For servicemembers preparing to deploy, you often have little time to put things in order before leaving. The following are several suggestions/tips to help you prepare for deployment.
Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) - It is the servicemembers responsibility to verify DEERS enrollment for their family members prior to deployment. This will ensure that family members can receive medical care while the servicemember is deployed. To confirm enrollment contact DEERS at 1-800-538-9552.
ID Cards Servicemembers should check the expiration date of all dependent ID cards prior to deployment. If the cards expire prior to the end of the deployment, you should contact the appropriate personnel office to initiate the paperwork.
Service Record Check the pages of your service record to ensure that the contact information is correct. An incorrect phone number can delay a response in the case of an emergency.
Vehicle Information While deployed it is recommended that you make storage arrangements for your vehicle(s). Some installations have long-term storage available. Additionally, you should check your vehicle registration expiration date. If your registration will expire while you are deployed, you should renew your registration prior to deployment or make arrangements for someone with your power of attorney to take care of it for you. Also, some insurance companies offer reduced rates to service members who are deployed if their vehicle will not be in use. Contact your insurance agency to see if this is an option for you.
Bills - Servicemembers are responsible for their household expenses/bills while they are deployed. These expenses could include rent, mortgage payments, car payments, credit cards, etc. Before deploying you should ensure that you have made arrangements for these payments to be taken care of. You may wish to appoint your spouse or family member with power of attorney, so that they can handle your finances while you are deployed.
Direct Deposit Direct deposit is the fastest and most convenient way to receive your pay while you are deployed. By utilizing direct deposit your pay will be automatically credited to your checking or savings account. For more information check with your bank or credit union.
Income Tax If you will be deployed when your taxes are due, decide in advance how income taxes will be filed and who will do it. You may wish to file for an extension through the Internal Revenue Service by filing Form 2350: Application for Extension of Time to File U.S. Income Tax Return.
Power of Attorney - A power of attorney is a legal designation by an individual that grants to another the authority to execute documents in the name of the grantor, as if he or she actually signed the documents. While you are deployed it may be necessary for your spouse, a parent, or another competent person to act for you in your behalf. Before you execute a power of attorney, be sure you understand exactly what you want your attorney-in-fact to do in your place. For example, you may want to limit the duration of the power of attorney to the period of time you expect to be deployed. For assistance in preparing a power of attorney will you should contact the legal office at your installation. See Legal Resources for more information and referrals.
Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (SGLI) - Each active duty servicemember is eligible to be insured under SGLI up to a maximum of $250,000 in increments of $10,000. Before deploying you should verify who you have designated as beneficiary on your SGLI and make changes as necessary. An eligible beneficiary can be any person or legal entity designated by the servicemember. To make any change the SGLI Election Form (VA Form SGLV-8286) must be completed. For more information about Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance, please visit the Department of Veterans Affairs group life insurance information page.
Will - A will is a legal expression or declaration of an individuals wishes concerning the dispositions of his/her property after death. It is always easier for ones survivors to take care of things if there is a legally executed will. If one dies without leaving a will, personal and real property are distributed by state law, which might not necessarily coincide with the way the individual would have wanted it. For assistance in preparing or updating/changing your will you should contact the legal office at your installation. See Legal Resources for more information and referrals.