7 Military Life Tips for New MilSpouses

Welcome to military life, milspouse!

If you are brand new and basking in the glow of newlywed life, or just looking for a refresher, we’re here to provide you the essential first steps of military spouse life. It may feel overwhelming at first, but don’t worry-you’ll soon be a pro. So, let’s get started, shall we? First things first:

1. Enroll in DEERS

Your spouse will need to help register you in the Defense Eligibility Reporting System, commonly referred to as DEERS. You must be enrolled in DEERS in order to be eligible for the military health insurance, TriCare.

To register family members in DEERS, sponsors must complete an Application for Uniformed Services Identification Card and DEERS Enrollment (DD Form 1172), and provide documentation, such as a social security card and/or a marriage or birth certificate.

2. Updating Personal Information in DEERS

Family members can update personal information such as addresses and phone numbers once they are registered in DEERS. If the sponsor is not available, family members can update DEERS with a valid Power of Attorney. You may verify or update DEERS in one of the following ways:

1) Visit a local ID card office to add/remove family members. Call first to verify business hours or to set up an appointment. Or, set up an appointment online.

For next steps, visit here!

3. For the Future! When to Update DEERS

You should update your record whenever you experience any of the following (this list is not all-inclusive)

-Change in sponsor’s status
-Marriage or Divorce
-New Birth
-Moving to a new location for any reason
-Becoming eligible for Medicare.
-Death of sponsor or family member.

If you are enrolled in a TRICARE Prime option or if you’ve purchased TRICARE Reserve Select, TRICARE Retired Reserve or TRICARE Young Adult, remember to also change your address with your regional contractor.”

4. Obtain a Military ID

Military Installations require a military ID to enter the gates, shop at the commissary and exchange, retrieve insurance benefits and access a wide-variety of services.

Spouses, as well as children over the age of 10, will need THEIR OWN ID cards.

First, locate your installation ID office and schedule an appointment, either in person, online or over the phone. Requirements vary on what paperwork you might need to receive your ID card, but you should have your marriage license, birth certificate, photo identification, and Department of Defense Form 1172 (application form) to apply for an ID card.

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