Q.So, here goes, I hope I can get this out right...
My soldier has 3 weeks of boot camp left. I am going to his boot camp graduation in SC. Then he ships right to his AIT in AL. I will be moving at my own expense there, one week after he is set to get there. I have an apartment already, etc. I can swing it on my own.
We wish to be married right away and get me on his orders. He is only at phase 1 of AIT for 10 weeks, then he moves from Huntsville, AL to Pensacola, FL to phase 2. I wish to move with him, but at that point I will need spouse/dependent assistance for the second move.
How long does it take for me to be successfully added to his orders and receive the help a spouse gets? Also, do we need to be married BEFORE he gets to his AIT destination for phase 1 in order for me to get the spouse assistance at all through AIT?
Do we need to quick get married at graduation, or right before he leaves his boot camp station? He is in Ft. Jackson, SC, they only have a 1 day waiting period in between the license and ceremony, we are not religious and don't care about anything fancy at this time. If we can make it work, we will do it there.
We just want me to be near him, and get help, and be on his orders, and stick with him.
I believe that we need to turn in the marriage certificate and fill out some other papers, but I cannot find specifically from the Army what we need to fill out, where, who to give it to, and how long it will take, etc. I want to know now so I can prepare, then write him and prepare him, and make sure it goes off without a hitch.
I appreciate any help you can give me. This is scary! I am NOT scared to marry the love of my life, he is my soul mate, I have no doubt. He enlisted before he met me unfortunately, and now we just have to roll with it.
Thank you very much.
A. Hi Sara and thanks for writing Army Wife 101!
I will admit you have alot that needs to be answered so I will do my best to answer and hopefully some of my wonderful followers can jump in and offer you some more advice.
Let's start in order:
I would like to give you an opinion in regards to you moving to where his AIT duty station is. It is important for you to know that while he is in AIT he is still considered in training and will likely not be able to see you 90% of the time. When in AIT they go through certain Phases and a Pass System. For instance in the beginning he might be able to go to the commi or px...phase 2 might allow the soldiers to leave post but only for a few hours and of course phase 3 would let them put in for a pass to leave post overnight. One soldier's mess up can mean weekend passes being reneged for everyone. I just wanted you to know that, so you don't move down there with hopes of seeing your significant other daily.
As far as moving with him to the second part of AIT, his AIT will need to be 20 weeks or over for a SPOUSE to go with him. For a spouse to go to AIT with her husband the command at his training duty station would have to approve that. In your case you would have to be MARRIED and until you are MARRIED you are not eligible for any type of financial incentives the Army would normally provide a service member with dependents.
Honestly (and this is just my opinion) as I stated above you most likely will hardly see your soldier, so I would not rush to hurry and get married since he is already set to go to AIT , I don't see his orders being amended for you to go with him. If you wish to get married by all means do so but always be prepared for whatever the Army throws your way and definitely be prepared to possibly not be near him. You can tell your spouse that he can check into getting his orders amended but that nothing is guaranteed.
Once you do get married , he can take the marriage license and social security cards to the Deers Office and have you placed on Page Two. This will get you entered into the system to receive Medical Benefits and basically shows the Army you exist. Your spouse could then take you to get your military ID which would enable you to use the commissary ,PX and go to the Dr.
My advice would be to wait for him finish to AIT since he won't have much time to do anything outside of training. Once he graduates AIT he will report to his first duty station where he will have alittle more freedom and time to take care of the necessary paperwork and make arrangements to enable your family to be together.
Marrying into the military is definitely exciting and scary at the time, but with proper planning and researching you will be absolutely fine.
I hope I have given you some better insight on what he will need to do and if you need anymore information feel free to email me at Krystel@armywife101.com