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Below are some information to help you and your family with deployment.
Separation is a trial for most relationships, and while there is no recipe to guarantee a successful reunion and return to 'normal life' after the deployment, there are some basic steps IA sailors and their loved ones can take to reduce the stress of an IA assignment. The most basic step to take revolves around having a communications plan and then executing that plan. In other words, set expectation with a plan and then live up to those expectations with your actions. These are not only successful factors for a healthy relationship, but they are also fundamental attributes for leaders who would earn the trust of other Sailors.
While a communication plan should be the mainstay of your strategy for coping with separation, here are some additional resources/guides:
Managing Your Emotions When Your Spouse is Deployed
Coping With Separation -- The Emotional Cycle of Deployment; A Service Member and Family Handbook. While available through this link from the publisher for a fee, this handbook is available for free from many Fleet & Family Support Centers and Deployment Readiness Training events.
A Guide for Helping Children & Youth Cope with Separation
STAYING IN TOUCH
There are a number of ways to share thoughts, feelings and daily happenings with your loved ones. Here is a brief list, along with some practical tips for their use. In all communication, remember not to disclose sensitive information, resist 'dumping' or venting frustrations and avoid sarcasm, gossip or rumors.
Can be read by others, so be sure you only include information or attachments that you and your spouse would be comfortable letting other people see.
Keep communications easy to read. for example, break long passages up into separate paragraphs.
Review your email before sending. Delete anything you might regret later.
Avoid problems by double checking the mailing address on the box, including it on a slip of paper in the box, using sturdy boxes and always packing batteries separate from the devices they power so that nothing is accidentally activated during shipment.
Personal hygiene and related items (shaving cream, soap, toothpaste, socks, etc)
Entertainment items (books, DVDs, playing cards, etc)
Writing material (stamps, paper, pens, envelopes, etc)
Non-perishable food items (pretzels, popcorn, beef jerky, etc)
Do not send:
Perishable food (including homemade baked goods)
Alcohol or tobacco
Heat sensitive items
Most meaningful way to communicate as they can be carried by the recipient and read at any time
Letters may take a long time to arrive
Every letter does not have to be long
Reread letter before sending to make sure you actually answered any question your spouse sent you
Since multiple letters may arrive at the same time or out of order number and date each letter
Make a list of topics to discuss ahead of time; start with the most important topics first in case the call gets cut short
The command IA coordinator (CIAC) is the primary point-of-contact for helping IA Sailors and their families before, during and after deployment. CIACs are assigned to IA Sailors and their families during pre-deployment and no sailor should deploy without ensuring that their family knows how to get in touch with the CIAC, who is tasked to contact both the Sailor and the family once every month for the length of the deployment and the first nine months after Return, Reunion and Reintergration (R3). If you for some reason do not have the contact information for your CIAC, you can get it by contacting U.S. Fleet Forces Command at 757-836-2327.
Contact your IDSS
The Navy's Fleet and Family Support Program (FFSP) has approximately 200 local and regional staff worldwide who provide a wide variety of services for Individual Augmentees (IA) and their family members before, during and after an IA assignment. Services included:
Personal Finance Management
Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP)
New Parent Support
Child Abuse/Domestic Violence
Sexual Assault Prevention and Response
Deployment Support for Sailors and their families
Personal and Family Wellness Education and Counseling
Crisis Intervention and Response
Emergency Preparedness and Response
Military and Personal Career Development
Expeditionary Combat Readiness Center (ECRC)
The ECRC works exclusively with Navy IAs during their deployment. They have a 24-hour hotline specifically for families to call for any emergencies that might come up during the deployment.
ECRC 24-hr Toll Free Family Hotline at 877-364-4302 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
NAVADMINs (Navy Administrative Messages) are official U.S. Navy direction to the fleet providing establishment of and guidance for services to IA Sailors and their families
FAMILYGRAM 01-10 (NAVADMIN 072/10) - Medical Benefits
FAMILYGRAM 02-10 (NAVADMIN 120/10) - Deployment Support for Families
FAMILYGRAM 03-10 (NAVADMIN 146/10) - Child and Youth Programs
FAMILYGRAM 04-10 (NAVADMIN 195/10) - Spouse support and Relocation assistance for Families
FAMILYGRAM 05-10 (NAVADMIN 220/10) - Emergency Preparedness for Families
FAMILYGRAM 06-10 (NAVADMIN 289/10) - Command Sponsor Program and Spouse Employment
FAMILYGRAM 07-10 (NAVADMIN 344/10) - School Liaison Officer Programs
FAMILYGRAM 08-10 (NAVADMIN 385/10) - Warrior Care and Family Programs
FAMILYGRAM 09-10 (NAVADMIN 422/10) - Chaplaincy Services and Life Work Balance
FAMILYGRAM 01-11 (NAVADMIN 045/11) - Family Finances
FAMILYGRAM 02-11 (NAVADMIN 102/11) - Navy Children and Youth
FAMILYGRAM 03-11 (NAVADMIN 174/11) - Relocation Assistance
The Comprehensive Deployment Survival Webinar
"Plan My Deployment: Deployment" provides comprehensive checklists and resources for IA sailors and their families
Military Support Organizations
Military Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255, press 1. the Military Crisis Line (MCL) is a toll-free, confidential resource that connects service members in crisis and their loved ones with qualified, caring responders. Includes suicide prevention counseling.
