First Permanent Duty Station (PDS) Checklist

Congratulations and welcome aboard! You have completed your initial training and finally arrived to your new home at your first PDS. You are probably busy checking in to your new unit and exploring your new installation. You will attend the Personal Readiness Seminar (PRS) where you will discover the services available to you throughout your Marine Corps career. Just as you learned to orient a map during land navigation classes, you must also orient yourself in your new location. Work through the checklist below to ensure you start your Marine Corps career off on the right foot.

Things You Need To Do

  • Attend the Settling in Services Brief (Welcome Aboard) – This is a mandatory brief conducted at every installation for incoming Marines (families welcome). This brief covers the services and programs available aboard your installation and in the surrounding communities.
  • Attend the Personal Readiness Seminar (PRS) – PRS must be completed within 90 days of your arrival to your first PDS. This seminar introduces you to the Personal and Professional Development (P&PD) programs available to you and covers a variety of personal finance topics.
  • Meet with a Personal and Professional Development (P&PD) Advisor – P&PD Advisors are committed to providing a full range of education, career, and transition services that educate, encourage and empower you and your family in achieving personal and professional success. They can assist you with completing a personal assessment to assist you with effective career exploration and planning and with developing and with developing your Individual Development Plan (IDP). It is important to develop your own IDP in order to have a successful and balanced personal and professional lifestyle. Think about what you want to accomplish, and how you plan to get there. You will learn more about this at PRS.
  • Meet with the Education Services Officer (ESO) – ESOs are available to assist and advise you on education and testing programs, the Joint Services TranscriptAmerican Council on Education (ACE) college credit recommendations, Tuition Assistance programs (Financial Aid, GI Bill, Scholarships, and Grants), and preparing for the Leadership Scholar Program.
  • Online Academic Skills Course (OASC) and College Placement Skills Training (CPST) – Contact your ESO to decide if it would be beneficial for you to review your math and writing skills in order to improve job skills, pass exams, advance in your career or continue your education.
  • Explore Credentialing Opportunities On-Line (COOL) – COOL  helps you find civilian certifications and licenses that are related to your military occupation.
  • Explore United States Military Apprenticeship Program (USMAP) – USMAP is a military training program supported by the Department of Labor  (DOL) that provides the opportunity to improve job skills and complete civilian apprenticeship requirements while on active duty.
  • Meet with Your Command Financial Specialist (CFS) – The CFS is your unit's principal advisor on policies and matters related to financial education.
  • Update Your Address – Visit your local post office, or go online to update your address. You should also provide your unit mail room with address changes.
  • Update Your Insurance – Contact your insurance provider to update location of vehicles, as well as your personal property coverage. Any vehicle that does not meet the state insurance requirements will be denied registration.
  • Visit MyPay to Update Your Leave Earnings Statement (LES) – Update Federal and State Income Tax to reflect home of record or changes in withholding/exemptions. MyPay is the accounting firm of the Department of Defense (DoD) which service members, military civilian employees, and retirees can access to resolve various pay issues.
  • Register Your Vehicle – Ensure your vehicles are properly registered for base access.
  • Consider Investing in the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) – The TSP is a retirement savings plan for United States civil service employees and retirees as well as for members of the uniformed services. Contact your Personal Financial Manager (PFM) for assistance in setting up automatic pre-tax deductions from your paycheck.
  • Remain Competitive for Re-enlistment or Promotion- Complete the PME requirements for your current rank. The Marine Corps Training Information Management System (MCTIMS) guides Marines on career training and education requirements, tracks training completions, and includes information on training standards and MOS Roadmaps to learn the steps necessary to achieve a high level of MOS proficiency and other recommendations for further enhancement training.
  • Contact Transportation and Household Goods – To help you get organized, the Defense Personal Property System has streamlined the moving process with their website Move.mil.
  • Visit the Military Installations (MI) Website – The MI website will provide you with lots of information regarding your new location.
  • Create Your Family Care Plan – Having a Family Care Plan is mandatory and ensures your family is taken care of during times of drills, annual training, mobilization, and deployment. Discuss your plan with your PFM and Base Legal Office. Complete form NAVMC 11800LifeSkills Training and Education offers courses to assist you in completing your Family Care Plan.
  • Single? Participate in the Single Marine Program (SMP) – The SMP exists to improve the quality of life for single Marines. The program plans recreational, social and volunteer events.
  • Family Members? 
    • Ensure they are registered in the Defense Eligibility Enrollment Reporting System (DEERS). This system allows the military to verify that only authorized people are treated in its facilities. DEERS should be updated anytime a service member moves, changes status, gets married or divorced, has an additional dependent, etc.  DEERS information should be reviewed for accuracy once a year.
    • Military ID Card – Obtain a card for your spouse and children to gain access to military benefits and facilities such as the commissary, Marine Corps Exchange, and medical and dental services. You will need DD Form 1172 and your marriage certificate to obtain an ID card. Visit the RAPIDS Site Locator to find a registration office near you.
    • TRICARE – Ensure your family members are properly registered in TRICARE, the military health care program for Service members and their families.
    • MetLife Dental Program – MetLife is available to active duty family members and National Guard and Reserve members and their families.
    • Review/Update Your Service member's Group Life Insurance (SGLI) – Designate or update beneficiaries, reduce or decline coverage, or restore previous coverage. Download and complete SGLV-8286 (SGLI Election & Certificate) and submit the completed form to your personnel office.
    • Review/Update Family Service member's Group Life Insurance (FSGLI) – FSGLI provides term life insurance coverage to spouses and dependent children insured under SGLI. You pay the premium for spousal coverage. Dependent children are insured at no cost. Complete and submit SGLV Form 8286A to update your coverage.
  • SemperFit – Locate the fitness facilities aboard your new installation and speak with the SemperFit team to see what resources are available at your new location.
  • Visit Your Local Base Library – Library resources and services are available to Marines and families on board all USMC installations and online 24/7/365. The online databases provide academic research, professional and recreational material including databases covering academic, research, health, criminal justice, web-based foreign language lessons, over 200 digital magazines, over 500 online self-improvement and lifelong learning classes, and thousands of streaming films for informational and recreational use.

Things You Need To Know

  • Marine and Family ProgramsMarine and Family Programs provides assistance with services such as relocation, employment opportunities, financial education, personal skills-building classes, deployment planning, volunteer opportunities, outplacement assistance and assistance with crisis situations.
  • Information and Referral Specialists provide information on programs and services for service members and families. They maintain a database of base and community resources and will make appropriate referrals to internal or external military and community agencies.
  • The Personal Financial Manager (PFM) – The PFMs provide financial education and training on money management, debt and credit management, savings, investing, and retirement planning. Plan to register and attend various workshops such as Car Buying, Budgeting and Saving, and other topics to support your personal financial fitness.
  • The Family Member Employment Assistance Program – This program provides military family members with the tools they need to successfully search for employment. Resources include career exploration, resume writing, job search skills, interviewing techniques, and career assessments.
  • Family Advocacy Program (FAP) - FAP provides a variety of programs and services to military members and their families to enhance life skills and improve their quality of life. Support resources include information on spouse/intimate partner and child abuse, victim advocacy, counseling for individuals, couples and children, as well as classes on stress, anger management, domestic violence, communication and conflict resolution skills, and positive parenting.
  • Verification of Military Experience and Training (VMET) - Select the link to read more about the VMET (Verification of Military Experience and Training), DD Form 2586, and how it documents your military career and training.
  • Joint Services Transcript (JST) – The JST is a military service transcript showing American Council on Education (ACE) credit recommendations for military training and college courses. Contact your ESO for assistance.
  • L.I.N.K.S. (Lifestyles, Insights, Networking, Knowledge & Skills) and LifeSkill classes - The L.I.N.K.S. program offers an orientation to the Marine Corps lifestyle, helping spouses, Marines, children and teens, and parents/extended family members understand and adapt to the unique challenges military life often presents.  L.I.N.K.S is a resource of Marine Corps Family Team Building (MCFTB).
  • Children? 
    • Contact the New Parent Support Program (NPSP) – NPSP provides parenting education, support and assistance to expectant parents and parents with children ages 0-5. Services include group parenting workshops, baby boot camp, and individual family home visits.
    • Check out the School Liaison Program - The School Liaison supports Marine families by advocating on behalf of the family to optimize the educational experience and transition of elementary, middle and high school students in local school districts.
    • Check out Children and Youth Programs – Children & Youth Programs Resource & Referral offices can assist you in starting the enrollment process to ensure your children have a safe haven for recreation activities, and before and after school programs.
  • Family Members with Special Needs? Check out the Exceptional Family Member Program - EFMP supports Active Duty Service Members and families to ensure that they are assigned to Duty Stations where services exist to support the EFM with Continuum Of Care, ensuring access to and availability of medical and educational services.
  • Base Legal Office - Military installations have legal assistance offices available to assist you with legal matters such as will preparation, powers of attorney, contract review, debit/credit problems, landlord/tenant issues, family law, tax law and estate planning.  All of these services are a no-cost benefit to you for your active duty service.
  • CREDO - The Chaplains Religious Enrichment Development Operation (CREDO) is a retreat program that supports Marines, Sailors, and their families with high-quality, evidence-based education and enrichment opportunities focused on marriage and family relationships, character-building and personal growth, unit cohesion, individual and corporate resilience, moral and ethical decision-making, and crisis intervention skills development.
  • Information, Tickets and Tours (ITT) - ITT is your one-stop, fun shop for discounted tickets to the movies, museums, zoo. Theme parks, sporting events, water parks, festivals, theatre, concerts, and more. They are located at every installation and offer tickets for your round attractions, seasonal attractions, and sites all over the country.
  • Military One Source is a confidential Department of Defense-funded program providing comprehensive information on every aspect of military life at no cost to active duty, National Guard, and reserve members, and their families. As a virtual extension to installation services, information provided includes, but is not limited to, deployment, reunion, relationships, grief, transition, parenting, and childhood services. Comprehensive education and career exploration services are also available at no cost to all eligible military spouses through the SECO career center. 
  • Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS) – NMCRS provides financial, educational, and other need-based assistance to active-duty and retired Sailors and Marines, their eligible family members, and survivors.

Reenlistment Checklist

Congratulations Marine! As you complete your enlistment there are many options available to you. Your decision to "stay Marine" comes with a completely new set of challenges and opportunities. Re-enlistment is a good time to reevaluate your Individual Development Plan (IDP). Consider meeting with a Personal and Professional Development Advisor to discuss opportunities and programs available to you. Perhaps you'd like to pursue new educational interests or explore credentials and apprenticeships, or maybe you will be receiving a re-enlistment bonus and would like to learn more about saving and investing. You may also be preparing to PCS or transition to a "B" billet.The topics below will assist you to make sound and timely decisions regarding this transition.

