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  • Writer's pictureLeila Gillette

Helpful Tips for New Military Spouses

Updated: Apr 21, 2022

When my husband first joined the military I was very overwhelmed. There are SO many

My husband and I at his basic training graduation

things to learn about the military world and navigating life within it. My husband did his best at giving me information but I still felt like there was so much to learn and I wasn’t sure how to do that. Over the years I have learned a lot, and still probably have a lot to learn! For those new to being a military spouse, or those that feel like there are just some things they still don’t know, maybe this post will help. I put together a list of some tips that I would have loved to have up my sleeve as a new military spouse. These obviously don’t nearly cover everything there is to know, but I think having a few starter tips can make a new spouse feel a little less lost in this new world.

Tips for the New (or even seasoned!) Military Spouse:

  • Memorize your spouses social security number! I promise you will need it all the time. Anytime you call Tricare, a medical office, get a new ID card, go to the doctors, etc., etc. they will typically ask for your husbands social. Memorizing it will prevent you from having to call your spouse last minute (I did that A LOT in the early days).

  • Introduce yourself to your spouses shop/coworkers/supervisor and their spouses. The first few years as a military spouse, I was always nervous to go to my spouses shop and meet the people he worked with. Looking back, I’m grateful my husband always made a point when we got to a new base to introduce me to his coworkers. And when there was a shop event or function we would go so I could meet and touch base with the spouses. This was not only a good way of making me feel a little less alone and on the outside of his military career, but also how I met some amazing friends through the years!

  • Go to the family readiness center! Most bases have a family readiness center that has TONS of information about resources and free programs the military & the base offer. Things from free education for spouses, financial advice, deployment support, WIC offices, etc. It’s a great way to learn about what the base & military has to offer!

  • Before your spouse even gets word that they may leave on a deployment or TDY head to base legal and meet with a lawyer to draft up Power of Attorneys.This is a free service the military offers. Having a power of attorney as a spouse when your military partner is away allows you to make decisions/manage responsibilities without them (i.e. paying bills, finances, housing stuff, etc.)

  • Avoid the commisary on pay day! (If you can). This one is a little less important but oh my word, the commissary (the grocery store on a military base) get’s BUSY on pay day (typically the first and/or 15th of the month). The reason for this is unfortunately that many military families do live paycheck to paycheck. We have definitely had our months/years where we waited for the next paycheck for certain purchases/grocery trips. So sometimes it can’t be avoided, but if you have the means, try avoiding the commissary on these days to save yourself from extra stress & crowds.

  • Don’t stop pursuing your own career/goals/passions. This one is obviously important to me! (Hence the blog name). This can be hard at first when you are trying to navigate being a new military spouse. Eventually, once you do have your footing a bit I suggest looking into options for yourself. Whether that’s looking into taking classes at the local college, looking for a job, finding a place to volunteer, etc., having your own outlet and space away from the military/your spouse is so important!

  • Utilize other military spouses/groups/Facebook spouse pages for information. One of the best ways I have found information when we first joined the military, and even now any time we PCS, is by asking questions on the bases Facebook spouse page. I believe most, if not all, bases have a Facebook group you can join. It’s a great way for new spouses to ask questions & get advice about all things military!

*Side note: if you are a more seasoned spouse and see a new spouse asking questions please be nice! Remember we all were new to this once. While you might think some questions are obvious or can be answered on Google just remember how overwhelming and stressful being a new spouse can be. Answer some questions and be a voice of support!

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