duty station. Your place on the waiting list may fluctuate from day-to-day. Be patient, and nice to your housing coordinator.
Make sure you are joint holder on all bank accounts, with survivorship rights, and that he
authorizes you to deal with his creditors (During a deployment as well). Have an accurate idea of your finances, and how to handle them when he’s gone. Prioritize and discuss with your spouse, what you’re going to do with that extra deployment money BEFORE it starts coming in!
Sign up for a budgeting class through the Navy/Marine Corps Relief Society. Living on a military income isn’t easy, but it can be done.
There is so much information here that I am going to stop here. For Part 2 stay tuned. For more personal resources for you and your family check out My: Helpful Military Resources