Things You Need To Do

  • Contact Your Career Planner – Discuss your plans and review your MOS Roadmap using the Marine Corps Training Information Management System (MCTIMS)  to ensure you're completing all requirements and on track to achieving your desired goals.
  • Meet with a Personal and Professional Development (P&PD) Advisor – P&PD Advisors are committed to providing a full range of education, career, and transition services that educate, encourage and empower you and your family in achieving personal and professional success.
  • Meet with Your Command Financial Specialist (CFS) – The CFS functions as the individual unit's principal advisor on policies and matters related to financial education.
  • Meet with Your Personal Financial Manager (PFM) – Meet with your PFM to update your budget and discuss ways to maximize your re-enlistment bonus. Your PFM provides financial education and training on money management, debt and credit management, savings, investing, and retirement planning. 
  • Meet with Your Education Services Officer (ESO) – ESOs are available to assist and advise you on education and testing programs, the Joint Services TranscriptAmerican Council on Education (ACE) college credit recommendations, Tuition Assistance programs (Financial Aid, GI Bill, Scholarships, and Grants), and preparing for the Leadership Scholar Program.
  • Complete or Update Your Kuder Journey Personal Assessment – Journey is a career planning system that assists you with effective career exploration and planning, both while serving and in transition. Kuder Journey's assessments support your career planning process and can assist you in informed decision making about your future.
  • Register for eBenefits (Premium Account) – eBenefits is a Federal Government portal and serves as a central location for Veterans, Service Members, and their families to research, find, access, and, manage their personal benefits information, Tricare, official military personnel documents and the Veterans Employment Center.
  • Update Your Individual Development Plan (IDP) – It is important to update your plan in order to have a successful and balanced personal and professional lifestyle. Think about what you want to accomplish and how you plan to get there.
  • Pull Your Verification of Military Experience and Training (VMET). The VMET, DD Form 2586, document is an overview of your military career.
  • Is a PCS Move On The Horizon? – Check out the PCS Checklist and you can begin planning your move. You can also use the online tool provided by Military OneSource called Plan My Move. Visit your local Information and Referral Specialist for additional relocation assistance.
  • Understand the Process for Transferring Your Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits – Contact your local Education Services Officer (ESO) to determine eligibility requirements.
  • Understand the Blended Retirement System – For an overview of the new Blended Retirement System take this training course and read this brief article.
  • Update Your Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) – The TSP is a great way to increase your retirement savings plan with the extra money you've earned. Contact your PFM for assistance.
  • Family Members?
    • Military ID Card – Obtain an updated card for your spouse and children to gain access to military benefits and facilities such as the commissary, Marine Corps Exchange, and medical and dental services. You will need DD Form 1172 and your marriage certificate to obtain an ID card. Visit the RAPIDS Site Locator to find a registration office near you.
  • Remain Competitive for Re-enlistment or Promotion by completing the PME requirements for your current rank. The Marine Corps Training Information Management System (MCTIMS)  guides Marines on career training and education requirements, tracks completed trainings, and includes information on training standards and MOS Roadmaps, and other recommendations for further enhancement training.

Things You Need To Know

  • Marine and Family Programs – Marine and Family Programs provides assistance with services such as relocation, employment opportunities, financial education, personal skills-building classes, deployment planning, volunteer opportunities, outplacement assistance and assistance with crisis situations.
  • Family Readiness Officers (FROs) - The unit FRO is the direct link to Marines and their family members. They serve as a one-stop-shop for Official Command Communication, Resources and Referral Information, Readiness and Deployment Support and Volunteer Management.
  • Information and Referral Specialists provide information on programs and services for service members and families. They maintain a database of base and community resources and will make appropriate referrals to internal or external military and community agencies.
  • Family Member Employment Assistance Program – This program provides military family members with the tools they need to successfully search for employment. Resources include career exploration, resume writing, job search skills, interviewing techniques, and career assessments.
  • Family Advocacy Program (FAP) - FAP provides a variety of programs and services to military members and their families to enhance life skills and improve their quality of life. Support resources include information on spouse/intimate partner and child abuse, victim advocacy, counseling for individuals, couples and children, as well as classes on stress, anger management, domestic violence, communication and conflict resolution skills, and positive parenting.
  • myPay – myPay is the accounting firm of the Department of Defense (DoD). Service members, military civilian employees, and retirees can resolve various pay issues.
  • Credentialing Opportunities On-Line (COOL) – COOL will help you find civilian certifications and licenses that are related to your military occupation.
  • United States Military Apprenticeship Program (USMAP) – USMAP is a military training program supported by the Department of Labor that provides the opportunity to improve job skills and complete civilian apprenticeship requirements while on active duty.
  • Joint Services Transcript (JST) – The JST is a military service transcript showing American Council on Education (ACE) credit recommendations for military training and college courses. Contact your ESO for assistance.
  • Verification of Military Experience and Training (VMET) - Select the link to read more about the VMET (Verification of Military Experience and Training), DD Form 2586, and how it documents your military career and training.
  • Online Academic Skills Course (OASC) and College Placement Skills Training (CPST) – Contact your ESO to decide if it would be beneficial for you to review your math and writing skills in order to improve job skills, pass exams, advance in your career or continue your education.
  • SemperFit – Locate the fitness facilities aboard your new installation and speak with the SemperFit team to see what's unique to your new location.
  • Single? Single Marine Program (SMP) – The SMP exists to improve the quality of life for single Marines. The program plans recreation, social events, and community participation activities.
  • L.I.N.K.S. (Lifestyles, Insights, Networking, Knowledge & Skills) and LifeSkills classes - The L.I.N.K.S. program offers an orientation to the Marine Corps lifestyle, helping spouses, Marines, children and teens, and parents/extended family members understand and adapt to the unique challenges military life often presents.  L.I.N.K.S is a resource of Marine Corps Family Team Building (MCFTB).
  • Children? 
    • Contact the New Parent Support Program (NPSP) – NPSP provides parenting education, support and assistance to expectant parents and parents with children ages 0-5. Services include group parenting workshops, baby boot camp, and individual family home visits.
    • Check out the School Liaison Program - The School Liaison supports Marine families by advocating on behalf of the family to optimize the educational experience and transition of elementary, middle and high school students in local school districts.
    • Check out Children and Youth Programs – Children & Youth Programs Resource & Referral offices can assist you in starting the enrollment process to ensure your children have a safe haven for recreation activities, and before and after school programs.
  • Family Members with Special Needs? Check out the Exceptional Family Member Program - EFMP supports Active Duty Service Members and families to ensure that they are assigned to Duty Stations where services exist to support the EFM with Continuum Of Care, ensuring access to and availability of medical and educational services.
  • Family Members? 
  • Base Legal Office - Military installations have legal assistance offices available to assist you with legal matters such as will preparation, powers of attorney, review of most contracts, debit/credit problems, landlord/tenant issues, family law, tax law and estate planning.  All of these services are a no-cost benefit to you for your active duty service.
  • CREDO - The Chaplains Religious Enrichment Development Operation (CREDO) is a retreat program that supports Marines, Sailors, and their families with high-quality, evidence-based education and enrichment opportunities focused on marriage and family relationships, character-building and personal growth, unit cohesion, individual and corporate resilience, moral and ethical decision-making, and crisis intervention skills development.
  • Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS) – NMCRS Provides financial, educational, and other need-based assistance to active-duty and retired Sailors and Marines, their eligible family members, and survivors.
  • Information, Tickets and Tours (ITT) - ITT is your one-stop, fun shop for discounted tickets to the movies, museums, zoo. Theme parks, sporting events, water parks, festivals, theatre, concerts, and more. They are located at every installation and offer tickets for your round attractions, seasonal attractions, and sites all over the country.
  • Military OneSource is a confidential Department of Defense-funded program providing comprehensive information on every aspect of military life at no cost to active duty, National Guard, and reserve members, and their families. As a virtual extension to installation services, information provided includes, but is not limited to, deployment, reunion, relationships, grief, transition, parenting, and childhood services. Comprehensive education and career exploration services are also available at no cost to all eligible military spouses through the SECO career center.

Promotion Checklist

Congratulations Marine! Promotion is an exciting time. More responsibility and more pay! It's also a great time to evaluate your Individual Development Plan. Schedule an appointment with a Personal & Professional Development Advisor (P&PD) to discuss your goals. Do you have an emergency fund? Are you planning for retirement? Your income is growing; your Personal Financial Manager (PFM) or Command Financial Specialist (CFS) can provide workshops and one on one counseling to help you reach your financial goals. While you are adjusting to your new rank, it's not too early to begin preparing for your next promotion. Keep yourself technically and tactically proficient. The links below will help you achieve success.

Things You Need To Do

  • Contact Your Career Planner – Discuss your plans and review your MOS Roadmap using the Marine Corps Training Information Management System (MCTIMS) to ensure you're completing all requirements and on track to achieving your desired goals.
  • Meet with a Personal and Professional Development (P&PD) Advisor – P&PD Advisors are committed to providing a full range of education, career, and transition services that educate, encourage and empower you and your family in achieving personal and professional success.
  • Consult with your Personal Financial Manager (PFM) – The PFM provides financial education and training on money management, debt and credit management, savings, investing, and retirement planning. Plan to register and attend various workshops such as Car Buying, Budgeting and Saving, and other topics to support your personal financial fitness.
  • Family Advocacy Program (FAP) – Check in with FAP to determine if new FAP-related training is required.
  • Complete or Update Your Kuder Journey Personal Assessment – Journey is a career planning system that assists you with effective career exploration and planning, both while serving and in transition. Kuder Journey's assessments support your career planning process and can assist you in informed decision making about your future.
  • Meet with Your Command Financial Specialist (CFS) – The CFS functions as your unit's principal advisor on policies and matters related to financial education.
  • Review the Commandant's Reading List – Visit your installation's library on-site or online to obtain the required reading for your new grade.
  • Ensure You Understand the Process for Transferring Your Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits – Contact your local Education Services Officer (ESO) to determine eligibility requirements.
  • Blended Retirement – For an overview of the new Blended Retirement System take this training course and read this brief article.
  • Update Your Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) – The TSP is a great way to increase your retirement savings plan with the extra money you've earned. Contact your PFM for assistance.
  • Pull Your Verification of Military Experience and Training (VMET). The VMET (DD Form 2586) document is an overview of your military career.
  • Online Academic Skills Course (OASC) and College Placement Skills Training (CPST) – Contact your ESO to decide if it would be beneficial for you to review your math and writing skills in order to improve job skills, pass exams, advance in your career or continue your education.
  • Explore Credentialing Opportunities On-Line (COOL) – COOL will help you find civilian certifications and licenses that are related to your military occupation.
  • Explore United States Military Apprenticeship Program (USMAP) – USMAP is a military training program supported by the Department of Labor that provides the opportunity to improve job skills and complete civilian apprenticeship requirements while on active duty.
  • Remain Competitive for Re-enlistment or Promotion by completing the PME requirements for your current rank. The Marine Corps Training Information Management System (MCTIMS)  guides Marines on career training and education requirements, tracks completed trainings, and includes information on training standards and MOS Roadmaps, and other recommendations for further enhancement training.
  • Update/Develop Your Individual Development Plan (IDP) – It is important to update/develop your own plan in order to have a successful and balanced personal and professional lifestyle. Think about what you want to accomplish, and how you plan to get there. Check the resources link to download a sample copy.

