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Home » Family Information » Spousal Support
Friday » June 23, 2017 

Military Support for Spouses of Service Personnel

Family Support Center:

There are several FREE assistance programs offered to Air Force Spouses:

  1. Information & Referral: "Linking-thinking" assistance. If you have a question, the I&R specialist can help you find a resource that will answer it.
  2. Relocation Assistance: Help when making a move to another base, such as information about the new base, automated travel planners and helpful moving tips.
  3. Personal Financial Management Program: Assistance with budgeting, checkbook management, debt reduction, resolving credit problems, savings and investment plans.
  4. Family Readiness: Support and assistance for families of deployed airmen to include a free 15-minute telephone call and telephone-video services.
  5. Career Focus Program: Employment assistance for spouses -- local employment resources, workshops and individual counseling.
  6. Family Services (Primarily for E-5 and below):
    1. The Loan Closet: Small household items available on loan for a short time while you set up housekeeping.
    2. Airman's Attic: A "transfer station" for used clothing, toys, and small household items -- donate or take what you need at no charge.
  7. Air Force Aid Society: The official charity of the Air Force. Interest free loans or grants for family emergencies.
  8. 37th Services: "Provides combat support and community services to the Air Force Mission by increasing readiness and productivity through programs which promote fitness, esprit-de-corps, and quality of life for members of the Lackland community."
  9. Transition Assistance: Help making reentry back into civilian employment via workshops, classes and individual counseling. Volunteer Resource Program: This program provides volunteer opportunities on the base.

Military Identification Card:

To get your ID card, you must have DD Form 1172, Application for Uniformed Services Identification Card, signed by your spouse. Take this form to the Customer Service section of the Military Personnel Flight (MPF) on Lackland AFB, building 5616 on Stewart St. If you do not have a signed DD Form 1172, your spouse must go with you to the MPF to get your ID card. You will need a copy of your marriage license to complete this transaction. You may also apply for a dependent ID card at any active duty U.S. military installation.

Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting Systems (DEERS):

This is the computer data bank that lists those individuals who are authorized to use military health care programs. When you get your ID card, as the clerk to make sure you have been enrolled in the DEERS program.


TRICARE is the health care system for military members and their families. Once you are enrolled in DEERS you are eligible for treatment under TRICARE. There are three health plans to select from: TRICARE Prime, TRICARE Standard and TRICARE Extra. You will automatically be enrolled in TRICARE Standard (a traditional fee-for-service plan). There is no enrollment fee for active duty family members. To change your coverage to TRICARE Prime (a Dept. of Defense managed plan) or TRICARE Extra (a network provider plan) you must contact your TRICARE Service Center. Toll-free telephone numbers for Regional Service Centers and more information about TRICARE can be found at www.tricare.osd.mil

Relocating After Technical Training:

When your spouse gets orders (AF Form 899, Request and Authorization for Permanent Change of Station) to their first base, make sure you (spouse) and children are listed in Block #17. (If you are a military-married-to-military couple, the information must be in block #14). Your spouse must file a travel voucher after arrival at your new base to receive reimbursement for expenses incurred during travel.
** Arrangements for shipment of household goods are made through the local Traffic Management Office (TMO).

Overseas Duty:

  1. You and your children need passports, visas and a Family Member Relocation Clearance (FMRC).
  2. Passports and visas are processed through the Outbound Assignments section of the Military Personnel Flight.
  3. Family Member Relocation Clearances (FMRC) are processed by the Family Advocacy Office.
  4. Overseas travel arrangements for you, children and the active duty members are made by the TMO.

Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) [Active Duty]:

The MGIB provides up to 36 months of educational benefits to eligible veterans for degree and certification programs, flight training, apprenticeships/on-the-job training, and correspondence courses. The airman must sign up for the MGIB when he/she starts Basic Training. $100 per month for 12 months, will be deducted from their pay. To use the MGIB while on active duty, the member must serve 2 continuous years. There is also a MGIB for members of the Reserves and National Guard. Go to www.gibill.va.gov or call 1-888-GI-BILL-1 for information and rates.

Relocating During Technical Training:

For the spouse/family to be authorized to accompany the member to the technical training location, the authorization must be in the military orders assigning the student to school. The tech training course must be 20 calendar weeks or longer at one location to include authorization for spouse/family relocation. (See the joint Federal Travel Regulations (JFTR) and Air Force Instruction 37-128). The time the student waits to begin the course does NOT count as part of the 20 week requirement.

Authorization means that the Air Force will pay to relocate you (and your children). This includes travel and shipment of household goods. It also means base services will be available to you. If authorization is NOT included, there are very good reasons:

  1. Housing and other base services may not be adequate to service student spouses and children.
  2. Course requirements may not allow time for students to be supportive of their spouses and children.

** If you plan to relocate to the tech school location, WITHOUT authorization, you should:

  1. Become familiar with tech training student restrictions. Your spouse will be given the AF Tech Training Student Phase Program instructions upon arrival at tech training.
  2. Be prepared in case some base services are limited or not available.
  3. Plan to pay for ALL costs associated with relocating and maintenance of the household at the tech school location.

** Before moving, we strongly suggest that you carefully develop a relocation plan that includes:

  1. A detailed financial plan or budget.
  2. Housing arrangements (The military member must check with the base housing office before signing a lease contract.)
  3. Communications/telephone service options.
  4. Health care availability.

Assignment Notification and Swaps:

Most airmen will receive notification of their first duty assignment during the 2nd or 3rd week of training. Some will receive notification of follow-on training assignments to another training base. Upon receipt of their assignment, airmen will have 4 days to "swap" or trade, assignments with another student in the same course. Specific requirements must be met to make the swap.


After graduation from Tech Training, airmen are authorized 10 days of leave if their assignment is in the U.S., or 14 days if they are going overseas. However, keep in mind that only 30 days of leave are earned each year.

Recruiter Assistance Program:

This program provides airmen up to 12 days of non-chargeable leave to go back home and assist a local Air Force Recruiter. It can be combined with 3 days of chargeable leave for stateside assignments or 8 days for overseas assignments. If airmen were NOT notified of RAP authorization during their entry into active duty, they may NOT be authorized to participate in the program.

Emergency Communications:

To notify your airman of family emergencies, you MUST contact your local Red Cross. The RC sends messages concerning immediate family members. Immediate family members are spouse, children, mother, father, brother, sister, and grandparents of the military members and those of spouses.

To send a RC message, you need the following information about the service member:

  1. Their full name,
  2. Their social security number and date of birth,
  3. Their rank and branch of service,
  4. Their unit of assignment,
  5. Information about the emergency including doctor's names, hospitals, and telephone numbers are also needed.

For more information visit www.redcross.org

Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act:

This act provides protection for individuals entering or called to active duty in the military services. It is intended to postpone or suspend certain civil obligations to enable service members to devote full attention to duty. It covers such issues as rental agreements, security deposits, prepaid rent, eviction, installment contacts, and credit card interest rates. Protection begins on the date of entry onto active duty and generally terminates 30-90 days after the date of discharge. This act will lover military members' interest rates to 6 percent, but only if the loan existed BEFORE the member came onto active duty. To take advantage of this, the members must submit a written request to each creditor and then would be notified that a change was made and what the change was.