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Deployment Information for Our Families


Deployment refers to activities required to move military personnel and materials from a home installation to a specified destination. For servicemembers and families, it has come to mean much more: the preparations and personal needs that need to be taken care of at home before, during and after deployment.

For Navy Reserve members, including those filling Individual Augmentee (IA) billets, deployment follows these cycles:
  1. Pre-Deployment
  2. Deployment
  3. Post-Deployment (Re-deployment)
  4. Reintegration
For more information and resources while a family member is deployed, check out the following links:
Contacting the American Red Cross 
The American Red Cross provides information and assistance to veterans and their families in crisis situations.

1. Pre-deployment phase

When not deployed, servicemembers and their units undergo traditional training to prepare for the conduct of military duties. During this phase, servicemembers go through normal training and medical evaluations that maintain their personal and unit readiness level. From the family point of view, this phase is "normal life," as the servicemember is at home and going to work on a regular basis. Near the end of this phase, the unit will be alerted for possible deployment and will receive orders to mobilize. Upon receiving a mobilization alert, preparation for deployment begins, including required briefings, additional training, medical and dental evaluations, and possibly counseling to ensure that service members are ready and able to be deployed. The pre-deployment phase ends when service members or their units physically leave the home installation for the theater of operations.

2. Deployment Phase
The deployment phase of the cycle begins with the physical movement of individuals and unites from their home installation to the designated theater of operations.  This phase of the deployment cycle can be a stressful time for service members and their families as they face the realities of a deployment and what that means for them.  The remainder of the deployment phase primarily involves the performance of military duties in support of the mission either in the theater of operation (overseas) or within the United States.  Near the end of the deployment phase, the unit will begin preparations for its return to the home installation, culminating with the unit's redeployment home.

3. Post-deployment phase (referred to as re-deployment)

Servicemembers leave their deployment location and prepare to "reintegrate" into normal life. The  Navy offers Warrior Transition Programs (WTP), Returning Warrior Workshops (RWW), training, medical and mental health evaluations, as well as counseling to assist with reintegration into normal life. In the post-deployment phase, active duty service members prepare to return to their families and jobs. 

4.  Reintegration phase

This phase includes reintegration into family life and the community, as well as reintegration into regular military duties.  Units may require service members to complete follow-on briefings, training, counseling, and medical evaluations during this phase.  Service members and their families may experience some stress during this phase, as everyone readjusts to life together.  Many support services are available for service members and their families to make this readjustment easier, either through the branches of Service or through the community.


Downloadable Checklists For Deployment

NFCU Military Deployment Checklist

Dependent ID Cards:

DD Form 1172 (Application for Uniformed Services Identification and Privilege Card), is used to apply for issue or reissue of ID cards (dependents use DD Form 1173). DD Form 1172 is automated and generated through DEERS. Information must be verified from the sponsor?s personnel records or from appropriate documentation as applicable, such as marriage certificates, birth certificates, certification of student status, adoption papers, or medical statements. The services have agreed to assist each other in issuing ID cards to eligible dependents upon presentation of appropriate documentation.

DD Form 1173 generally expires four years from date of issue or expiration of a sponsor's obligated service.

ID cards must be surrendered when they are replaced or expired or upon demand of a commissioned or noncommissioned officer or security or military police acting in the performance of duty or when the cardholder becomes ineligible. Eligible dependents are generally defined as:

  • Lawful spouse
  • Unremarried surviving spouse
  • Unmarried children (including adopted or stepchildren) who are:
    • Under 21 years of age.
    • Over 21 but incapable of self-support (Substantiating documentation is required).
    • Over 21 but under 23 who are attending an approved learning institution as a full time student (Documentation is required).
  • Parent or parent-in-law who is dependent for over one-half of his/her support on member. For medical care privileges, parent or parent-in-law must also reside in dwelling place provided or maintained by the member. Consult ID card issuing activity of sponsor?s service for clarification or assistance in obtaining determination of eligibility.
  • Wards (as defined in appropriate instructions).
  • Unremarried former spouse (One whose final decree of divorce is on or after February 1, 1983, and has been married to a military sponsor for a minimum of 20 years during which time the military member must have served 20 years of creditable service for retirement purposes).


A remarried widow whose second marriage ends in divorce or death may receive commissary, theater, and exchange benefits but not medical benefits.

Additional Resources
myPay DFAS

IRS Tax Guide for Armed Forces

Filing Taxes When a Servicemember is Deployed

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.