1. Make sure you are physically and mentally prepared:
This step is often overlooked, but it’s essential to ensure that you are in the best possible condition before deployment. Make sure you get plenty of rest and nutrition, practice stress management techniques, and take care of any physical or mental health issues before leaving for duty.
2. Complete all required vaccinations:
All soldiers must have certain vaccinations before they can be deployed. Make sure you have received all the required vaccines, such as those for hepatitis B and anthrax.
3. Get a physical exam and dental exam:
Before being deployed, it is important to make sure that you are in good health by getting a thorough physical exam and dental checkup. This will help ensure that any existing medical problems are identified and treated before deployment.
4. Give blood samples as needed:
In some cases, the military may require soldiers to give blood samples prior to deployment in order to screen for certain diseases or conditions. Be sure to follow all instructions carefully if this applies to you.
5. Update your financial information and create a budget:
Before you deploy, make sure all your financial information is up-to-date and accurate. This includes making sure that your taxes are paid, credit reports are in order, and any other necessary records have been updated. You should also create a budget for yourself and your family so that expenses can be managed while you’re away.
6. Meet with legal counsel to update or create vital documents such as wills and powers of attorney:
Having an up-to-date will and other important legal documents is essential for both the soldiers who are deploying and their families left behind. Make sure these documents are properly executed prior to deployment so that there are no complications in the event of an emergency.
7. Talk to your family about deployment and what to expect while you're gone:
Before leaving for duty, make sure that you talk with your family about the realities of deployment. This includes discussing any financial concerns or questions they may have as well as addressing practical matters such as who will take care of the children while you’re away.
8. Register with the Army's Family Support Web site for updates on your loved ones:
The Army has a web-based service called “Family Readiness” which provides families of deployed soldiers with resources and updates on their loved one’s status and whereabouts. Make sure to register with this service in order to stay connected during deployment.
9. Manage finances if multiple family members are deployed at the same time:
If multiple family members are deployed at the same time, it is important to ensure that all financial matters are managed properly. Make sure that bills are paid on time and that there is enough money set aside for any unexpected expenses.
10. Check in with local military agencies for post-deployment resources:
Military families of deployed service members have access to a wealth of resources, such as job placement assistance, counseling services, and benefits programs. It's important to check in with local military agencies regularly during and after deployment to make sure you're taking advantage of these potentially life-changing opportunities.