Things You Need To Know

  • Marine and Family Programs – Marine and Family Programs provides assistance with services such as relocation, employment opportunities, financial education, personal skills-building classes, deployment planning, volunteer opportunities, outplacement assistance and assistance with crisis situations.
  • Education Services Officers (ESOs) – ESOs are available to assist and advise you on education and testing programs, the Joint Services Transcript,American Council on Education (ACE) college credit recommendations, Tuition Assistance programs (Financial Aid, GI Bill, Scholarships, and Grants), and preparing for the Leadership Scholar Program.
  • Information and Referral Specialists provide information on programs and services for service members and families. They maintain a database of base and community resources and will make appropriate referrals to internal or external military and community agencies.
  • Family Member Employment Assistance Program – This program provides military family members with the tools they need to successfully search for employment. Resources include career exploration, resume writing, job search skills, interviewing techniques, and career assessments.
  • Family Advocacy Program (FAP) - FAP provides a variety of programs and services to military members and their families to enhance life skills and improve their quality of life. Support resources include information on spouse/intimate partner and child abuse, victim advocacy, counseling for individuals, couples and children, as well as classes on stress, anger management, domestic violence, communication and conflict resolution skills, and positive parenting.
  • Family Readiness Officers (FROs) - The unit FRO is the direct link to Marines and their family members. They serve as a one-stop-shop for Official Command Communication, Resources and Referral Information, Readiness and Deployment Support and Volunteer Management.
  • myPay – myPay is the accounting firm of the Department of Defense (DoD). Service members, military civilian employees, and retirees can resolve various pay issues.
  • Family Members? 
    • Military ID Card – Obtain a card for your spouse and children to gain access to military benefits and facilities such as the commissary, Marine Corps Exchange, and medical and dental services. You will need DD Form 1172 and your marriage certificate to obtain an ID card. Visit the RAPIDS Site Locator to find a registration office near you.
    • TRICARE – Ensure your family members are properly registered in TRICARE, the military health care program for Service members and their families.
    • MetLife Dental Program – MetLife is available to active duty family members and National Guard and Reserve members and their families.
    • Review/Update Your Service member's Group Life Insurance (SGLI) –Designate or update beneficiaries, reduce or decline coverage, or restore previous coverage. Download and complete SGLV-8286 (SGLI Election & Certificate) and submit the completed form to your personnel office.
    • Review/Update Your Family Service member's Group Life Insurance (FSGLI) – A program that provides term life insurance coverage to the spouses and dependent children insured under SGLI. You pay the premium for spousal coverage. Dependent children are insured at no cost. Use SGLV Form 8286A.
  • Family Members with Special Needs? Check out the Exceptional Family Member Program - EFMP supports Active Duty Service Members and families to ensure that they are assigned to Duty Stations where services exist to support the EFM with Continuum Of Care, ensuring access to and availability of medical and educational services.
  • eBenefits (Premium Account) – eBenefits is a Federal Government portal and serves as a central location for Veterans, Service Members, and their families to research, find, access, and, manage their personal benefits information, Tricare, official military personnel documents and the Veterans Employment Center.
  • Joint Services Transcript (JST) – The JST is a military service transcript showing American Council on Education (ACE) credit recommendations for military training and college courses. Contact your ESO for assistance.
  • Base Legal Office - Military installations have legal assistance offices available to assist you with legal matters such as will preparation, powers of attorney, contract review, debit/credit problems, landlord/tenant issues, family law, tax law and estate planning.  All of these services are a no-cost benefit to you for your active duty service.
  • CREDO - The Chaplains Religious Enrichment Development Operation (CREDO) is a retreat program that supports Marines, Sailors, and their families with high-quality, evidence-based education and enrichment opportunities focused on marriage and family relationships, character-building and personal growth, unit cohesion, individual and corporate resilience, moral and ethical decision-making, and crisis intervention skills development.
  • Information, Tickets and Tours (ITT) - ITT is your one-stop, fun shop for discounted tickets to the movies, museums, zoo. Theme parks, sporting events, water parks, festivals, theatre, concerts, and more. They are located at every installation and offer tickets for your round attractions, seasonal attractions, and sites all over the country.
  • Military OneSource is a confidential Department of Defense-funded program providing comprehensive information on every aspect of military life at no cost to active duty, National Guard, and reserve members, and their families. As a virtual extension to installation services, information provided includes, but is not limited to, deployment, reunion, relationships, grief, transition, parenting, and childhood services. Comprehensive education and career exploration services are also available at no cost to all eligible military spouses through the SECO career center. 
  • Single? Single Marine Program (SMP) – The SMP exists to improve the quality of life for single Marines. The program plans recreation, social events, and community participation activities.
  • SemperFit – Locate the fitness facilities aboard your new installation and speak with the SemperFit team to see what's unique to your new location.
  • Visit Your Local Base Library – Library resources and services are available to Marines and families on board all USMC installations and online 24/7/365. The online databases provide academic research, professional and recreational material including databases covering academic, research, health, criminal justice, web-based foreign language lessons, over 200 digital magazines, over 500 online self-improvement and lifelong learning classes, and thousands of streaming films for informational and recreational use.
  • L.I.N.K.S. (Lifestyles, Insights, Networking, Knowledge & Skills) and LifeSkill classes - The L.I.N.K.S. program offers an orientation to the Marine Corps lifestyle, helping spouses, Marines, children and teens, and parents/extended family members understand and adapt to the unique challenges military life often presents.  L.I.N.K.S is a resource of Marine Corps Family Team Building (MCFTB).
  • Children? 
    • Contact the New Parent Support Program (NPSP) – NPSP provides parenting education, support and assistance to expectant parents and parents with children ages 0-5. Services include group parenting workshops, baby boot camp, and individual family home visits.
    • Check out Children and Youth Programs – Children &Youth Programs Resource & Referral offices can assist you in starting the enrollment process to ensure your children have a safe haven for recreation activities, and before and after school programs.
  • Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS) – NMCRS Provides financial, educational, and other need-based assistance to active-duty and retired Sailors and Marines, their eligible family members, and survivors.

Deployment Checklist

Preparation is critical to a successful deployment. In addition to preparing your gear and your Marines, you must ensure your personal affairs are in order. Your command will provide opportunities to complete pre-deployment preparations. The topics below will provide additional resources to assist in your personal deployment preparation.

Things You Need To Do

  • Complete Your Deployment Budget – Visit your installation Personal Financial Manager (PFM) for assistance on creating a spending plan.
  • Open a Deployment Savings Account – Visit your installation PFM for assistance with using incentives and special pays to increase your savings account and increasing your Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) allotments.
  • Identify Car Insurance Changes - Notify your insurance company of your intent to put your vehicle in an "off-road" status to save money. Ensure car title and registration are updated and located in the vehicle.
  • Review Medical, Dental, and Life Insurance Coverage for you and your family (including pets).
  • Consider Placing a Fraud Alert on your credit file at the three major credit bureaus. Military members can place a one-year active duty alert.
  • Replace Filters on Heating and Air-Conditioning Systems. Check smoke detectors and ensure batteries are replaced if needed.
  • Update Your Property Inventory with serial numbers and secure a location for high-valued items. Photograph or videotape condition of property.
  • Prepare a Household Emergency Kit – Secure a container complete with a first aid kit, flashlight, candles, fire extinguisher, batteries, matches, electrical tape, bottled water, and MREs.
  • Notify Your Landlord – Provide contact information for next of kin in case of emergency.
  • Complete Deployment Legal Documents – Visit your Base Legal office to ensure your documents are in order, including Power of Attorney, Wills, Advance Directives, etc. If married, do you and your spouse have a Power of Attorney or Form 2848 signed by both of you?
  • Develop Your Deployed Education Plan – Meet with your Education Services Officer (ESO) to identify education opportunities available to you while on deployment.
  • Update Your Individual Development Plan – Meet with your Personal and Professional Development Advisor and Education Services Officer (ESO) to identify education and career development opportunities available to you while on deployment.
  • Complete Your Extended Absence Plan - This plan specifies the following for the period of absence: a legal power of attorney to accomplish personal and financial requirements, a plan for covering financial obligations, the disposition of car and auto insurance, allotments for appropriate monthly expenditures, and the disposition of other financial issues that might occur during the period of absence. Contact your PFM for assistance.
  • Update Your Family Care Plan - A Family Care Plan ensures your family is taken care of during times of drills, annual training, mobilization, and deployment. Discuss your plan with your PFM and Base Legal Office. Complete form NAVMC 11800. Update address and telephone numbers of immediate family members of both spouses. LifeSkills Training and Education offers courses to assist you in completing your Family Care Plan.
  • Update Passport or visa in possession, if required.
  • If You Haven't Already Done So, Register for eBenefits – eBenefits is a portal; a central location for Veterans, Service Members, and their families to research, find, access, and, manage their personal benefits information, and access the Veterans Employment Center.
  • Sign Up for Virtual Library Access – Library resources are available on-line 24/7/365. The online databases provide academic research, professional and recreational material including databases covering academic, research, health, criminal justice, web-based foreign language lessons, over 200 digital magazines, over 500 online self-improvement and lifelong learning classes, and thousands of streaming films for informational and recreational use.
  • Identify Your Family Readiness Officer (FRO) - The FRO is the direct link to Marines and their family members. They serve as a one-stop-shop for Official Command Communication, Resources and Referral Information, Readiness and Deployment Support and Volunteer Management.
  • Update Your Record of Emergency Data Card – Ensure your Military Personnel Record is updated with a current list of immediate next of kin, legal information, and trusted contact information of close friends.
  • Update Your Emergency Contact List - Include information for the Red Cross and ensure your family is instructed on how to use their services in case of an emergency.
  • Update Your Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) – The TSP is a great way to increase your retirement savings plan with the extra money you've earned. Contact your PFM for assistance.
  • Register for Online Access – Obtain pin numbers and passwords as needed for accounts accessible online. Establish automatic payment plans to have your bills paid.
  • Family Advocacy Program (FAP) – Check in with FAP to verify open cases or rank related responsibilities.
  • Family Members? 
    • Ensure they are registered in the Defense Eligibility Enrollment Reporting System (DEERS). This system allows the military to verify that only authorized people are treated in its facilities. DEERS should be updated anytime a service member moves, changes status, gets married or divorced, has an additional dependent, etc.  DEERS information should be reviewed for accuracy once a year.
    • TRICARE – Ensure your family members are properly registered in TRICARE, the military health care program for Service members and their families registered in DEERS.
    • Review/Update Your Service member's Group Life Insurance (SGLI) – Designate or update beneficiaries, reduce or decline coverage, or restore previous coverage. Download and complete SGLV-8286 (SGLI Election & Certificate) and submit the completed form to your personnel office.
    • Review/Update Your Family Service member's Group Life Insurance (FSGLI) – FSGLI provides term life insurance coverage to spouses and dependent children insured under SGLI. You pay the premium for spousal coverage. Dependent children are insured at no cost. Complete and submit SGLV Form 8286A to update your coverage.

