Deployment Guides and Resources

deployed soldiers heading towards jet

For deploying servicemembers and families, there are resources available to help you during your transitions -- here's a rundown of help programs by service.


Army Community and Family Support Center. The Army Community & Family Support Center serves as the headquarters for Army MWR (Morale, Welfare & Recreation).

Army Family Action Plan. The AFAP program seeks input regarding critical issues that affect the well being of soldiers, Army families, retirees, and DA civilians. All components are included–active duty, Army National Guard, and Army Reserves. AFAP issues are solicited directly from Army constituents through annual conferences convened at installations, major Army commands, and HQDA. The results from AFAP conferences are reported to leaders who ensure the issues are worked toward resolution.

The Army's Well Being Division. The Army's Well Being Division provides a central source of compiled human dimension data (both objective and subjective) with the commensurate analytical capability to inform Human Capital Strategy, policy and program decisions and to provide assessments of issues related to the well-being of the force. AWBD is a key measurement tool for senior Army leadership, providing the capability to use metric analyses and assessments to inform Strategy, policy, Core Enterprise Activities, Task Force operations and Army Staff Action Plans

Army Family Team Building. Army Family Team Building is a volunteer-led organization which provides training and knowledge to spouses and family members to support the total Army effort. AFTB's mission is to educate and train all of America's Army in knowledge, skills, and behaviors designed to prepare our Army families to move successfully into the future.


LIFELines. The LIFELines Service Network provides online resources in areas such as deployment readiness, family support, transition assistance and MWR.

Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Headquarters. The Navy MWR administers a varied program of recreation, social and community support activities on U.S. Navy facilities worldwide. Their mission is to provide quality support and recreational services that contribute to the retention, readiness and mental, physical, and emotional well-being of sailors and their families.

Navy Family Ombudsman Program. This site is dedicated to support the volunteers who comprise the Naval professional Ombudsman team. This includes Ombudsmen, Ombudsman Assembly members and Naval Services Family Line staff.

Navy Services FamilyLine. Naval Services FamilyLine is a volunteer, non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for every sea service family. This is achieved by answering questions from spouses about the military lifestyle, referring spouses to organizations which may be able to assist them, publishing and distributing free booklets and brochures which contain very helpful information, and developing successful educational programs for the sea service spouse.

Family Support and Relocation. Provides a comprehensive resource for sailors and their families enabling them to access information about the Navy communities in which they reside or to which they may be relocating

Air Force

Air Force Crossroads. Crossroads is the official community website of the U.S. Airforce. This site provides information on numerous topics including Air Force installations, family separation and readiness, medical and dental, and relocation.

Air Force Services. Air Force Services exists to provide combat support to commanders directly in support of the Air Force mission. They also provide community service programs that enhance the quality of life for Air Force members and their families. These programs indirectly support the mission by improving morale, productivity, and retention. They offer a full range of military and community support programs at most major Air Force installations.

Marine Corps

Marine Corps Family Readiness Conference. Recognizing the family as one of the "pillars of readiness," the U.S. Marine Corps held a Family Readiness Conference at Marine Corps Base Quantico July 11-13 in Virginia. Family members, Marine Corps leadership and support organizations from all over the world came together to discuss the challenges of today's military lifestyle. The conference highlighted the unique programs offered to Marines and their families, as well as provided a forum for people to share ideas and suggestions for improving those programs. The initiatives and changes discussed will be brought forward to the Commandant and Marine Corps Community Services leadership for consideration and implementation.

Marine Corps Community Services. MCCS exists to serve Marines and their families wherever they are stationed. MCCS programs and services provide for basic life needs, such as food and clothing; social and recreational needs; and even prevention and intervention programs to combat societal ills that inhibit positive development and growth.

Marine Corps Family Team Building. This service provides educational resources, services and a roadmap to the Marine Corps lifestyle to foster the personal growth and enhance the readiness of Marine Corps families.

Marine Corps Locator.

Coast Guard

Coast Guard Ombudsman. The Coast Guard Ombudsman is a Coast Guard spouse who serves as a member of the Command, and functions as a liaison between families and the Commanding Officer.

