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Adapting to Military Life

Adapting to military life may seem challenging for servicemembers and their loved ones. To help ease your transition, you'll find information covering the military lifestyle, including material on DEERS, ID cards, TRICARE, United Concordia, common acronyms and support for military spouses.
  1. Commissary and AAFES (7)
  2. Education for Military Kids (13)
  3. PCS (7)
  4. TRICARE (21)

Army Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (FMWR)
Learn about the Army Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (FMWR) initiative and see if there is an FMWR on your installation.

Army FMWR Arts and Crafts Centers
Learn about the Arts and Crafts Centers provided by the Army Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation program and see if there is a center at your installation.

Army FMWR Libraries
The Army FMWR libraries offer numerous events and activities to soldiers and their family members.

Army FMWR Libraries on Overseas Installations
Learn about the Army's FMWR libraries and all that they have to offer.

Basic Information for New Military Spouses
For many new military spouses, transitioning from civilian life to military life may seem daunting and downright overwhelming. Yes, there's a lot to learn, however it's not nearly as complicated as what you may think.

Support the Troops by Donating Your Unwanted Items
Want to support the troops and military families? Donate your gently used clothing, books, toys, furniture and household items to these organizations.

How Did September 11 Change Your Life?
Share how 9/11 changed your life and read about how that fateful day impacted the lives of other military families.See submissions

Remembering September 11 - What Were You Doing on the Morning of 9/11?
When asked, most people can recall exactly what they were doing on the morning of September 11. Share with others what you were doing when you learned that America was under attack.

Grantham University Provides Free Blue Star Flags to Military Families
Would you like a free Blue Star Flag to display in support of a loved one that's serving in the U.S. Military? Learn how to request one from Grantham University.

2011 Military Pay Charts for Active Duty, Reserve and National Guard
Military pay is based on rank and number of years in service. Besides basic pay, active duty servicemembers also earn various allowances such as Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH). Members of the Reserve Component and National Guard earn Drill Pay for standard drill weekends, and when called to active duty for a period of less than 30 days for...

LES for Active Duty Understanding Your Leave and Earnings Statement
Detailed instructions to help active duty servicemembers understand and decipher their Leave and Earnings Statements (LES).

LES for Reserve and Guard - How to Understand Your Leave and Earnings Statement
Understanding and deciphering your LES is simplified with these comprehensive explanations specifically designed for members of the Reserve and National Guard.

Answers to commonly asked questions about the military's health care insurance program TRICARE, along with information about DEERS enrollment.

When Your Child Leaves for Basic Training or Bootcamp
Your child signed their enlistment contract and took their oath. Now what? For parents of servicemembers, knowing what to expect often helps reduce anxiety and unravel the mystery of basic training.

U.S. Military Rank Chart
Rank charts and photos for all branches of the U.S. Military.

Downtime After Deployment
For servicemembers, post-deployment downtime is an important factor when transitioning from combat to a non-hostile environment. The following tips are meant to ease the servicemember's adjustment and make the process as smooth as possible.

Military Acronyms and Dictionary
Learn the meanings of military acronyms and terms.

Deployment Advice – Take What You Like and Leave the Rest
Military spouses are often barraged with well-meaning deployment advice. Here are a few stratetigies to help you decipher and sift through all incoming deployment advice, tips and wisdom that's sure to come your way before, during and after the deployment.

Military Spouses Share Deployment Advice - What's the Best Advice You've Ever...
Deployments are never easy on military spouses, however, thanks to excellent advice passed along from other military spouses the separation can be made easier and a bit more bearable. What's the best deployment advice you've ever received? Share your wisdom, tips and suggestions with other military spouses.

Free Online Tutoring for Military Kids
The Department of Defense has created a program that offers free online tutoring to military kids. Professionals are available 24/7 to help K-12 students with a variety of subjects.

MyPay Login – How to Create a myPay Account
Manage your Leave and Earnings Statements (LES), W-2 tax forms and a host of other pay-related documents by creating a myPay account.

What is myPay?
Learn how to manage your Leave and Earnings Statement (LES) and other pay-related documents with myPay, an online pay management system designed and maintained by DFAS.

Locate the Red Cross Phone Number Before Your Spouse Deploys
Learn why it's imperative that you locate and post the Red Cross phone number before your spouse deploys.