Things You Need To Know

  • Marine and Family Programs – Marine and Family Programs provides assistance with services such as relocation, employment opportunities, financial education, personal skills-building classes, deployment planning, volunteer opportunities, outplacement assistance and assistance with crisis situations.
  • myPay – myPay is the accounting firm of the Department of Defense (DoD). Service members, military civilian employees, and retirees can resolve various pay issues.
  • Information and Referral Specialists provide information on programs and services for service members and families. They maintain a database of base and community resources and will make appropriate referrals to internal or external military and community agencies.
  • Education Services Officers (ESOs) – ESOs are available to assist and advise you on education and testing programs, the Joint Services Transcript,American Council on Education (ACE) college credit recommendations, Tuition Assistance programs (Financial Aid, GI Bill, Scholarships, and Grants), and preparing for the Leadership Scholar Program.
  • Personal Financial Managers (PFMs) – PFMs provide financial education and training on money management, debt and credit management, savings, investing, and retirement planning. Plan to register and attend various workshops such as Car Buying, Budgeting and Saving, and other topics to support your personal financial fitness.
  • Command Financial Specialist (CFS) – The CFS functions as your unit's principal advisor on policies and matters related to financial education.
  • Personal and Professional Development (P&PD) Advisor – P&PD Advisors are committed to providing a full range of education, career, and transition services that educate, encourage and empower you and your family in achieving personal and professional success.
  • Family Readiness Officers (FROs) - The unit FRO is the direct link to Marines and their family members. They serve as a one-stop-shop for Official Command Communication, Resources and Referral Information, Readiness and Deployment Support and Volunteer Management.
  • Family Member Employment Assistance Program – This program provides military family members with the tools they need to successfully search for employment. Resources include career exploration, resume writing, job search skills, interviewing techniques, and career assessments.
  • L.I.N.K.S. (Lifestyles, Insights, Networking, Knowledge & Skills) and LifeSkills classes - The L.I.N.K.S. program offers an orientation to the Marine Corps lifestyle, helping spouses, Marines, children and teens, and parents/extended family members understand and adapt to the unique challenges military life often presents.  L.I.N.K.S is a resource of Marine Corps Family Team Building (MCFTB).
  • Understand the Blended Retirement System – For an overview of the new Blended Retirement System take this training course and read this brief article.
  • Verification of Military Experience and Training (VMET) - Select the link to read more about the VMET (Verification of Military Experience and Training), DD Form 2586, and how it documents your military career and training.
  • Joint Services Transcript (JST) – The JST is a military service transcript showing American Council on Education (ACE) credit recommendations for military training and college courses. Contact your ESO for assistance.
  • Marine Corps Training Information Management System - (MCTIMS) guides Marines on career training and education requirements, tracks training completions, and includes information on training standards and MOS Roadmaps to learn the steps necessary to achieve a high level of MOS proficiency and other recommendations for further enhancement training.
  • United States Military Apprenticeship Program (USMAP) – USMAP is a military training program supported by the Department of Labor that provides the opportunity to improve job skills and complete civilian apprenticeship requirements while on active duty.
  • Kuder Journey Personal Assessment – Journey is a career planning system that assists you with effective career exploration and planning, both while serving and in transition. Kuder Journey's assessments support your career planning process and can assist you in informed decision making about your future.
  • Credentialing Opportunities On-Line (COOL) – COOL will help you find civilian certifications and licenses that are related to your military occupation.
  • Online Academic Skills Course (OASC) and College Placement Skills Training (CPST) – Contact your ESO to decide if it would be beneficial for you to review your math and writing skills in order to improve job skills, pass exams, advance in your career or continue your education.
  • Base Legal Office - Military installations have legal assistance offices available to assist you with legal matters such as will preparation, powers of attorney, contract review, debit/credit problems, landlord/tenant issues, family law, tax law and estate planning.  All of these services are a no-cost benefit to you for your active duty service.
  • CREDO - The Chaplains Religious Enrichment Development Operation (CREDO) is a retreat program that supports Marines, Sailors, and their families with high-quality, evidence-based education and enrichment opportunities focused on marriage and family relationships, character-building and personal growth, unit cohesion, individual and corporate resilience, moral and ethical decision-making, and crisis intervention skills development.
  • Information, Tickets and Tours (ITT) - ITT is your one-stop, fun shop for discounted tickets to the movies, museums, zoo, theme parks, sporting events, water parks, festivals, theatre, concerts, and more. They are located at every installation and offer tickets for your round attractions, seasonal attractions, and sites all over the country.
  • Military OneSource is a confidential Department of Defense-funded program providing comprehensive information on every aspect of military life at no cost to active duty, National Guard, and reserve members, and their families. As a virtual extension to installation services, information provided includes, but is not limited to, deployment, reunion, relationships, grief, transition, parenting, and childhood services. Comprehensive education and career exploration services are also available at no cost to all eligible military spouses through the SECO career center. 
  • Single? Participate in the Single Marine Program (SMP) – The SMP exists to improve the quality of life for single Marines. The program plans recreation, social events, and community participation activities.
  • SemperFit – Locate the fitness facilities aboard your new installation and speak with the SemperFit team to see what's unique to your new location.
  • Children? 
    • Contact the New Parent Support Program (NPSP) – NPSP provides parenting education, support and assistance to expectant parents and parents with children ages 0-5. Services include group parenting workshops, baby boot camp, and individual family home visits.
    • Check out the School Liaison Program - The School Liaison supports Marine families by advocating on behalf of the family to optimize the educational experience and transition of elementary, middle and high school students in local school districts.
    • Check out Children and Youth Programs – Children & Youth Programs Resource & Referral offices can assist you in starting the enrollment process to ensure your children have a safe haven for recreation activities, and before and after school programs.
  • Family Members with Special Needs? Check out the Exceptional Family Member Program - EFMP supports Active Duty Service Members and families to ensure that they are assigned to Duty Stations where services exist to support the EFM with Continuum Of Care, ensuring access to and availability of medical and educational services.
  • Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS) – NMCRS provides financial, educational, and other need-based assistance to active-duty and retired Sailors and Marines, their eligible family members, and survivors.
  • Visit Your Local Base Library – Library resources and services are available to Marines and families on board all USMC installations and online 24/7/365. The online databases provide academic research, professional and recreational material including databases covering academic, research, health, criminal justice, web-based foreign language lessons, over 200 digital magazines, over 500 online self-improvement and lifelong learning classes, and thousands of streaming films for informational and recreational use.

PCS Checklist

Whether this is your first PCS or your tenth, proper preparation and planning will make the process much smoother. It's never too early to begin setting aside a PCS fund to ensure those unexpected expenses don't result in financial hardship. Once you have received your orders you'll want to begin researching your new duty station and preparing your family and household goods for the move. Your new command will assign a sponsor to assist you as you settle in at your new unit.

Moving overseas? You'll have to complete a few additional steps if you'll be going to another country. Pay close attention to timelines for overseas screening of your family members, obtaining no-fee passports, shipping of POVs and household goods, and immunizations and quarantine requirements for your pets.

Installation Information & Referral Specialists can assist you as you prepare for this exciting transition. Consider attending a "Smooth Move" class and make sure you attend the "Welcome Aboard" brief when you arrive at your new home. The topics below will assist you in your PCS planning.

Things You Need To Do

  • Attend the Permanent Change of Station/OCONUS Workshop – The Information and Referral Specialist at your installation can provide you with valuable information regarding this important move-planning workshop.
  • Attend the Settling in Services Brief –  This is a mandatory brief conducted at every installation for incoming military personnel (families welcome). This brief will cover the services and facilities available aboard your installation and in the surrounding communities.
  • Visit the MilitaryInstallations (MI) Website – The MI website will provide you with lots of information regarding your new location.
  • Contact Your Unit Sponsorship Coordinator – Submit a request to obtain a sponsor to help you acclimate to your new location.
  • Contact Transportation and Household Goods – To help you get organized, the Defense Personal Property System has streamlined the moving process with their website Move.mil.
  • Update Your Address – Visit your local post office, or go online to update your address. Also provide your unit mail room with address changes.
  • Update Your Insurance – Contact your insurance provider to update location of vehicles, and personal property coverage. Any vehicle that does not meet the state's requirements will be denied registration.
  • Register Your Vehicle – Ensure your vehicles are properly registered for base access. 
  • Update myPay – Access myPay to update Federal and State Income Tax on your Leave Earnings Statement to reflect your home of record or changes in withholding/exemptions.
  • Register to Vote – Ensure you are registered to vote and/or vote absentee. 
  • Meet with Your Personal Financial Manager (PFM) – PFMs provide financial education and training on money management, debt and credit management, savings, investing, and retirement planning.
  • Update Your Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) – The TSP is a great way to increase your retirement savings plan with the extra money you've earned. Contact your PFM for assistance.
  • Update Your Family Care Plan – Having a Family Care Plan is mandatory and ensures your family is taken care of during times of drills, annual training, mobilization, and deployment. Discuss your plan with your PFM and Base Legal Office. Complete form NAVMC 11800LifeSkills Training and Educationoffers courses to assist you in completing your Family Care Plan.
  • Update Kuder Journey Personal Assessment – Journey is a career planning system that assists you with effective career exploration and planning, both while serving and in transition. Kuder Journey's assessments support your career planning process and can assist you in informed decision making about your future.
  • Update/Develop Your Individual Development Plan (IDP) – It is important to develop your own plan in order to have a successful and balanced personal and professional lifestyle. Think about what you want to accomplish, and how you plan to get there. You will learn more about this at PRS. Check the Resources list to download a sample plan.
  • Check Requirements for Your Pets –  Whether traveling CONUS or OCONUS, there's plenty to consider. Check quaratine requirements for your destination, as well as what documents you might need from your veterinarian.
  • Family Members?
    • Check out the School Liaison Program - The School Liaison supports Marine families by advocating on behalf of the family to optimize the educational experience and transition of elementary, middle and high school students in local school districts.
    • Contact Children and Youth Programs – Children & Youth Programs Resource & Referral offices can assist you in starting the enrollment process to ensure your children have a safe haven for recreation activities, and before and after school programs.
    • Resolve all open Family Advocacy Program (FAP) cases to ensure continuity of care.
    • Ensure they are registered in the Defense Eligibility Enrollment Reporting System (DEERS). This system allows the military to verify that only authorized people are treated in its facilities. DEERS should be updated anytime a service member moves, changes status, gets married or divorced, has an additional dependent, etc.  DEERS information should be reviewed for accuracy once a year.
    • Military ID Card – Obtain a card for your spouse and children to gain access to military benefits and facilities such as the commissary, Marine Corps Exchange, and medical and dental services. You will need DD Form 1172 and your marriage certificate to obtain an ID card. Visit the RAPIDS Site Locator to find a registration office near you.
    • TRICARE – Ensure your family members are properly registered in TRICARE, the military health care program for Service members and their families.
    • Family Members with Special Needs? Contact the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) – The Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) supports Active Duty Service Members and families to ensure that they are assigned to Duty Stations where services exist to support the EFM with Continuum Of Care, ensuring access to and availability of medical and educational services.
  • Remain Competitive for Re-enlistment or Promotion. The Marine Corps Training Information Management System (MCTIMS)  guides Marines on career training and education requirements, tracks training completions, and includes information on training standards and MOS Roadmaps to learn the steps necessary to achieve a high level of MOS proficiency and other recommendations for further enhancement training.