National Guard

Army National Guard Family Readiness Program. The mission of this program is to: help bond Guard families together and promote a sense of comradeship; relay vital information from the Director and the Family Readiness Program in order to lessen the feeling of isolation and convey the Director's concerns for the well being of Guard families; aid Guard families in better understanding the mission of the ARNG; keep Guard families informed about activities sponsored by the Director and /or the Family Readiness Program; and provide an avenue for Guard families to share some of the common rewards, or tensions and frustrations of military life.

National Guard Bureau Family Support. In the aftermath of the Cold War, members of the Guard and Reserve are being called to active duty to an unprecedented extent. In recent years we have repeatedly called reservists to duty involuntarily for missions in Bosnia, Kosovo and Southwest Asia. Contingency operations like these have placed enormous strains on our service members and their families. This site provides information on the steps the NGB is taking to enhance family support and readiness.

The National Guard Family Program Community. The National Guard Family Program helps military personnel and their families prepare for deployment. This site offers useful information on topics such as education, employment, benefits, financial and legal issues.


Guide to Reserve Family Member Benefits. This guide provides an overview of military benefits and how to access them. It identifies eligibility requirements associated with some entitlements and provides guidance for obtaining assistance on specific questions and problems.

Army Reserve Family Program. This site provides information on family program support offices, reserve family member benefits, family readiness handbooks, and reserve family news.

Navy Reserve Ombudsman Online. The Reserve Ombudsman provide a volunteer force who is able to offer support and guidance to families.

National Guard & Reserve Family Readiness Strategic Plan. Prepared by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs and the Office of Family Policy (within the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Personnel Support, Families and Education) this plan seeks to ensure that reservists and their families are prepared to cope with the strains associated with long or repeated deployments and are adequately served by military family care systems, networks and organizations.

Air Force Reserve Family Readiness. Families of deployed reservists will be assisted and supported by the Family Readiness office. The types of deployment assistance services the family can expect include: family support groups, reunion information, and volunteer opportunities.

Marine Corps Reserve Community Services. Marine Corps Community Services (MCCS) is the byproduct of merging the Corps old Morale, Welfare, and Recreation and Human Resources programs and tailoring them to better meet today's needs in personal and family readiness. MCCS is designed around five essential, required capabilities: Marine Corps Family Team Building, Personal Services, Semper Fit, Business Operations, and General Support. Marine Forces Reserve, due to the Forces unique challenges, will focus on the first three.

U.S. Coast Guard Reserve. This page has been designed to aid the Coast Guard Reservist, their families, and employers to better understand the benefits and nature of reserve service.

Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs. This site is dedicated to today's Reserve force. It provides information about the policies, programs, and initiatives that OSD/Reserve Affairs manages for the National Guard and Reserve Components of the United States Armed Forces. This includes family support/readiness issues.

All Services

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy. This office is directly responsible for programs and policies which establish and support community quality of life programs on military installations for service members and their families worldwide. This office also serves as the focal point for coordination of the broad range of Quality of Life issues within the Department of Defense.

Military Assistance Program. MAP is sponsored by the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Military Community and Family Policy. This site offers information and tools for military members and their families in family support areas such as relocation, employment, and financial management. The site also provides a database to locate your nearest family support center.

Military Community Programs. Family support is an integral part of the Department’s strategy to maintain a ready force. Studies show family satisfaction with military life is a major determiner of retention. Often, family support is the lifeline for families in an unstable environment during deployments, frequent moves, and long work hours. This site provides information on DoD’s programs for family support.

Military Family Research Institute. The primary mission of the Military Family Institute is to conduct scientifically sound research focusing on military families. This research will enable the Department of Defense to better understand, serve, and enhance the lives of military families, and thus contribute to the strength of the Nation by increasing readiness and retention in the Armed Forces.

Military Teens on the Move. This site features a chat room, bulletin board, and other resources and information for military teens around the world to assist them with relocating and other teen issues.

National Military Family Association. The mission of NMFA is to serve the families of the seven uniformed services through education, information, and advocacy. The Association has been and is dedicated to identifying and resolving issues affecting families of the Uniformed Services through research, education, legislation, and public information. Site discusses all the benefits of military service.

Military One Source. A one-stop shop for information on all Service.


Defense Finance and Accounting Service. DFAS provides information on military entitlements, as well as general information on pay rates, per diem, taxes, etc.

DoD Special Report – It’s Your Move. This special report provides information on service member entitlements and responsibilities concerning shipment of household goods, unaccompanied baggage, boats, pets, POV's, etc.

