Those looking for a military campground and/or a RV park can find many locations throughout the United States that welcome armed forces personnel – including active, retired and reservists – as well as accommodate their families, the National Guard and DoD civilians.
Anyone can easily find state-by-state listings of military campgrounds nearest them on the Internet. However, the difficult part may be to find those campgrounds that are low-cost, offer free services, or are considered by fellow military service members to be ideal places.
While every military member knows that they are required to have the funds available to move their household on a moment’s notice, a recent study by the DOD stated that early 10% of enlisted members do not have enough money in savings to cover their expenses if they were to miss the next pay check, much less the costs of a move across the country.
While the Service has improved the amount that they reimburse to their personnel for moves, it can often take months for the money to be deposited into a service member’s account. In the meantime, many people often find that they have to pay for deposits, hotel rooms, utility set-up fees, and even that first expensive trip to the grocery out of their own pocket while they wait for the money to come through. Fortunately, there are some ways to save for a PCS that can line up with your overall budgeting goals.
When your PCS orders come in, the first thing many military think about is where they are going to live. This means that one of the first questions that has to be answered is whether to buy a home or rent. The standard advice given to civilians is to decide if you’re going to live in an area for more than five years, and if so, buy a house. Unfortunately, no one in the military gets to decide or even knows if they’ll live in an area for that long.
Nobody has a tougher time getting and staying employed than military spouses. Military dependents have to move every couple of years. This presents them with a unique set of challenges to deal with in the ever changing and unpredictable job market. Constant moving and re-certification makes staying employable a difficult chore. By utilizing the five tips listed below, spouses will have a much easier time staying employable in new locations.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has a GI Bill program that benefits those that serve in the U.S. armed services. It is certainly one of the reasons why people join the Armed Forces in the first place, other than wanting to serve one’s country or gain a life-changing experience.
Military life is definitely rewarding and educational while serving, but when one retires or separates from the military, the VA educational and training benefits are what many look forward to have available to help pay for college and achieve the education needed for life after leaving the military. This is where VA comes in and works for military personnel: to provide post-military benefits that can be applied to help one be marketable in the future.
Each of the five armed service branches (Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps and Navy) have a Relocation Assistance Program, created by Public Law 101-189 (1988) and implemented by DoD Instruction 1338.19, to provide service members, reservists and military families (as well as DoD civilian employees) before departure relocation information (such as booklets, guides, packets or tri-folds) referral services (or answers to questions that may arise) and counseling (on a wide array of topics) for a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) move.
Active Duty and their dependents are likely to find a relocation assistance program on the military installation providing valuable information on future duty assignments (maybe on household goods and auto shipments, on-base and off-base housing availability, education and employment opportunities, child care or school info) that often reduce or eliminate stress from a move to a new duty assignment. Relocation counseling is available mainly for outbound personnel, but in-processing personnel can benefit from the program as well.
Recruits should eat their last bonbon 32 days before leaving for basic training. The 31 days prior to basic training should be all about preparation. Although it may not sound like fun, it can make a world of difference during a march in the miserable heat of Fort Sill, Oklahoma in the summer time. Recruits that are out of shape have a miserable time at basic training. Recruits that have put even a small amount of time into preparing their bodies will have a much easier time.
Fort Shafter has been in active use since 1907. Hawaii was not even a state until August 1959! Here’s a look at some old black and white photos of Ft. Shafter compared to the modern day as part of our ongoing Then and Now photo series where we take a walk down memory lane.
There are many companies that show their support of the military by providing military customers with discounts. Most require that the soldier be active duty and have a valid military I.D., many extend these discounts to active duty military spouses as well.
Below is a list of recognizable companies that provide military discounts. If you don’t see a company on the list, ask them. You may be surprised to find out that they do offer discounts. Also, many companies on this list extend the same discounts to Veterans.
The excitement of your deployed spouse’s return goes without saying. The welcome home celebration planned by the wives’ club that you have probably been a participant in may actually act as a buffer to help ease into your reunion. Let’s talk about what you may expect over the next few months after they return.
