Don't you dare think we all knew what to do after we got married to a soldier! This Military life is so darn confusing and I wish I had someone there to help me understand it. This is perfect for those of you who are newly married or plan to be married in the future. I created a printable checklist that has the steps you need to take after you say "I Do".
1. Update Your name on Your Social Security card. Now, I didn't do this until months into our marriage, but I wish I did! I had to take our marriage certificate with me everywhere because of it, so please make sure you go in and update your name ASAP. The sooner, the better.
2. Make Copies of Your Marriage License. Because you may need it for multiple instances, make copies of it! Your husband will have to borrow it so they can make a copy, or you can just make a copy already to make things easier. They need this to go in his record so his pay and everything else will be updated.
3. Get Your Dependent Card. This will allow you to enter base without your spouse there and to shop at the Commissary and Exchange. For most bases and in my case, I got my ID at the same time we applied for DEERS.
4. Enroll in DEERS. DEERS is defense enrollment eligibility reporting system... Translation: It's the database that lists those eligible for Tricare. To do this, you will need your birth certificate, marriage certificate, license, and social security card. This is why it is important to get everything done beforehand, to make this a quick and easy process.
5. Register for Tricare. This is pretty easy, as it is an automatic thing after enrolling in DEERS. But, it is important you understand all the benefits of your insurance, and get a dental plan. Since we are NG and don't get Tricare, we had to go through the insurances his work recommends and find the best fit for us. Do your research and see what you are qualified for, they do a pretty good job of explaining it here.
6. Update Bank Accounts. When you get married, you'll want to have your name added to his bank account or create a new joint one. No, this isn't so you can clean out his bank account (oh but those shoes you found are so tempting!) but in case of an emergency and to have access to your collective funds. This is especially important if he is deployed or even at basic. His pay is directly deposited into the bank account and it can be difficult to pay bills when he is gone if you aren't on the account.
Along with this, you may want to discuss becoming a power of attorney. "This can include the ability to manage bank accounts; sell, exchange, buy or invest any assets or property; purchase and maintain insurance; and enter into any binding contracts on your behalf." (found here) So if gosh forbid something happens, you need to purchase a vehicle, or if you want to put an offer on a house, you can do so as a POA. Obviously this requires great trust and will need to be discussed between the two of you.
Bonus: Memorize his social security number. When you go to a doctor's office you will be asked it, if you are filling out any forms you will need to have it... So make your life easier and memorize it as soon as you can.
If you would like to download this printable, simply click the photo below and it will redirect you to the PDF to download and print! Hopefully this helps those who are new Army spouses, or who are going to be in the future.