First deployment

First deployment

Squared Away Sailor's avatarSquared Away SailorOccasional Visitor

I am going on my first deployment here soon does any one have tips for me on what to do?

Re: First deployment

AV1970's avatarAV1970Frequent Visitor

Both Congratulations and Prayers go out to you during this stressful time in history and YOUR LIFE!
Ok let's get down to somethings that worked for me during my 3 deployments. ......
First I made a folder that I could take with me of ALL the debts I had current, pending and reoccurring. Make sure you make note in your folder what all the payoff balances are , account numbers , addresses and other pertinent information.
Before leaving I took the time to sit down and create online bills on the USAA website of everything that I pay myself monthly and I also sat down at each payee's website to investigate/ set up automatic payments so I wouldn't have to worry about missed payments.

What I love about USAA you can request and setup new checking, savings and IRA accounts by digital online signatures. I setup a second checking account for myself and labeled one for bills only and the other for miscellaneous. This system I continue to use today; I had had my military direct deposit split into these two accounts. For the bills only account I made certain all my bill payments came from this account. In my folder I double checked to make sure all my bill pay addresses, account numbers and phone numbers were updated so no mishaps happened when payments posted from my account. I also insured that my online automatic billing systems had my current USAA banking information (either checking or debit card info) on file so none of my payments would be missed during my deployments. This should basically run it's self without having to be managed more than monthly (once you get a feel of what does or doesn't work for you). The reason to have the folder with you during your deployment is just in case you have to use snail mail to make payments or call the agency on a discrepancy on either your behalf or theirs. Once you feel confident you may want to pay accounts completely off so when you return you've done a few things for yourself paid debts off, increased your credit rating and freed yourself from DEBT!
Now the miscellaneous account is
play money for buying gifts for family (every few months I sent flowers home to my mother, step mother and grandmother for being supportive), buying personal hygiene items while abroad at the PX/BX, cleaning supplies for my bunk area/room, an occasional montly snack/treat from AAFES food court, school supplies for my college courses and occasional cash withdrawals. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don't use your debt card in any area not managed by the PX/BX! Your PII (personal identification information) will be at risk along with your hard earned money. This miscellaneous account needs to be monitored closely if and when you get to use the internet. Don't spend your valuable work time worrying about your money! Deployments are stressful enough! USAA is great at
monitoring our accounts and stopping fraudulate activity, that's why I still rely on USAA for their service to the military. It's a beautiful relationship we have with USAA, you'll see!
Best Wishes and Stay Safe!
A. Venning
SSG, USA
Retired Disabled Veteran

Re: First deployment

AV1970's avatarAV1970Frequent Visitor

Also sit down with USAA to talk about your worries and concerns about billing, payments and account pay offs. A good way not to squander your money is to use the DFAS savings plan that accumulates interest while you are
deployed. Another idea is to not let family members or friends manage your money without a specific power of attorney. I've had quite a few soldiers who's family put their soldier in financial binds bc of mismanagement of funds either intentionally or unintentionally. Please stay safe and teach other sailors what you're learning during your financial experience with USAA.

Re: First deployment

WendyPolingUSAA's avatarWendyPolingUSAACommunity Manager

Great advice from the previous poster. I would add, your command will offer a pre-deployment night to address communication, important dates, resources, etc. Those are mandatory for you, and optional for your loved ones. I would suggest inviting your spouse/significate other if you have one. This will allow them to connect with others in your command and ask questions. If anyone is helping with your finances on the homefront (mom, girlfriend, friend), I would also suggest opening a separate account and only deposit the amount to cover your bills. I've heard too many stories of over spending and the Sailor comes home to zero money saved. If your spouse is a spender, I'd also suggest two accounts and a savings account you can control. You'll both be happier when you return and can have that long weekend or mini vacation celebrating your homecoming. Retail therapy can put a dent in homecoming plans for sure! At our last command 70% of the Sailors were on their first deployment, so know that you are not alone! Since I'm a spouse and not a Sailor, my advice is from that perspective. I invite those experienced Sailors reading this to comment with their advice! Best of luck, you'll do great!

Re: First deployment

nikijones1117's avatarnikijones1117New Member

If you are married, please get your significant other a POA (Power of Attorney).  I cannot tell you how much this will help!  If you are not married a  POA is even more vital as it will allow someone you trust to act on your behalf.  Make sure it is someone you trust but it can be invaluable!

Re: First deployment

HomefrontHugsPrez's avatarHomefrontHugsPrezNew Member

Come sign up for adoption with us at Homefront Hugs -
Just email me at Adoptions@HomefrontHugs.org
You are not alone and we want to thank you !

Re: First deployment

Nelly_V's avatarNelly_VRegular Visitor

Every single reply you received from the other Community Members is spot on. I wish I had this kind of advice when I did my first deployment. Too long ago to mention :-)
Good Luck, Be Safe and Enjoy the Experience..you wil reflect on it many times in the future