What to Expect When Sending a Red Cross Message to a Deployed Servicemember
Instructions and what to expect if an emergency arises and you need to send a Red Cross message to your deployed loved one.

Renewing a Driver's License While in the Military
When PCSing, servicemembers and/or their dependents will at some point be faced with making a decision about renewing their driver's license.

How To Request a Certified Copy of a Birth Certificate
Birth certificates are an important document to keep on hand. If yours--or your spouses or child's--has been lost, stolen, soiled or destroyed you'll need to acquire a replacement.

Do you think people have forgotten about September 11?
Do you think that people are forgetting about 9/11? Share your thoughts and opinions.

2011 Basic Pay Chart for Active Duty Servicemembers

All active duty servicemembers receive a basic monthly pay. Select your rank from the list below to view your 2011 basic pay.

Military Paydays for Calendar Year 2011
Military paydays for calendar year 2011. Features pay dates for mid-month and end-of-month pay.

TRICARE Dental Program
The TRICARE Dental Program, administered by United Concordia is a discounted dental insurance program that's available to military families. Coverage varies, depending on your needs. Options include insuring one member or the entire family.

2011 Drill Pay Charts for Reserves and National Guard

Members of the Reserve Component and National Guard receive monthly drill pay. Simply select your rank from the list below to view your 2011 salary for a standard weekend drill.

BAS Rates for Calendar Year 2011
2011 BAS (Basic Allowance for Subsistence) rates for officers and enlisted military members.

BAH Calculator for Active Duty
Curious about your Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) rate? Active duty servicemembers can calculate their BAH with this handy BAH Calculator.

How Do Military Family Members Enroll in DEERS?
Learn the steps you need to take to enroll spouses and children in DEERS.

Are Military Family Members Automatically Enrolled in TRICARE?
Learn the necessary steps to enroll military family members in TRICARE.

Does TRICARE Cover Stepchildren?
Learn the necessary steps you must take to enroll your stepchild in TRICARE.

United Concordia – How to Enroll in the TRICARE Dental Program
Dental insurance is one of the many benefits available to military families. Learn the necessary steps to enroll in the TRICARE Dental Program , administered by United Concordia.

United Concordia - Contact Information for the TRICARE Dental Program
Phone numbers, mailing addresses and hours of operation for the TRICARE Dental Program, administered by United Concordia.

United Concordia – Tricare Dental Program – Premium Rates
Here are the current premium rates for the various plans offered by the Tricare Dental Program which is administered by United Concordia.

Commissary Directory – Overseas Military Installations
Listing of OCONUS commissaries. Directory includes contact information and more.

Army Installation Commissary Directory
Listing of commissaries on U.S. Army installations. Directory includes contact information and more.

Air Force Base Commissary Directory
Listing of commissaries on U.S. Air Force Bases. Directory includes contact information and more.

Commissarry's on Navy and Marine Corps Installations
Listing of commissaries on US Navy and Marine Corps military installations. Directory includes contact information and more.

Does the Commissary Accept Online Coupons?
Curious about whether or not the commissary accepts coupons printed from the Internet? Get the answer to this question and more.

Can I Purchase Commissary Gift Cards?
Learn how you can purchase gift cards to the commissary.

What is the Commissary Early Bird Program?
Learn about the commissary's Early Bird program.

How to Build a Strong Military Marriage
Military marriages undergo an immense amount of stress and strain. But with direct communication, honesty, and affection, it’s not impossible.

Dual Military Marriages: Can They Work?
Dual military marriages can and do work. But it takes planning, flexibility, and mutual support--like any other assignment. This guide will help.

How Do Servicemembers and Their Families Vote in State and Federal Elections?

Child Care for Military Families: What You Need to Know

Travel and Relocation for Military Kids
International military moves can be confusing, particularly if you’re new to the process. Read on to find out what to do before the relocation begins.

When Your Spouse Reenlists
Deciding whether to reenlist in the military is a decision that has to be made by the whole family. Here are some tips to help you through the process

Returning from Deployment
When dad or mom returns from deployment, it can be exciting for the whole family. It's also stressful for young children. Here are some tips to help.

Challenges of Deployment

Budgeting for Military Families
Shopping at your base commissary can save you money. Using coupons, buying in bulk, and planning your meals based on sale items can save you even more

Helping Your Teen Deal with Relocation
When it comes to helping your teen cope with relocation, the most important thing is to listen, be kind, be loving, and patient. Very, very patient.

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