Things You Need To Know

  • Marine and Family Programs – Marine and Family Programs provides assistance with services such as relocation, employment opportunities, financial education, personal skills-building classes, deployment planning, volunteer opportunities, outplacement assistance and assistance with crisis situations.
  • Information and Referral Specialists provide information on programs and services for service members and families. They maintain a database of base and community resources and will make appropriate referrals to internal or external military and community agencies.
  • The Education Services Officer (ESO) – ESOs are available to assist and advise you with your education plan to include education and testing programs, the Joint Services Transcript, and the American Council on Education (ACE) college credit recommendations, Tuition Assistance programs (Financial Aid, GI Bill, Scholarships, and Grants), and preparing for the Leadership Scholar Program.
  • Personal and Professional Development (P&PD) Advisors – P&PD Advisors are committed to providing a full range of education, career, and transition services that educate, encourage and empower you and your family in achieving personal and professional success.
  • Personal Financial Managers (PFMs) – PFMs provides financial education and training on money management, debt and credit management, savings, investing, and retirement planning. Plan to register and attend various workshops such as Car Buying, Budgeting and Saving, and other topics to support your personal financial fitness.
  • Command Financial Specialist (CFS) – The CFS functions as the individual unit's principal advisor on policies and matters related to financial education.
  • Family Member Employment Assistance Program – They can provide military family members with the tools they need to successfully search for employment. Resources include career exploration, resume writing, job search skills, interviewing techniques, and career assessments.
  • Family Advocacy Program (FAP) - FAP provides a variety of programs and services to military members and their families to enhance life skills and improve their quality of life. Support resources include information on spouse/intimate partner and child abuse, victim advocacy, counseling for individuals, couples and children, as well as classes on stress, anger management, domestic violence, communication and conflict resolution skills, and positive parenting.
  • Family Readiness Officers (FROs) - The FRO is the direct link to Marines and their family members. They serve as a one-stop-shop for Official Command Communication, Resources and Referral Information, Readiness and Deployment Support and Volunteer Management.
  • United States Military Apprenticeship Program (USMAP) – USMAP is a military training program supported by the Department of Labor that provides the opportunity to improve job skills and complete civilian apprenticeship requirements while on active duty.
  • Credentialing Opportunities On-Line (COOL) – COOL will help you find civilian certifications and licenses that are related to your military occupation.
  • Joint Services Transcript (JST) – The JST is a military service transcript showing American Council on Education (ACE) credit recommendations for military training and college courses. Contact your ESO for assistance.
  • Verification of Military Experience and Training (VMET) - The VMET (Verification of Military Experience and Training), DD Form 2586, document is an overview of your military career.
  • eBenefits – eBenefits is a portal; a central location for Veterans, Service Members, and their families to research, find, access, and, manage their personal benefits information, and access the Veterans Employment Center.
  • Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) – The TSP is a retirement savings plan for United States civil service employees and retirees as well as for members of the uniformed services. Contact your Personal Financial Manager (PFM) for assistance in setting up automatic pre-tax deductions from your paycheck.
  • Online Academic Skills Course (OASC) and College Placement Skills Training (CPST) – Contact your ESO to decide if it would be beneficial for you to review your math and writing skills in order to improve job skills, pass exams, advance in your career or continue your education.
  • Blended Retirement – Overview of the new Blended Retirement System: training and brief article.
  • The Single Marine Program (SMP) – The SMP exists to improve the quality of life for single Marines. The program plans recreation, social events, and community participation activities.
  • myPay – myPay is the accounting firm of the Department of Defense (DoD). Servicemembers, military civilian employees, and retirees can resolve various pay issues.
  • Visit Your Local Base Library – Library resources and services are available to Marines and families on board all USMC installations and online 24/7/365. The online databases provide academic research, professional and recreational material including databases covering academic, research, health, criminal justice, web-based foreign language lessons, over 200 digital magazines, over 500 online self-improvement and lifelong learning classes, and thousands of streaming films for informational and recreational use.
  • SemperFit – Locate the fitness facilities aboard your new installation and speak with the SemperFit team to see what's unique to your new location.
  • L.I.N.K.S. (Lifestyles, Insights, Networking, Knowledge & Skills) and LifeSkills classes - The L.I.N.K.S. program offers an orientation to the Marine Corps lifestyle, helping spouses, Marines, children and teens, and parents/extended family members understand and adapt to the unique challenges military life often presents.  L.I.N.K.S is a resource of Marine Corps Family Team Building (MCFTB).
  • New Baby or Young Children?  Contact the New Parent Support Program (NPSP) – NPSP provides parenting education, support and assistance to expectant parents and parents with children ages 0-5. Services include group parenting workshops, baby boot camp, and individual family home visits.
  • Base Legal Office - Military installations have legal assistance offices available to assist you with legal matters such as will preparation, powers of attorney, review of most contracts, debit/credit problems, landlord/tenant issues, family law, tax law and estate planning.  All of these services are a no-cost benefit to you for your active duty service.
  • CREDO - The Chaplains Religious Enrichment Development Operation (CREDO) is a retreat program that supports Marines, Sailors, and their families with high-quality, evidence-based education and enrichment opportunities focused on marriage and family relationships, character-building and personal growth, unit cohesion, individual and corporate resilience, moral and ethical decision-making, and crisis intervention skills development.
  • Information, Tickets and Tours (ITT) - ITT is your one-stop, fun shop for discounted tickets to the movies, museums, zoo. Theme parks, sporting events, water parks, festivals, theatre, concerts, and more. They are located at every installation and offer tickets for your round attractions, seasonal attractions, and sites all over the country.
  • Military OneSource is a confidential Department of Defense-funded program providing comprehensive information on every aspect of military life at no cost to active duty, National Guard, and reserve members, and their families. As a virtual extension to installation services, information provided includes, but is not limited to, deployment, reunion, relationships, grief, transition, parenting, and childhood services. Comprehensive education and career exploration services are also available at no cost to all eligible military spouses through the SECO career center.  
  • Family Members? 
  • Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS) – NMCRS provides financial, educational, and other need-based assistance to active-duty and retired Sailors and Marines, their eligible family members, and survivors.

Mobilization/Demobilization Checklist

You are finally going to put all your military training to the test. Preparation is critical to a successful mobilization/demobilization. In addition to preparing your gear and your Marines, you must ensure your personal affairs are in order. Your command will provide opportunities to complete pre-mobilization/demobilization preparations. The topics below will provide additional resources to assist in your personal mobilization/demobilization preparation.

Things You Need To Do

  • Meet with your Unit Transition Coordinator (UTC) – The UTC will prepare you to begin the transition process by explaining pre-work requirements, pre-separation counseling and registration for entry into the Transition Readiness Seminar (TRS).
  • Meet with a Personal and Professional Development (P&PD) Advisor – Transition staff such as P&PD Advisors are committed to providing a full range of education, career, and transition services that educate, encourage and empower you and your family in achieving personal and professional success.
  • Attend the Transition Readiness Seminar (TRS) – The TRS is a five day workshop that includes mandatory training to prepare you for your transition to civilian life.  You must attend this seminar no later than 12-14 months prior to your EAS or as early as 24 months from retirement.
  • Encourage Your Spouse to Visit the Family Member Employment Assistance Program and register to attend the Spouse Transition and Readiness Seminar (STARS) which is designed to support spouses of transitioning Marines. They can also provide military family members with the tools they need for career exploration, resume writing, job search skills, interviewing techniques, and career assessments.
  • Meet with Your Personal Financial Manager (PFM) – Your installation PFM can help you prepare your budget or other financial plans to eliminate/minimize debt while still on Active Duty and in preparation for separation or retirement. 
  • Understand the Blended Retirement System – For an overview of the new Blended Retirement System take this training course and read this brief article.
  • Pull Your The Verification of Military Experience and Training (VMET) - Click the link to read more about the VMET, DD Form 2586, and how it documents your military career and training
  • Complete the Career Readiness Standards (CRS) – CRS are required to be completed by all Marines and are shared with your Commanding Officer when you have your Capstone meeting no later than 90 days from separation, demobilization, or retirement.  CRS are documented on the DD Form 2958. The CRS include:
    • Complete Preseparation Counseling (documented on Form DD2648/-1)
    • Attend the VA Benefits Briefs I and II
    • Complete the Department of Labor Employment Workshop
    • Register for an eBenefits account – TRS prerequisite
    • Document the requirements and eligibility for licensure, certification and apprenticeship
    • Complete the Kuder Journey Personal Assessment
    • Attend the Reserve Opportunities and Obligations Brief (Active Component Only)
    • Complete the Military Occupations Specialty (MOS) Crosswalk Gap Analysis
    • Create a 12-month post-separation budget 
    • Complete a job application package including resume, references and job application; or job offer letter
    • Complete your Individual Transition Plan
    • Complete Capstone meeting
  • Attend a 2-day Accessing Higher Education and/or Career Technical Training Workshop.  You can register through your Transition Readiness office and upon completion, you will be required to complete the following Career Readiness Standards (CRS):  
    • Complete a comparison of academic or training institution choices
    • Complete an application or have an acceptance letter to the school of your choice
    • Confirm an appointment with an advisor/counselor at the school of your choice
  • Attend a 2-day Boots to Business Workshop.   If you are interested in pursuing self-employment in the private or non-profit sector, register through your Transition Readiness office.
  • Attend your Capstone Meeting with your Commanding Officer (or designee) – This is coordinated between Marines and their Career Planners/ Unit Transition Coordinator.  You must meet with your CO no later than 90 days prior to your EAS date for the CO to review your CRS and sign your DD Form 2958.
  • Return your DD Form 2958 to the Transition Office – This can be accomplished through the IPAC, through your Career Planner or UTC, or directly by you.  Directions will be provided by Transition Readiness staff.   
  • Review USERRA – Review your rights and responsibilities under Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA).
  • Notify Your Employer – Provide your employer with at least 30 days of advanced notice of your mobilization whenever possible. If orders become available, you may present a copy to the appropriate supervisor and Human Resources (HR) representative.  Review military and company policy with your supervisor and HR personnel. Determine whether you would like to use leave prior to or during your mobilization. Share this plan and your projected return date with your employer.
  • Report Back to Work/Apply for Reemployment – If mobilized 1-30 days, return to work on the next scheduled work day. If 31-180 days of service, apply for reemployment within 14 days after completion of service. If 181+ days of service, apply for reemployment within 90 days after completion of service.
  • Resolve any Pay and Compensation Issues – Visit your installation Personal Financial Manager (PFM) for assistance on creating a spending plan.
  • Complete Your Mobilization/Demobilization Budget – Visit your installation Personal Financial Manager (PFM) for assistance on creating a spending plan.
  • Identify Car Insurance Changes - Notify your insurance company of your intent to put your vehicle in an "off-road" status to save money. Ensure car title and registration are updated and located in the vehicle.
  • Review Medical, Dental, and Life Insurance Coverage for you and your family (including pets). Are you going to continue or suspend any employer sponsored health care? Notify your employer of your intentions. Upon demobilization, reinstate your health insurance, dental and vision plans without waiting periods for yourself and any dependents.
  • Consider Placing a Fraud Alert on your credit file at the three major credit bureaus. Military members can place a one-year active duty alert.
  • Replace Filters on Heating and Air-Conditioning Systems. Check smoke detectors and ensure batteries are replaced if needed.
  • Update Your Property Inventory with serial numbers and secure a location for high-valued items. Photograph or videotape condition of property.
  • Prepare a Household Emergency Kit – Secure a container complete with a first aid kit, flashlight, candles, fire extinguisher, batteries, matches, electrical tape, bottled water, and MREs.
  • Notify Your Landlord – Provide contact information for next of kin in case of emergency.
  • Review/Update/Complete Legal Documents – Visit your Base Legal office to ensure your documents are in order, including Power of Attorney, Wills, Advance Directives, etc. If married, do you and your spouse have a Power of Attorney or Form 2848 signed by both of you?
  • Develop Your Deployed Education Plan – Meet with your Education Services Officer (ESO) to identify education opportunities available to you while mobilized.
  • Update Your Individual Development Plan – Meet with your Personal and Professional Development Advisor and Education Services Officer (ESO) to identify education and career development opportunities available to you while mobilized.
  • Complete Your Extended Absence Plan - This plan specifies the following for the period of absence: a legal power of attorney to accomplish personal and financial requirements, a plan for covering financial obligations, the disposition of car and auto insurance, allotments for appropriate monthly expenditures, and the disposition of other financial issues that might occur during the period of absence. Contact your PFM for assistance.
  • Update Your Family Care Plan - A Family Care Plan ensures your family is taken care of during times of drills, annual training, mobilization, and deployment. Discuss your plan with your PFM and Base Legal Office. Complete form NAVMC 11800. Update address and telephone numbers of immediate family members of both spouses. LifeSkills Training and Education offers courses to assist you in completing your Family Care Plan.
  • Sign Up for Virtual Library Access – Library resources and services are available to Marines and families on board all USMC installations and online 24/7/365. The online databases provide academic research, professional and recreational material including databases covering academic, research, health, criminal justice, web-based foreign language lessons, over 200 digital magazines, over 500 online self-improvement and lifelong learning classes, and thousands of streaming films for informational and recreational use.
  • If You Haven't Already Done So, Register for eBenefits – eBenefits is a portal; a central location for Veterans, Service Members, and their families to research, find, access, and, manage their personal benefits information, and access the Veterans Employment Center.
  • Identify Your Family Readiness Officer (FRO) – The FRO is the direct link to Marines and their family members. They serve as a one-stop-shop for Official Command Communication, Resources and Referral Information, Readiness and Deployment Support and Volunteer Management.
  • Update Your Record of Emergency Data Card – Ensure your Military Personnel Record has a current list of immediate next of kin, legal information, and trusted contact information of close friends.
  • Update Your Emergency Contact List – Include information for the Red Cross and ensure your family is instructed on how to use their services in case of an emergency.
  • Review Your 401k or other pension plans – Determine if and how make up contributions will be made. Share your plans with your employer.
  • Register for Online Access – Obtain pin numbers and passwords as needed for accounts accessible online. Establish automatic payment plans to have your bills paid.
  • Family Advocacy Program (FAP) – Check in with FAP to verify open cases or rank related responsibilities.
  • Family Members? 
    • Military ID Card – Obtain an updated card for your spouse and children to gain access to military benefits and facilities such as the commissary, Marine Corps Exchange, and medical and dental services. You will need DD Form 1172 and your marriage certificate to obtain an ID card. Visit the RAPIDS Site Locator to find a registration office near you.
    • TRICARE – Ensure your family members are properly registered in TRICARE, the military health care program for Service members and their families.
    • MetLife Dental Program – MetLife is available to active duty family members and National Guard and Reserve members and their families.
    • Review/Update Your Service member's Group Life Insurance (SGLI) –Designate or update beneficiaries, reduce or decline coverage, or restore previous coverage. Download and complete SGLV-8286 (SGLI Election & Certificate) and submit the completed form to your personnel office.
    • Review/Update Your Family Service member's Group Life Insurance (FSGLI) – A program that provides term life insurance coverage to the spouses and dependent children insured under SGLI. You pay the premium for spousal coverage. Dependent children are insured at no cost. Use SGLV Form 8286A.
  • Continue tracking your training requirements through the Marine Corps Training Information Management System. (MCTIMS) guides Marines on career training and education requirements, tracks training completions, and includes information on training standards and MOS Roadmaps to learn the steps necessary to achieve a high level of MOS proficiency and other recommendations for further enhancement training.

