With the world on the edge of their seats with the Ukraine-Russia conflict, more questions than answers have swept through our military spouse community. One of the things that we have seen in the past few weeks were rapid deployments as more troops headed towards eastern Europe in Germany and Poland. But even with the uncertainty that comes with a rapid deployment, there are things that you should know about and take care of before a rapid deployment.
Having Your Affairs in Order
Krista Anderson of The Unquiet Professional says you should “consider both legal and emotional tasks.” Prioritize updating your DD93, SGLI, will, and powers of attorney so your spouse, next of kin or designated person can easily handle things without you. It’s also important to make sure this person also has access to any accounts, such as cell phone, utilities, or bank info. On the emotional side of things, it’s important to have the hard conversations about what should be done if your service member doesn’t come home. While these are never the conversations we want to have, it is important to know where your service member would want to be buried and what their wishes are. “You will never regret sharing your wishes with each other,” says Anderson, who also reminds us that it’s important for the spouse at home to also share their wishes and have their will and power of attorney up to date as well. If you need help on what you should be asking, The Unquiet Professional has a great Estate Planning Guide to walk you through it.
Know the Resources
There are so many resources available to families with a deployed service member. Some CDC’s will offer free hours each month, you can receive insurance discounts by putting your service members car into “storage mode” if it will not be driven as often, and should financial trouble hit, you have the various service branch relief organizations to step in and assist. Military OneSource has lots of good information on deployments and resources as well. Its also important to make sure you have a good contact number to the units rear detachment and be plugged into the family readiness groups as well.
OPSEC and PERSEC
While service members are deployed, it’s important to always remember Operational Security (OPSEC) and Personal Security (PERSEC). With OPSEC, you do not want to share any troop movement, dates, times, or locations with anyone unless they need to know. A good rule of thumb is if you see the unit shared it on social media, then its ok for you to share it too. With PERSEC, it’s also important to understand that not everyone needs to know that you are alone with your service member deployed.
Before posting anything or sharing anything always ask, “Do others need to know about this?” If the answer is no, then it’s a good idea to keep it to yourself.
In these cases, consider everyone on a need to know basis and what information you have on your family status is top secret.
Deployments of any kind are always tough and stressful. What we see on the news can sometimes be exaggerated and scary. Keep in mind that if anything happens it will come through official channels.
“Understand your military community comes together to assist in times of need – whether a baby is born, a home repair is needed, or there is a death in the family. Your military family is a part of your village. Lean in and thrive together,” Krista Anderson reminds us.
You don’t always need a large village, but you do need someone you can count on. Find them, and work through the deployment together.