Military Friends & Extended Family
Parents, siblings, grandparents, extended family, friends and loved ones of service members are a part of their service member’s network of support – as well as part of the extended military community. It’s honorable to have a warrior in your family or friend network. You may feel pride for your service member’s call to serve and even concern or curiosity about your service member’s military experiences. Military OneSource is committed to helping friends and extended family members better understand military life, military culture and the resources available to your service member.
Find information, insight and tips to help you support your service member and stay connected to military life, no matter where your service member is in the world or their military career.
How is the Military Protecting My Service Member During COVID-19?
The DOD continues to work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other government agencies to respond to the outbreak and prevent its spread. The DOD offers free resources through Military OneSource. Each program helps with different military-life challenges or seasons.
Sending a Military Care Package: What You Need to Know
Military care packages deliver a welcome piece of home to your service member while they’re away – whether that’s your child, fiancé, sibling or friend. They help both of you stay connected despite distance or duty. Here are some appropriate ways to send those care packages to your service member throughout their time in the military.
When A Son or Daughter Deploys
Parents can experience a wide range of emotions regarding their son or daughter’s service in the National Guard, from pride in their accomplishments to fear for their safety.
Deployment Basics By Service Branch
The deployment cycle is the period of time from the notification of a deployment, through pre-deployment training, through the deployment, and immediately after deployment. Every deployment cycle is different, but here are some general things to know.
10 Reasons Why the Military Is a Great Career Choice
When your loved one decides to join the military, they’re taking an important step toward a great career path. As a parent, relative or significant other of someone who has joined the military – or is considering doing so – rest assured that there are many career and personal opportunities available to them.
MilTax: Free Tax Return Filing Help for Your Service Member
If your service member has recently entered the military, you may now lose the ability to claim them as a dependent. On top of that, this may be the first time your loved one has ever had to file a tax return.
Creating New Holiday Traditions When Your Service Member Is Away
Holidays can feel very different when your service member is away. There are traditions that you’d like to share with them or wish they could participate in. But there are things you can do to help yourself – and your service member – make the holidays special, whether they are stationed far from home or deployed. Sharing old traditions and creating new ones can keep the holidays fun and meaningful, and help you stay connected.
How the Military Helps Pay for College and Job Training
The military is an honorable way for patriotic men and women to both serve their country and pursue a career. When it comes to education and career benefits, the military takes care of service members during, and after, their service. Of course, the military itself can be a rewarding career choice. But if they decide to move on, service members can access many tools, resources and benefits to successfully transition into civilian careers.
Resources for Understanding Suicide Prevention in the Military
Service members put their life on the line to protect our country. But serious risks may lurk in everyday life for some with intense trainings or as the pace of military life suddenly gets faster and for prolonged periods. And that can be even harder and more confusing to deal with as a loved one.
How Your Service Member Will Benefit from the Military’s New Blended Retirement System
The military recently adopted a new retirement plan called the Blended Retirement System which extends benefits to a lot more service members than the old plan. The good news: the BRS can put your service member on the path to long-term financial security. And, the more a service member contributes to their own retirement, the more the Department of Defense matches it.
Military Homecoming: Things to Consider as a Family Member or Friend
The anticipation of a homecoming may come with many different feelings. It is understandable that you may be feeling anxious, excited, even worried all at once. As a family member or friend, you can be a key supporter for your service member as they return home from deployment – no matter if you live nearby or far away.
The Basics of Military Uniforms
Uniforms help promote a sense of cohesion and belonging among service members and communicate power and discipline to our allies and enemies alike.
Free Resources for Service Members to Gain Financial Security
From budgeting and car-buying to building a good credit score or getting a handle on student loans, your service member has access to several free benefits and protections to help them gain firm financial footing.
4 Ways You Can Support the Children You Love During Their Parent’s Deployment
Grandparents, aunts and uncles, family friends and loved ones can make children of service members feel more secure and loved when their parent is deployed.
What You Need to Know About Marrying into the Military
If you are marrying a service member, congratulations. You are about to join an elite community of people who have committed to serve their country in a profound and meaningful way.
Financial Protections for Your Service Member
If your service member ever gets into financial trouble, it can impact their military career. For this reason, there are two major laws – the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act and the Military Lending Act -- that help protect the finances and ease the stress of active-duty service members and their families.
Handling the Stress You Have About Your Service Member
You may feel pride that your child, grandchild, bother, sister, significant other or friend is serving our nation. At times, that may also cause you stress. Your concern can grow during deployments, trainings, relocations and other life events.
Learn the Warning Signs of ‘Military Scams’
Your military friend or family member serves our country with integrity and honor. Unfortunately, there are scammers out there who try to take advantage of that service to cheat them and you. You can help protect your service member against military scams by learning the warning signs of schemes that target those in the military community.
Military Promotions: What Friends and Family Should Know
A military promotion is a significant achievement in a service member’s career It’s a testament to their commitment, mastery of duties and skill, and to the service member’s leadership capabilities. Some promotions are more meaningful than others, especially as service members move up in rank.
Understanding Common Military Traditions and Customs
Traditions are important as they can bind loved ones or groups of people together. The military is built on traditions, customs and manners, and as a result its members share a common experience. As a family member or friend of a service member, it can be valuable to learn about those traditions and customs your loved one participates in as a part the military community.
Remember America’s Military Heroes on Memorial Day Weekend
Throughout American history, men and women have loved our country so deeply that they were willing to give their all to preserve its safety and freedom. On the last Monday in May, our nation honors the selfless heroes who gave their lives to defend the land we love and the freedoms we believe everyone deserves.
How to Support Your Service Member Before Deployment
Your service member has just told you that they’ve received “orders to mobilize” – that means they’ll soon be deployed. This is the moment they have trained for since they entered basic training: preparing to serve a greater mission wherever and whenever they are needed.
Common Military Acronyms
Sometimes it feels like the military has a language all its own made entirely of acronyms and abbreviations. And while your service member is probably fluent in this strange tongue, you may need a little help to keep up.
8 Things You Should Know Before Your Service Member Leaves for Boot Camp
This list can help you - whether you are a parent, sibling, friend, fiancé or extended family member – to get ready before your service member ships off to basic training, or boot camp.
Make a Plan to Stay in Touch with Your Service Member
Communicating with friends and family is very important for service members; a phone call or care package can help them feel connected, boost spirits and improve focus. However, whether your service member is in boot camp, stationed far away or serving in a combat zone, it can be tough to get ahold of them sometimes.