Things You Need To Know

  • Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program is a DoD-wide effort to promote the well-being of National Guard and Reserve members, their families and communities, by connecting them with resources throughout the deployment cycle.
  • Marine and Family Programs – Marine and Family Programs provides assistance with services such as relocation, employment opportunities, financial education, personal skills-building classes, deployment planning, volunteer opportunities, outplacement assistance and assistance with crisis situations.
  • myPay – myPay is the accounting firm of the Department of Defense (DoD). Service members, military civilian employees, and retirees can resolve various pay issues.
  • Education Services Officers (ESOs) – ESOs are available to assist and advise you on education and testing programs, the Joint Services Transcript,American Council on Education (ACE) college credit recommendations, Tuition Assistance programs (Financial Aid, GI Bill, Scholarships, and Grants), and preparing for the Leadership Scholar Program.
  • Explore Credentialing Opportunities On-Line (COOL) – COOL will help you find civilian certifications and licenses that are related to your military occupation.
  • Joint Services Transcript (JST) – The JST is a military service transcript showing American Council on Education (ACE) credit recommendations for military training and college courses. Contact your ESO for assistance.
  • Explore Online Academic Skills Course (OASC) and College Placement Skills Training (CPST) – Contact your ESO to decide if it would be beneficial for you to review your math and writing skills in order to improve job skills, pass exams, advance in your career or continue your education.
  • Defense Eligibility Enrollment Reporting System (DEERS) - This system allows the military to verify that only authorized people are treated in its facilities. DEERS should be updated anytime a service member moves, changes status, gets married or divorced, has an additional dependent, etc.  DEERS information should be reviewed for accuracy once a year.
  • Children?
    • Contact the New Parent Support Program (NPSP) – NPSP provides parenting education, support and assistance to expectant parents and parents with children ages 0-5. Services include group parenting workshops, baby boot camp, and individual family home visits.
    • Check out the School Liaison Program - The School Liaison supports Marine families by advocating on behalf of the family to optimize the educational experience and transition of elementary, middle and high school students in local school districts.
    • Check out Children and Youth Programs – Children &Youth Programs Resource & Referral offices can assist you in starting the enrollment process to ensure your children have a safe haven for recreation activities, and before and after school programs.
  • Family Members with Special Needs? Check out the Exceptional Family Member Program - EFMP supports Active Duty Service Members and families to ensure that they are assigned to Duty Stations where services exist to support the EFM with Continuum Of Care, ensuring access to and availability of medical and educational services.
  • Information and Referral Specialists provide information on programs and services for service members and families. They maintain a database of base and community resources and will make appropriate referrals to internal or external military and community agencies.
  • Base Legal Office - Military installations have legal assistance offices available to assist you with legal matters such as will preparation, powers of attorney, contract review, debit/credit problems, landlord/tenant issues, family law, tax law and estate planning.  All of these services are a no-cost benefit to you for your active duty service. If you're obtaining new employment, you may also need a legal ethics employment counseling brief.
  • Information, Tickets and Tours (ITT) - ITT is your one-stop, fun shop for discounted tickets to the movies, museums, zoo. Theme parks, sporting events, water parks, festivals, theatre, concerts, and more. They are located at every installation and offer tickets for your round attractions, seasonal attractions, and sites all over the country.
  • Military OneSource is a confidential Department of Defense-funded program providing comprehensive information on every aspect of military life at no cost to active duty, National Guard, and reserve members, and their families. As a virtual extension to installation services, information provided includes, but is not limited to, deployment, reunion, relationships, grief, transition, parenting, and childhood services. Comprehensive education and career exploration services are also available at no cost to all eligible military spouses through the SECO career center. 
  • SemperFit – Locate the fitness facilities aboard your new installation and speak with the SemperFit team to see what's unique to your new location.
  • L.I.N.K.S. (Lifestyles, Insights, Networking, Knowledge & Skills) and LifeSkills classes - The L.I.N.K.S. program offers an orientation to the Marine Corps lifestyle, helping spouses, Marines, children and teens, and parents/extended family members understand and adapt to the unique challenges military life often presents.  L.I.N.K.S is a resource of Marine Corps Family Team Building (MCFTB).
  • CREDO - The Chaplains Religious Enrichment Development Operation (CREDO) is a retreat program that supports Marines, Sailors, and their families with high-quality, evidence-based education and enrichment opportunities focused on marriage and family relationships, character-building and personal growth, unit cohesion, individual and corporate resilience, moral and ethical decision-making, and crisis intervention skills development.
  • Family Member Employment Assistance Program – FAP provides a variety of programs and services to military members and their families to enhance life skills and improve their quality of life. Support resources include information on spouse/intimate partner and child abuse, victim advocacy, counseling for individuals, couples and children, as well as classes on stress, anger management, domestic violence, communication and conflict resolution skills, and positive parenting.
  • Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS) – NMCRS Provides financial, educational, and other need-based assistance to active-duty and retired Sailors and Marines, their eligible family members, and survivors.

Major Life Event Checklist

Major life events include changes in marital status, adding family members, sending children off to college, and other milestones in life. As with other action points on the life cycle there are a variety of resources to assist you through these events. Visit the topics below for more information on these programs and resources.

Things You Need To Do

  • Obtain Copies of Important Documents – You should have an "original certified copy" of important documents such as marriage or birth certificates.
  • Obtain a Military ID Card – Obtain a card for your spouse or new child to gain access to military benefits and facilities such as the commissary, Marine Corps Exchange, and medical and dental services. You will need DD Form 1172 and your marriage certificate to obtain an ID card. Visit the RAPIDS Site Locator to find a registration office near you.
  • Update the Defense Eligibility Enrollment Reporting System (DEERS). DEERS should be updated anytime there is a change that would affect benefits and entitlements for you and any dependents. DEERS information should be reviewed for accuracy once a year.
  • Update Your TRICARE Coverage – Ensure your family members are properly registered in TRICARE, the military health care program for Service members and their families.
  • Update Your MetLife Dental Program – MetLife is available to active duty family members and National Guard and Reserve members and their families.
  • Update Your Servicemember's Group Life Insurance (SGLI) and any other life insurance policies.
  • Update Auto Insurance policies.
  • Meet with Your Personal Financial Management Specialist (PFM) – Your installation PFM can help you identify insurance changes, attend a Home Buying/Selling Workshop, check your debt-to-income ratio, understand spouse unemployment options, identify non-reimbursable expenses from your move, and if in a deployable status, set up an allotment for your spouse.
  • Update myPay  – Update Federal and State Income Tax to reflect home of record or changes in withholding/exemptions.
  • Contact the Housing Office – If your spouse will be living with you at command, apply for base housing or ask for a list of off base referrals.
  • Contact Your Banking Institution – If desired, change bank accounts to joint status.
  • Update Name Changes - If your spouse's name changes, contact the Social Security Office to receive a new Social Security Card.
  • Update Your Family Care Plan – Having a Family Care Plan is mandatory and ensures your family is taken care of during times of drills, annual training, mobilization, and deployment. Discuss your plan with your PFM and Base Legal Office. Complete form NAVMC 11800LifeSkills Training and Educationoffers courses to assist you in completing your Family Care Plan.
  • Meet With the Education Services Officer (ESO) – Verify transferability options for your GI Bill benefits. ESOs are available to assist and advise you with your education choices and benefits.
  • Identify your Family Readiness Officer (FRO) – The FRO is the direct link to Marines and their family members. They serve as a one-stop-shop for Official Command Communication, Resources and Referral Information, Readiness and Deployment Support and Volunteer Management.
  • Contact the Base Legal Office - Military installations have legal assistance offices available to assist you with legal matters such as will preparation, powers of attorney, contract review, debit/credit problems, landlord/tenant issues, family law, tax law and estate planning.  All of these services are a no-cost benefit to you for your active duty service.
  • New Baby or Young Children? 
    • Contact Installation Community Counseling Services – There are several programs that are designed to help new parents, including the New Parent Support Program (NPSP), which provides parenting education, support and assistance to expectant parents and parents with children ages 0-5. Other services include group parenting workshops, baby boot camp, and individual family home visits.
    • Contact the Child Development Center on your installation – Most installations have full time daycare from age 6 weeks to the start of Kindergarten.
    • Contact the School Liaison Program – The School Liaison supports families by advocating on behalf of the family to optimize the educational experience and transition of elementary, middle and high school students in local school districts.
    • Contact Children and Youth Programs – Children &Youth Programs Resource & Referral offices can assist you in starting the enrollment process to ensure your children have a safe haven for recreation activities, and before and after school programs.
  • Family Members with Special Needs? Contact the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) – The Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) supports Active Duty Service Members and families to ensure that they are assigned to Duty Stations where services exist to support the EFM with Continuum Of Care, ensuring access to and availability of medical and educational services.