Military One Source: 1-800-342-9647 can assist in connecting IA Sailors or their dependents to appropriate services.
Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society: A nonprofit, charitable organization that provides financial, educational, and other assistance to Sailors, family members and survivors. Counseling, loans, grants, various services, and referrals to other community resources are available.
Operation: Military Child Care (OMCC) is the Child Care Aware of America program designed to meet the temporary child care needs of activated or deployed service members though financial aid and child care search assistance.
America Red Cross: sends communications on behalf of family members who are facing emergencies or other important events to members of the U.S. Armed Forces serving all over the world. These communications are delivered around-the-clock, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
United through Reading: Military program helps ease the stress of separation for military families by having deployed parents read children's books aloud via DVD for their children to watch at home
FOCUS (Families OverComing Under Stress) provides resiliency training to military children and families. It teaches practical skills to meet the challenges of deployment and reintegration, to communicate and solve problems effectively, and to successfully set goals together and create a shared family story.
Returning Warriors Workshops are sponsored by the US Navy to help returning IA Sailors reintegrate successfully with their families.
Veteran Centers delivers mobile workshops and phone counseling services to assist with family and career transition for returning IA Sailors.
Confidential Non-Medical Counseling is available through both Military One Source and the Military and Family Life Counselor Program. Each person seeking counseling may receive up to 12 sessions per issue at no cost.
Military Pathways provides free, anonymous behavioral health and alcoholic self-assessments for service members and their families in all branches including the National Guard and Reserve. Military Pathways is available online, over the phone, and at special events held at installations world wide.
The Armed Services Young Men's Christian Association (ASYMCA) works with the Department of Defense (DoD) to provide a number of programs and services, including home visit counseling and crisis counseling.
Operation Purple: The National Military Association's Operation Purple camps are a time for having gun, making friends and reminding military kids that they are the nations youngest heroes
Navy Wounded Warrior-Safe Harbor: Navy's lead organization for coordinating the non-medical care of wounded, ill, and injured Sailors and their families. Provides a lifetime of individually-tailored assistance designed to optimize the success of recovery, rehabilitation and reintegration.
Daddy Dolls creates dolls, pillowcases and other items based on photo-print that are ideal for children or the IA Sailor.
Operation Sweet Dreams provides photo printed pillowcases as a free service.
The Veteran Career Transition Program is a free career transition service for post 9/11 vets and spouses, operated out of Syracuse University.
Several Navy initiatives exist to help Sailors translate their military experience into civilian academic or industry equivalent credentials, including NAVY COOL, USMAP, and SMART.
Several government supported initiatives also exist to help veterans transition to the civilian workforce including:
Feds Hire Vets
Hire Heroes USA
My Next Move
Troops to Teachers
Wounded Warriors to Work
National Resource Directory
100,000 Jobs Mission
There are a large number of networking, mentoring and job-search-oriented sites designed to help vets, including the Veteran Mentor Network on LinkedIn (including free premium membership for veterans), ACP AdvisorNet, eMentor, Mentoring Plus, Workforce Opportunity Services, Vets in Tech, Vets in Medicine, The Mission Continues, Career One Stop, US Vets, Warrior 2 Cyber Warrior, Helmets to Hardhats, Military Transition Job Seeker Guide and many others.
Space-A Travel for Family of IA Sailors
Space-A (Space Available) travel is a benefit of military service. Pet Air Mobility Command (AMC) instruction, unaccompanied dependents of deployed military members (including RC Sailors) can travel as Cat IV (if sponsor is deployed 120-364 days).
In addition to DOD ID cards, dependents will also need to present a memo signed by the IA Sailors Parent Command verifying their status as depents of a deployed member. For RC Sailors, the parent command can be the NOSC.
For more information visit https://www.amc.af.mil/Home/AMC-Travel-Site/AMC-Official-Travel-page/
Tips & Best Practices
Tips for couples and families during Rest and Recuperation (R&R) Leave.