Ask Molly: Deployment Checklists
A Reader Asks:
Happy Veterans' Day! I just found your blog and I was wondering if there are directions to making a military family binder, something that would include military records, important numbers, deployments, LES, or anything you can think of. My husband is an Army Reservist and I think this could be very helpful.First of all, Happy Veterans' Day to you, too! Thank you and your husband for serving!
You did not mention if your husband has been activated in anticipation of a deployment. Regardless, there are some things that every military family should have in a binder. And, really, with a few modifications, this is something that would be useful to any family, military or not.
When my husband deployed, we distributed a deployment checklist of documents and other information that the spouses should have at hand. I googled "deployment checklist" and found a few that may prove helpful. You should of course modify to suit your own situation:
- Deployment Checklist #1
- Deployment Checklist #2 (and the same Checklist as an html webpage instead of .pdf)
- USAA Family Readiness Deployment Guide
- Military One Source - Reservist Deployment Page
You should always know your husband's unit and have the Red Cross contact information available should you need to contact him in an emergency. I would also like to highlight the Power of Attorney. A general POA (one that enumerates several areas in which your spouse may act for you, such as finances, health decisions, etc.) can be useful, but you need to remember that there is no obligation to accept a power of attorney--if you anticipate needing one, you should contact the relevant bank or other company or military office to make sure you have the correct form.
Couples with children should also be aware of laws that apply to getting passports, enrolling in schools, etc. In some cases, you may need permission from both parents to travel out of country with children.
Hope this helps!