Operation Joint Guard. In addition to normal pay and allowances Active duty and Reservists called to active duty in support of Operation Joint Guard in Bosnia-Herzegovina have access to several entitlements.

Locator Services

Navy Directory Service. This service allows you to search for Navy personnel. While the Navy cannot divulge home addresses, they will provide command information.

Marine Corps Locator. To locate active duty Marines contact the Marine Corps World Wide Locator, Quantico, Virginia.

American Red Cross. If you need to contact a military member for emergency purposes, please call your local Red Cross chapter. You may find your local Red Cross chapter telephone number by visiting the Red Cross web site, clicking on "Your local Red Cross" and entering your zip code.

Legal Resources

Navy Legal Assistance. The Navy Legal Assistance Office provides legal assistance services to Active Duty members of the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force and U.S. Coast Guard, and their dependents. Assistance is provided to retirees as resources permit. Among the services provided are adoption, consumer issues, landlord-tenant issues, military rights and benefits, domestic relations and powers of attorney.

Marine Corps Staff Judge Advocate. The Staff Judge Advocate's Web site provides the Marine Corps with a central source for legal information on immigration, taxes, consumer and economic matters, estate planning, family and domestic matters, real estate, and military rights and benefits. Legal assistance is available in several locations, including Albany, Barstow, Cherry Point, Hawaii, Miramar, Quantico, and Yuma, among others.

U.S. Coast Guard Legal Assistance. The U.S. Coast Guard Legal Assistance Web site has information on consumer and contract matters, creditor and debtor relations, family law, adoption, real estate, taxes, wills and estate planning and the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act. The site's "Find a Lawyer" service also provides referrals by Coast Guard district to legal assistance attorneys.

Department of Justice Freedom of Information Act Office. The Department of Justice Freedom of Information Act Office (FOIA) provides an overview as well as an electronic version of the Privacy Act of 1974. There are also instructions for making a FOIA request, a reading room, reference guide and principal FOIA contacts at federal agencies.

Legal Information Institute. This Cornell Law School Web site provides information on legal topics ranging from commercial transactions to accident and injury compensation to courts and civil procedure. It also has links to court opinions and legal bulletins as well as a directory of lawyers and organizations.

International Law. The United Nation's Web site on international law is a useful source of information on treaties, law of the sea, International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court. The information on this Web site is offered in several languages.


Military Child Education Coalition. The Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC) is a non-profit organization based in Texas. MCEC serves military families, military bases and posts of all services, and the supporting school districts of these bases and posts, working to ease the transitional issues military children face when moving from school to school. The MCEC recently produced, for the U.S. Army, the U.S. Army Secondary Education Transition Study, which deals with the extra challenges that face high school students who have a parent in the military. Information on the MCEC Web site is helpful to children, parents, educators, and military services.

Afghanistan Deployment Information for Health Care Providers

Redeployment Health Screening - A one-page primer for health care providers who see Service members at the time of their redeployment from Operation Enduring Freedom. An introduction to the health screening process.

Deployment Related Illnesses - A two-page primer for health care providers who see Service members and veterans at other times after their redeployment from Operation Enduring Freedom. Contains general post-deployment health information and a table of alerting symptoms and signs of illnesses that may be related to this deployment.

Iraq Deployment Information for Health Care Providers

Redeployment Health Screening - A one-page primer for health care providers who see Service members at the time of their redeployment from Operation Iraqi Freedom. An introduction to the health screening process.

Deployment Related Illnesses - A two-page primer for health care providers who see Service members and veterans at other times after their redeployment from Operation Iraqi Freedom. Contains general post-deployment health information and a table of alerting symptoms and signs of illnesses that may be related to this deployment.

Uniformed Services University "Courage to Care" Program

The Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland "Courage to Care" program is aimed at helping combatants reintegrate back into their families after surviving the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan. Courage to Care consists of ready-to-use fact sheets written for physician providers, as well as servicemen and women, on topics about military life and health.

A full range of support services is currently available to support service members and their families.

These services include self-help materials, information and referral services, military life skills education, and counseling for individuals, couples and families. Services are available online 24/7, and in community settings during scheduled business hours. Check out this fact sheet from the Deployment Health and Family Readiness Library.

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