Things You Need To Know

  • Marine and Family Programs – Marine and Family Programs provides assistance with services such as relocation, employment opportunities, financial education, personal skills-building classes, deployment planning, volunteer opportunities, outplacement assistance and assistance with crisis situations.
  • Information and Referral Specialists provide information on programs and services for service members and families. They maintain a database of base and community resources and will make appropriate referrals to internal or external military and community agencies.
  • Family Member Employment Assistance Program – They can provide military family members with the tools they need to successfully search for employment. Resources include career exploration, resume writing, job search skills, interviewing techniques, and career assessments.
  • Personal and Professional Development (P&PD) Advisors – P&PD Advisors are committed to providing a full range of education, career, and transition services that educate, encourage and empower you and your family in achieving personal and professional success.
  • Command Financial Specialist (CFS) – The CFS functions as the individual unit's principal advisor on policies and matters related to financial education.
  • Family Advocacy Program (FAP) - FAP provides a variety of programs and services to military members and their families to enhance life skills and improve their quality of life. Support resources include information on spouse/intimate partner and child abuse, victim advocacy, counseling for individuals, couples and children, as well as classes on stress, anger management, domestic violence, communication and conflict resolution skills, and positive parenting.
  • L.I.N.K.S. (Lifestyles, Insights, Networking, Knowledge & Skills) and LifeSkills classes - The L.I.N.K.S. program offers an orientation to the Marine Corps lifestyle, helping spouses, Marines, children and teens, and parents/extended family members understand and adapt to the unique challenges military life often presents.  L.I.N.K.S is a resource of Marine Corps Family Team Building (MCFTB).
  • Blended Retirement – Overview of the new Blended Retirement System: training and brief article.
  • Single? Participate in the Single Marine Program (SMP) – The SMP exists to improve the quality of life for single Marines. The program plans recreation, social events, and community participation activities.
  • eBenefits – eBenefits is a portal; a central location for Veterans, Service Members, and their families to research, find, access, and, manage their personal benefits information, and access the Veterans Employment Center.
  • Verification of Military Experience and Training (VMET). Select the link to read more about the VMET (Verification of Military Experience and Training), DD Form 2586, and how it documents your military career and training.
  • Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) – The TSP is a retirement savings plan for United States civil service employees and retirees as well as for members of the uniformed services. Contact your Personal Financial Manager (PFM) for assistance in setting up automatic pre-tax deductions from your paycheck.
  • Remain Competitive for Re-enlistment or Promotion by completing the PME requirements for your current rank. The Marine Corps Training Information Management System (MCTIMS)  guides Marines on career training and education requirements, tracks training completions, and includes information on training standards and MOS Roadmaps to learn the steps necessary to achieve a high level of MOS proficiency and other recommendations for further enhancement training.
  • SemperFit – Locate the fitness facilities aboard your new installation and speak with the SemperFit team to see what's unique to your new location.
  • United States Military Apprenticeship Program (USMAP) – USMAP is a military training program supported by the Department of Labor that provides the opportunity to improve job skills and complete civilian apprenticeship requirements while on active duty.
  • Joint Services Transcript (JST) – The Joint Services Transcript is a military service transcript showing American Council on Education (ACE) credit recommendations for military training and college courses. Contact your ESO for assistance.
  • Credentialing Opportunities On-Line (COOL) – COOL will help you find civilian certifications and licenses that are related to your military occupation.
  • Online Academic Skills Course (OASC) and College Placement Skills Training (CPST) – Contact your ESO to decide if it would be beneficial for you to review your math and writing skills in order to improve job skills, pass exams, advance in your career or continue your education.
  • Information, Tickets and Tours (ITT) - ITT is your one-stop, fun shop for discounted tickets to the movies, museums, zoo. Theme parks, sporting events, water parks, festivals, theatre, concerts, and more. They are located at every installation and offer tickets for your round attractions, seasonal attractions, and sites all over the country.
  • Military OneSource is a confidential Department of Defense-funded program providing comprehensive information on every aspect of military life at no cost to active duty, National Guard, and reserve members, and their families. As a virtual extension to installation services, information provided includes, but is not limited to, deployment, reunion, relationships, grief, transition, parenting, and childhood services. Comprehensive education and career exploration services are also available at no cost to all eligible military spouses through the SECO career center. 
  • Kuder Journey Personal Assessment – Journey is a career planning system that assists you with effective career exploration and planning, both while serving and in transition. Kuder Journey's assessments support your career planning process and can assist you in informed decision making about your future.
  • Visit Your Local Base Library – Library resources and services are available to Marines and families on board all USMC installations and online 24/7/365. The online databases provide academic research, professional and recreational material including databases covering academic, research, health, criminal justice, web-based foreign language lessons, over 200 digital magazines, over 500 online self-improvement and lifelong learning classes, and thousands of streaming films for informational and recreational use.
  • CREDO - The Chaplains Religious Enrichment Development Operation (CREDO) is a retreat program that supports Marines, Sailors, and their families with high-quality, evidence-based education and enrichment opportunities focused on marriage and family relationships, character-building and personal growth, unit cohesion, individual and corporate resilience, moral and ethical decision-making, and crisis intervention skills development.
  • Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS) – NMCRS provides financial, educational, and other need-based assistance to active-duty and retired Sailors and Marines, their eligible family members, and survivors.

Transition

Thank you for your service, Marine! Whether you have served four years or forty, we want to ensure you are prepared for your new adventure. The Transition Readiness Program (TRP) process is not a onetime event; The TRP process is composed of five key steps designed to assist and guide you throughout your transition process.

The TRP process consist of:

  • Individualized Initial Counseling (IC) – Must be completed NLT 365 days from EAS.
  • Pre-Separation Counseling – Must be completed NLT 365 days from EAS.
  • Transition Readiness Seminar (TRS) – Must be completed NLT 180 days from EAS.
  • Capstone Review – Must be completed NLT 120 days from EAS.
  • Commander’s Verification – Must be completed NLT 90 days from EAS.

Remember, transition impacts your entire family. If you’re married, encourage your spouse to attend the Spouse Transition and Readiness Seminar (STARS); speak with your installation’s TRP office for more information about STARS.  As with the other points on the life cycle, planning is critical to a successful transition. The topics below will assist as you prepare to return to civilian life.

Things You Need To Do

  • Meet with your Unit Transition Coordinator (UTC) – Your UTC will prepare you to begin the transition process by explaining pre-work requirements, IC preparation, pre-separation counseling completion and attendance to the TRS.
  • Initiate your Self-Assessment/ ITP – This fillable tool allows you to map your transition, identify gaps in your transition plan, and helps guide the conversation during your IC.
  • Complete your IC – NLT 365 days from EAS, schedule an appointment with your installation’s TRP office to complete the mandatory IC.  The TRP personnel, such as Personal and Professional Development (P&PD) Advisors, are committed to providing a full range of education, vocational, career, and transition services that educate, encourage and empower you and your family in achieving personal and professional success.
  • Attend Pre-Separation Counseling – Just like the IC, Pre-Separation Counseling must be completed NLT 365 days from EAS. Pre-separation counseling covers by-law information to include resources, benefits and entitlements available to you and your family members.
  • Attend the TRS – The TRS provides mandatory training to prepare you for your transition to civilian life.  You may attend this seminar as early as 18 months prior to your separation or as early as 24 months from retirement but NLT than 180 days from EAS. Based on the Tier level assigned to you at IC, you must elect to attend at least one of four two-day tracks; these include the Employment Track, Vocational Track, Education Track, and Entrepreneurship track. You may also attend more than one track based on your post-transition goals. Speak with your installation’s TRP office for registration information.
  • Complete the Career Readiness Standards (CRS) – CRS are required to be completed by all Marines and are shared with your TRP office at Capstone Review, in preparation for the final meeting with your Commanding Officer (or Designee). CRS are documented on the DD Form 2648 eForm. The CRS requirements include:
    • Complete Initial Counseling
    • Complete Pre-separation Counseling
    • Complete Self-Assessment/Individual Transition Plan
    • Register for an eBenefits premium account 
    • Attend Department of Defense Day – TRS
      • Managing Your Transition
      • Military Occupational Code Crosswalk
      • Financial Planning for Transition
    • Attend the VA Benefits Briefs and Services - TRS
    • Complete the One-day Department of Labor Employment Workshop - TRS
    • Attend the Reserve Opportunities and Obligations Brief (Active Component Only)
    • Complete the required CRS Based on your two-day (2-Day) track election:
      • Employment Track: Resume or verification of employment
      • Education Track: Comparison of Higher Education or Technical Training Institution options
      • Vocational Track: Comparison of Higher Education or Technical Training Institution options
    • Create a criterion-based budget – as required by Tier level
    • Complete a Gap Analysis – as required by Tier level
  • Complete your Capstone Review and Commander’s Verification – This is coordinated between you and your UTC.  You must meet with your Installation’s TRP office NLT 120 days from EAS to complete your Capstone Review; Capstone Review prepares you for your Commander’ Verification meeting. Your installation’s TRP office will review your completion of all required CRS and your overall readiness to transition. The culminating event for the TRP process is Commander’s Verification. At commander’s Verification your Commanding Officer, or Designee, verifies your achievement of all required CRS and ITP and finalizes your DD From 2648. This meeting must be completed NLT 90 days from EAS
  • Explore DoD SkillBridge. DoD Skillbridge links Transitioning Marines (Enlisted and Officers) to valuable civilian workforce training provided by employers in need of high-quality Veteran talent.  Training is provided during duty-hours with the training location assigned as the official place of duty. Marines who are 180 days from End of Active Service/Retirement are eligible to participate.
  • Meet with Your Personal Financial Manager (PFM) – Your installation PFM can help you prepare your budget or other financial plans to eliminate/minimize debt while still on Active Duty and in preparation for separation or retirement. You can also view the Blended Retirement – Overview of the new Blended Retirement System: training and brief article and discuss your options with the PFM.
  • Meet With the Education Services Officer (ESO) – ESOs are available to assist and advise you with your education plan to include education and testing programs, the Joint Services Transcript, and the American Council on Education (ACE) college credit recommendations, Tuition Assistance programs (Financial Aid, GI Bill, Scholarships, and Grants), and preparing for the Leadership Scholar Program.
  • Encourage Your Spouse to Visit the Family Member Employment Assistance Program and register to attend the Spouse Transition and Readiness Seminar (STARS) which is designed to support spouses of transitioning Marines. They can also provide military family members with the tools they need for career exploration, resume writing, job search skills, interviewing techniques, and career assessments.
  • Update the Defense Eligibility Enrollment Reporting System (DEERS). DEERS should be updated anytime there is a change that would affect benefits and entitlements for you and any dependents; DEERS information should be reviewed for accuracy once a year.
  • Contact the Installation Personnel and Administration Center (IPAC) - Coordinate with your Admin office to make sure you complete the documented IPAC separation process to ensure your obtain your complete and correct Form DD214.
  • Begin Job Search and Determine Career Path. Explore MyNextMove for Veterans, attend local hiring events and career fairs. Contact your P&PD Advisor for assistance.
  • Contact Base Legal to update legal documents to include Will, Power of Attorney, Medical Directives, and receive a legal ethics employment counseling briefing per DODI 1332.35.
  • Attend Home Buying and Selling Class. Contact your PFM for workshop schedules.
  • Resolve all open Family Advocacy Program (FAP) cases to ensure continuity of care.
  • Contact Transportation and Household Goods – To help you get organized, the Defense Personal Property System has streamlined the moving process with their website Move.mil.
  • Service Treatment Records – Ensure your complete service treatment record is submitted to the servicing IPAC/ADMIN RUC prior to departing on separation/terminal leave.
  • Update Your Military ID Card – Obtain a card for your spouse and children to gain access to military benefits and facilities such as commissary, exchange, medical and dental services. You will need DD Form 1172 and your marriage certificate. Visit the RAPIDS Site Locator to find the office and required documents near your current location.
  • Update Your TRICARE – Ensure your family members are properly registered in TRICARE, the military health care program for Service members and their families registered in DEERS.
  • MetLife Dental Program – MetLife is available to active duty family members and National Guard and Reserve members and their families registered in DEERS. Information and enrollment can be completed through their website. Visit https://www.tricare.mil/CoveredServices/Dental/TDP.aspx for information on transitional and retiree coverage options.
  • Family Members?  Review/Update Your Service member’s Group Life Insurance (SGLI) – Designate or update beneficiaries, reduce or decline coverage, or restore previous coverage. Download and complete SGLV-8286, SGLI Election & Certificate and submit and completed form to your personnel office.
  • Family Members?  Review/Update Your Family Service member’s Group Life Insurance (FSGLI) – A program that provides term life insurance coverage to the spouses and dependent children insured under SGLI. You pay the premium for spousal coverage. Dependent children are insured at no cost. Use SGLV Form 8286A.
  • Use the Personal Transition Timeline on the usmc-mccs.org/cycle to develop your individual transition timeline based on your EAS.

