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Preparing for Deployment

Plan and organize for peace of mind

Because deployment can take you away from home for a long period of time, it’s important to plan ahead. Here’s a checklist of the most important items you should address before deployment.

Checklist item Description
Update your Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) information

DEERS registration is the key to getting your TRICARE benefits eligibility established. Call 800.538.9552 or visit the TRICARE website to update your information.

Register your family members in the DEERS system

Servicemembers are automatically registered, but you need to register your family members. Errors in your DEERS information can create problems with TRICARE claims.

Make sure your family members are enrolled in TRICARE

Family members of active duty service members are entitled to health care insurance through TRICARE. You can confirm enrollment on the TRICARE website.

Make sure you have your CAC (Common Access Card)

The CAC, a smart card about the size of a credit card, is the standard ID for active-duty military personnel, selected Reserve, DoD civilian employees, and eligible contractor personnel.

Obtain ID cards for your family members

Servicemembers and their families must be registered in DEERS before getting ID cards. ID cards require photos, so you must obtain your IDs at a card facility. Find the facility nearest you by using the RAPIDS site locator.

Assign power of attorney

Assigning power of attorney to a spouse, parent or trusted friend empowers that person to act on your behalf for any legal or financial issues while you’re on deployment.

Get your financial affairs in order

In addition to assigning power of attorney, make sure you and your spouse agree on budgets and paying bills. If single, discuss how to handle bills and other financial obligations with a family member or trusted friend.

Update your DD Form 93 (Record of Emergency Data)

DD Form 93 is used to contact next-of-kin should a servicemember become injured or ill or die while on active duty. Visit your administrative office to update this form.

Confirm your SGLI (Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance) coverage and beneficiaries

SGLI automatically covers service members for the maximum unless coverage is declined or elected at a lower amount, but you should confirm your coverage and beneficiary information before deploying.

Make sure your MEDPROS information is current (Army only)

MEDPROS (Medical Protection System) tracks all immunization, medical readiness and deployability data for active and reserve components of the Army. Review your information on the MEDPROS site.

Check your driver’s license and car registration

If your driver’s license is scheduled to expire during your deployment, visit your local motor vehicle office and renew it. Make sure any vehicles have the proper registration stickers. (Note: Many states will waive registration and renewal fees for active duty personnel.)

Consult a Legal Assistance attorney or your own attorney to write your living will

A living will, or advance medical directive, is a written document that allows you to describe the medical treatments you want (and don’t want) in case of a serious terminal illness.

Consult a Legal Assistance attorney or your own attorney to write your last will and testament

A last will and testament (or will) is a declaration by a person of how his or her property should be disposed of after his or her death.

Discuss available support programs and services with your family

There are many programs and services on military installations and in the surrounding communities that provide support and assistance to military families.

For comprehensive information and additional resources about preparing for deployment, go to Preparing for Deployment on the Military One Source website.

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