The military paycheck is commonly referred to as the LES, Leave Earning Statement. The LES will tell you basic information, entitlements, deduction, allotments and summaries. All these are labeled by abbreviations which can be confusing if you do not know what they stand for. Also, the LES will only show everything on the last day of the month, not the mid-month pay which shows on the 15th.
The first place to look on the LES is the ID row area. It is on the top of the LES and reads left to right. Here your soldier’s vital information is listed and should be checked for accuracy. This will include his name, social security number, address, his years of service, rank and ETS (when his current enlistment will end). It is important to check rank and years of service against your records as this can greatly affect your pay rate.
Enlistment stories tend to vary between new soldiers at basic combat training. Basic trainees are always talking about things they wish their recruiters had told them. Some soldiers get really fantastic recruiters who take them to working military bases. They tell them all about different education and job opportunities. Then there are the recruiters who don’t offer any additional helpful information. Answers must be pried out of them with a crowbar. Ultimately, a potential recruit must be his or her own advocate. He or she can ask the tough questions and demand answers. Listed below are the 10 things recruiters don’t tell potential enlistees.
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Military members have been able to contribute to the TSP for years, but recently many of them are questioning if the accounts are really the best way to save for retirement. While these accounts are the same ones used by federal government employees (including members of Congress) to save for their retirement, they have been criticized for having high fees and being difficult to understand. On the other hand, the accounts have been praised for their variety of choices and their accessibility to everyone.
The TSP essentially functions as a 401(k) plan for government workers. While civilian employees get a 5% match to their contributions to these accounts, military members do not because they can qualify for a pension. Because there is no match, the advantages to a military member to use these accounts are the tax benefits, fee structure, and the investment choices. The real question is whether these attributes actually benefit a military member, or can he or she find better deals somewhere else?
Residents of Picerne Military Housing should have received notice that their housing company name will soon change. Starting in April and expecting to take a year to change over, the new company name will be Corvias Military Housing.
Picerne is a division of the Corvias Group. In July of 2012, Corvias moved to re-brand Picerne. During this time, Corvias started a student housing division called Corvias Campus Living. By changing the name of Picerne, Corvias can strengthen their brand name and recognizable housing quality.
Once you’ve decided to save money in a Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), the first question you probably asked yourself was how much to save. While the answer is different for everyone, the following guidelines are a good place to start.
The purpose of saving in a TSP is to put aside money to pay for your retirement. The standard advice for people who have never saved for retirement is to start saving a percentage of your salary that is equal to your age minus ten percent. For example, a person who is 25 should save about 15% of their salary.
No one would willingly provide the enemy with information that could harm our soldiers, however, social media users could unknowingly be doing this every day. Operation security, or OPSEC, is essential to keeping our service members safe. OPSEC is small pieces of information that when made public can paint a bigger picture about a mission, unit, or other essential area of the military. Mission security is a responsibility shared by everyone including spouses and families.
Social networking is popular among military families and helpful for keeping in contact with family and friends all around the globe. Service members and their families post updates on Twitter, Facebook, and Flickr, that when placed with other information can provide the enemy with sensitive knowledge. The increasing use of social media is a growing concern for military officials tasked with unit security. One status update about an impending deployment from a soldier in Fort Hood, Texas, has the potential to be viewed around the globe, and can unintentionally put an entire unit at risk.
Living in on-post housing has many advantages. Quite often it can be cheaper as rent and all utilities are included. Amenities and on call maintenance makes living easy and everything you need on post is close by. Housing was once run by the military, today most bases have private housing companies. These companies will be the one to inspect your house when you move out. By planning your move out, you can avoid costly fees that may occur.
You will need to notify the housing your intent to move out. The sooner, the better. The housing office will set a date for pre-inspection and final inspection. These dates will help you determine when you want to schedule movers and help you plan the cleaning of your home to make it inspection ready.
Pre-inspection is pretty simple. A representative of the company will walk through your home and note damages and areas you need to clean. They will provide you with a list of things they will expect in the final inspection as well. While the military has a few different private housing companies, most all follow the same guidelines.