Things You Need To Know

  • Marine and Family ProgramsMarine and Family Programs provides assistance with services such as relocation, employment opportunities, financial education, personal skills-building classes, deployment planning, volunteer opportunities, outplacement assistance and assistance with crisis situations.
  • Information and Referral Specialists provide assistance in providing information on programs and services for service members and families. They maintain a database of base and community resources and will make appropriate referrals to internal or external military and community agencies and relocation information.
  • Family Advocacy Program (FAP) - FAP provides a variety of programs and services to military members and their families to enhance life skills and improve their quality of life. Support resources include information on spouse/intimate partner and child abuse, victim advocacy, counseling for individuals, couples and children, as well as classes on stress, anger management, domestic violence, communication and conflict resolution skills, and positive parenting.
  • myPay – myPay is the accounting firm of the Department of Defense (DoD). Service members, military civilian employees, and retirees can resolve various pay issues.
  • Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS) – NMCRS provides financial, educational, and other need-based assistance to active-duty and retired Sailors and Marines, their eligible family members, and survivors.
  • The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) – The TSP is a retirement savings plan for United States civil service employees and retirees as well as for members of the uniformed services. Contact your Personal Financial Manager (PFM) for assistance in tsp options.
  • Your Joint Services Transcript (JST) – The JST is a military service transcript showing American Council on Education (ACE) credit recommendations for military training and college courses. Contact your ESO for assistance.
  • Single? Participate in the Single Marine Program (SMP) – The SMP exists to improve the quality of life for single Marines. The program plans recreation, social events, and community participation activities.
  • School-Aged Children? Contact the School Liaison Program - The School Liaison supports Marine families by advocating on behalf of the family to optimize the educational experience and transition of elementary, middle and high school students in local school districts.
  • Visit Your Local Base Library – Library resources and services are available to Marines and families on board all USMC installations and on-line 24/7/365. The online databases provide academic research, professional and recreational material including databases covering academic, research, health, criminal justice, web-based foreign language lessons, over 200 digital magazines, over 500 online self-improvement and lifelong learning classes, and thousands of streaming films for informational and recreational use.
  • Explore Online Academic Skills Course (OASC) and College Placement Skills Training (CPST) – Contact your ESO to decide if it would be beneficial for you to review your math and writing skills in order to improve job skills, pass exams, advance in your career or continue your education.
  • Explore Credentialing Opportunities On-Line (COOL) – COOL will help you find civilian certifications and licenses that are related to your military occupation.
  • Military One Source - Military OneSource is a confidential Department of Defense-funded program providing comprehensive information on every aspect of military life at no cost to active duty, National Guard, and reserve members, and their families. As a virtual extension to installation services, information provided includes, but is not limited to, deployment, reunion, relationships, grief, transition, parenting, and childhood services. Comprehensive education and career exploration services are also available at no cost to all eligible military spouses through the SECO career center.  (800) 342-9647
  • SemperFit – Locate the fitness facilities aboard your installation and speak with the SemperFit team to see what’s unique to your new location.
  • Family Members with Special Needs? The Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) – EFMP supports Active Duty Service Members and families to ensure that they are assigned to Duty Stations where services exist to support the EFM with Continuum Of Care, ensuring access and availability to medical and educational services.
  • CREDO - The Chaplains Religious Enrichment Development Operation (CREDO) is a retreat program that supports Marines, Sailors, and their families with high-quality, evidence-based education and enrichment opportunities focused on marriage and family relationships, character-building and personal growth, unit cohesion, individual and corporate resilience, moral and ethical decision-making, and crisis intervention skills development.
  • Children and Youth Programs – Children &Youth Programs Resource & Referral offices can assist you in starting the enrollment process to ensure your children have a safe haven for recreation activities, and before and after school programs.
  • New Baby or Young Children?  Contact the New Parent Support Program (NPSP) – NPSP provides parenting education, support and assistance to expectant parents and parents with children ages 0-5. Services include group parenting workshops, baby boot camp, and individual family home visits.
  • Visit the Military Installations (MI) Website – The MI website will provide you with lots of information regarding your new location.
  • Information, Tickets and Tours (ITT) - ITT is your one-stop, fun shop for discounted tickets to the movies, museums, and zoo. Theme parks, sporting events, water parks, festivals, theatre, concerts, and more. They are located at every installation and offer tickets for your round attractions, seasonal attractions, and sites all over the country.
  • The Marine Corps Training Information Management System (MCTIMS)  guides Marines on career training and education requirements, tracks training completions, and includes information on training standards and MOS Roadmaps to learn the steps necessary to achieve a high level of MOS proficiency and other recommendations for further enhancement training.

Veteran Checklist

The Marine For Life (M4L) Network seeks to provide a resource of connectivity as well as linkages both to the Marine Corps and to the employment, education, career/technical, and entrepreneurial opportunities that await Veteran Marines in transition. M4L, as a supporting element of that transition process, continues the development of networks of resource information, access, and knowledge to enable and assist Marines in their lifelong pursuits and goals.

Things You Need To Do

  • Learn About Veterans Affairs (VA) Benefits You May Be Eligible For – Information on available disability, education, careers, and health care benefits and services can be found on the Vets.gov website.
  • Apply and manage your benefits on eBenefits. Apply for disability compensation, track your pending VA claim, obtain home loan certificate of eligibility, and apply and review education benefits.
  • Review the Veterans' Group Life Insurance (VGLI) program to continue life insurance coverage after you separate from service. VGLI provides lifetime coverage as long as you pay the premiums. You may enroll for a maximum amount of coverage that is equal to the amount of Service Members' Group Life Insurance (SGLI) coverage you had when you separated from service.
  • Review the options to convert spousal coverage from Family Service members' Group Life Insurance (FSGLI) to a commercial policy. Spouses who are insured under the FSGLI program have the option to convert spousal coverage to an individual insurance policy within 120 days of certain events.  
  • Need to File for Unemployment Benefits? – As a Veteran, you may be eligible for unemployment compensation. In certain cases when you separate, you may qualify for unemployment compensation. Different states have different requirements and rules for eligibility. You need to contact the state where you will be looking for employment. Click here for more information.
  • Visit Your Local American Job Center (AJC) – AJCs provide free help to job seekers for a variety of career and employment-related needs. As a Veteran or eligible spouse, you are given priority of service over other non-covered (or ineligible) persons for any Department of Labor funded employment or training program. Nearly 2,500 AJCs, funded by the U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration, are located throughout the United States.
  • Find Your Local Veteran Service Organizations (VSOs)- VSO's are advocates for Service members and Veterans who assist in filing VA claims and applying to government programs on your behalf. Visit the National Resource Directory for more information.
  • Join the Marine For Life Network
  • Check in with the Marine Corps Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) to complete Your Military Service Obligation (MSO).

Things You Need To Know

  • Marine For Life Network Representatives are here to assist you with your transition needs. The Marine For Life Network uses LinkedIn groups for online networking opportunities. The Marine For Life LinkedIn networking groups consist of one national group, four regional groups, and several community-specific groups.
  • Your Local Veterans Employment Representative (LVER) is located in the careeronestop American Job Center to assist you with your needs in the civilian community.
  • The Small Business Administration (SBA) works with a number of local partners to counsel, mentor, and train service members looking to start small businesses. They connect with your local SBA district office and other resources in your area. The VA and the Small Business Administration (SBA) have many programs that allow veterans to learn about business opportunities, obtain grants and low-interest loans, receive training, and other assistance in the pursuit of opening their own businesses. Information on these programs can be obtained at https://www.va.gov/ and https://www.dol.gov/vets/.
  • MGIB Eligibility: With the exception of some officers who received a commission after December 31, 1976 as a result of graduating from a service academy or after completing a Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) scholarship program, the MGIB is available to service members who first came on active duty on July 1, 1985 or later, and who did not decline to participate in the MGIB program. To be eligible for the full 36 months of MGIB benefits, veterans must normally meet the character of service (honorable discharge) and minimum length of service requirements. Certain veterans separated from active duty early for the convenience of the government may also receive the full 36 months of MGIB benefits. Veterans who are otherwise separated from active duty early may be eligible for prorated (reduced) MGIB benefits (i.e., one month of benefits for each full month of active duty). To apply for MGIB benefits, you must submit VA Form 22-1990 as soon as possible, even if you are not ready to begin school.
  • The VA can also provide you with educational counseling after you leave military service. Contact the VA GI Bill Regional Processing Office by dialing 888-GIBIll-1 (1-888-422-4551), or visiting the MGIB website. To contact the VA regional office closet to you, visit https://www.benefits.va.gov/benefits/offices.asp or call 1-800-827-1000. Additional information on the MGIB and other veteran education benefit programs are available at your installation's Education Center or from the Admissions Officer or Veteran Coordinator at most colleges and universities.
  • Verification of Military Experience and Training (VMET) - The VMET (DD Form 2586) is an overview of your military career.
  • Joint Services Transcript– The JST is a military service transcript showing American Council on Education (ACE) credit recommendations for military training and college courses. Contact your ESO for assistance.
  • Correcting Inaccurate Military Records: Each branch of the military has its own procedures for correcting service members' military records. After reviewing your service records, if you believe that there is an error, you should complete and file DD Form 149 (Application for Correction of Military or Naval Record). The form can be submitted by the service member or veteran, a survivor, or a legal representative.
  • VA Home Loans: Eligible veterans, including active duty veterans, discharged veterans, and reservists, may obtain loans guaranteed by VA to purchase or refinance homes and condominiums. Unmarried surviving spouses may also be eligible. VA home loans feature a negotiable interest rate, choice of loan types, limited closing costs, no monthly mortgage insurance premiums, and, in most cases, no down payment is required. Most mortgage companies, banks and credit unions participate in this program because the VA guarantees a portion of the loan amount, which protects commercial lenders from loss if the loan should ever go to foreclosure. The lender will ask you to provide a VA Certificate of Eligibility (COE) that demonstrates that you are eligible to apply for a VA home loan. To obtain a COE, visit https://benefits.va.gov/benefits/ and access VA Form 26-1880 (Request for Certificate of Eligibility). For general information on VA home loan guarantees, click here.
  • State Veterans Benefits: Many states offer veterans benefits in addition to those offered by the VA. These benefits may include educational grants and scholarships, special exemptions or discounts on fees and taxes, home loans, veteran's homes, free hunting and fishing privileges, and more. Each state manages its own benefit programs. Click here to view a directory of websites for each of the individual states that offer veterans benefits.
  • Families with members who have special needs can find information on the services available in your new hometown through the Family Center, the United Way/Community Chest, the community social services office listed in the local telephone directory, or the closest VA medical center. For more information click here. In addition, prior to leaving military service feel free to visit your installation's Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) office to speak with an EFMP Case Worker regarding post military care for your family member(s) with special needs.
  • Information and Referral Specialists provide information on programs and services for service members and families. They maintain a database of base and community resources and will make appropriate referrals to internal or external military and community agencies.
  • Military One Source is a confidential Department of Defense-funded program providing comprehensive information on every aspect of military life at no cost to active duty, National Guard, and reserve members, and their families. As a virtual extension to installation services, information provided includes, but is not limited to, deployment, reunion, relationships, grief, transition, parenting, and childhood services. Comprehensive education and career exploration services are also available at no cost to all eligible military spouses through the SECO career center.  
  • Veterans.gov is designed to be the virtual "first stop" in the employment search process for veterans, transitioning Service members, and their spouses. The site brings together job banks, state employment offices, American Job Centers, and opportunities in top trending industries.
  • Library Library resources and services are available to retirees and their DoD ID card-holding family members on board all USMC installations and online 24/7/365. The online databases provide academic research, professional and recreational material including databases covering academic, research, health, criminal justice, web-based foreign language lessons, over 200 digital magazines, over 500 online self-improvement and lifelong learning classes, and thousands of streaming films for informational and recreational use.
  • Americorps creates jobs and provides pathways to opportunity for young people entering the workforce. AmeriCorps places thousands of young adults into intensive service positions where they learn valuable work skills, earn money for education, and develop an appreciation for citizenship.

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