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Just Married - What Next?


Most of us choose to aquire or add our new husband's last name to ours. For those of you that decide to do this check out this really cool kit to help you get it easily done:


The very first thing your Marine needs to do is take proof of your marriage to his personnel office . They will enter you into the DEERS system, which is what MUST happen for you to be able to obtain Tricare (Insurance through the Military) along with many other benefits.  This has to be #1 on the list, because to the military, if you're not in DEERS, you don't exist. To confirm enrollment, contact DEERS at 1-800-538-9552. You can also visit Manpower & Reserve Affairs to download DEERS forms and other information.


Next, she/he needs to take proof of your marriage to his pay office. His BAH (housing allowance), if you don't live in base housing, will go up slightly by changing to the "with dependent" when he gains a dependent (a wife or child). It only goes up once. So if he/she already has a child that he/she has custody over, then his pay will not change just because he got married.

Myth busting: You do NOT get more pay for more babies! Once the Marine has ONE dependent, beyond that, the number of dependents has NO impact on income. Trust me on that! We have 4 kids so if that were true, we'd be rich!  


Next, you need to go get your ID card. What you need to bring varies by base so call ahead of time. You will be required to have your Marine with you or if he is not available, due to being deployed or in a different state, he can fill out an 1172 form and send it to you to present to your local personnel office. Also anytime his rank or status (reserve or active duty) changes you will have to get a new ID Card.


You need to enroll in Tricare, which is the military medical insurance. Go to your local TriCare office to enroll in Tricare Prime.

You may choose to enroll in United Concordia dental insurance if you wish to have dental insurance. You do have to pay a monthly fee to enroll. It will be set up to have that fee taken directly out of your Marines monthly pay. The dental plan IMO is not that great, but it is better than nothing.

He may choose to update his SGLI (Serviceman's Group Life Insurance). Each service member is eligible for up to 400,000 in life insurance.  Your Marine may also choose to have you as the person who will be the recipient of his death benefit and outstanding pay. Most unmarried guys in boot camp fill out the forms so the parents are the beneficiaries, and never think to change it after marriage. So make sure to talk this over with him to see if he wants to leave it as is, or change it to you.

Consider spousal SGLI. Your Marine has the option of getting 100,000 life insurance for you and 10,000 for each child. Consider it carefully if you don't have other life insurance. It is very affordable, and they take the premium right out of his check.


Want to live in base housing?  You'll need a housing application, a Special Power of Attorney if your Marine isn't available during the application process, and a copy of your Marine’s orders assigning him to that duty station. You will be placed on a waiting list, which is prioritized by rank and how long you have been on the list. Your place on the waiting list may fluctuate from day to day.


Talk with your Marine about becoming a  joint holder on all bank accounts, with survivorship rights, having him authorizing you to deal with his creditors. Have an accurate idea of your finances, and how to handle them when he's gone. Prioritize what you're going to do with that extra deployment money BEFORE it starts coming in! You best bet is to make a budget and make sure both you and your Marine have a copy, and you BOTH follow it.

Sign up for a budgeting class through the Navy/Marine Corps Relief Society.  Living on a military income isn't easy, but it can be done.


Sign up for LINKS class, or if you're not near a base, take it online.

To take links online:  Go to www.marinenet.usmc.mil

Log In - must use his Social Security number as log in and his date of birth for password

Go To Course Catalog

Click on Marine Corps Training Courses

Click on L.I.N.K.S.

Enroll in the course

Launch the course


If you have never lived together your probably wondering what you will need. Here is a typical list of the most common starting out house supplies.


shower curtain

shower curtain rings


hand towels



toilet scrubber

toothbrush holder

soap holder

trash can



utensils for cooking


dish towels


pans & pots

dishes & cups

storage containers (i.e. Tupperware, gladware also works great and is a cheap alternative)

dish soap and scrubbers

trash can


coffee maker


General Cleaning Supplies





vacuum cleaner

all-surface cleaner (409 or save money and make your own using a spray bottle and buying the big generic version of Pine Sol and mix your own)

wood cleaner

cleaning rags

laundry baskets

garbage bags

Living Room


coffee table

end tables

Entertainment Center


book shelf

extra seating such as a loveseat or chairs if needed






alarm clock

sheets, blankets, pillows

Outside Maintenance



Other Stuff

Christmas tree

Other holiday decor

Grill & grill utensils

Area rugs

Fake Tree's & Plants




I highly recommend a collection of area rugs.  Your housing will either have no carpet like mine (think middle school cafeteria floor tile) or if it does, you have to keep it spotless for when you move out.  Area rugs will help you to personalize your home, while minimizing damage to housing's carpet.  

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