If you’re about to deploy, I can offer you some sound advice. I recently asked our website visitors “What is the best advice you would give to part-time Soldiers about to deploy overseas?” I’ve provided their responses below.
“If you’re about to deploy, here is the advice I would recommend:
1. Make sure your will, living will, power of attorney, and other important legal documents are updated. Give a copy to your spouse and a trusted friend or family member.
2. Consult with a financial adviser and come up with a debt reduction plan and investing plan while you are away. Consider getting a second life insurance policy. Make sure that you come home in a better financial situation than when you left.
3. Sit down and have a heart to heart conversation with your spouse and kids so they truly understand what is going on. If possible, connect them with other spouse’s and kids of other deploying Soldiers. At a minimum, make sure they are in touch with the Family Support Group.
4. Learn everything you can about your job. Find out what your duty position will be when you deploy and learn everything you can about it. Consume yourself in your job.”
5. While you are deployed, make sure you write home (mailed letter) a couple times a week. Try to send an email every day. Try to call via SKYPE every day. Remember that the little things do make the big difference. Technology makes this pretty easy to do.
I hope that helps. ” ~ MAJ (former) Charles Holmes, Creator of Part-Time-Commander.com
“Stay connected with your family and loved ones back home. Time may “freeze” for you, but not for them. Built memories, maintain your bonds and create new ones. When you get back, you will not have to go in “repair mode” but rather pick up from where you left in that last letter you mail. And yes, write letters instead of using e-mail, they are appreciated much more.”~ CPT Josue N.
“Immerse yourself in the position. Request to be brought in on orders for as long as possible prior to deployment in order to better prepare yourself and your unit.” ~ CPT Patrick D.
“Soldiers must complete required online training courses prior to ODT. Anti-Terrorism Level 1, OPSEC Level 1 and the online country studies are just a few of these courses that teach a soldier the fundamentals of security measures for traveling overseas. A Soldier should have his spouse involved as he completes these courses so that the spouse understands some of the basic security concerns while being deployed overseas. There are always predators that will prey upon someone when their military spouse are overseas. Cyber-Warfare has become one of the most immediate threats today. ” ~ JPO
5. Spend time with your precious ones! Now, I believe this is the most vital part of the pre-deployment phase. I have seen so many broken families due to a deployment. I believe in many cases, it is due to not spending quality times with close ones beforehand. Communicate with them, and let them know how much you love and care for them. Although I have never deployed, I have always communicated with my wife for a possible deployment, as long as I am serving in the National Guard.” ~2LT Israel K.
“I would tell them to have faith in their training and leadership. Soldiers have to realize that more often than not, the leadership wants to accomplish every mission possible while ensuring every soldier comes home alive. The training that is put forth to soldiers is created by leaders that have been in combat. Soldiers have to realize that they are being trained by the best and need to take all of the training seriously because it may save lives. The best units I’ve ever been in were the ones where the soldiers and leaders all made an honest attempt to work together to ensure that the training was realistic and taken very seriously.” ~ 1LT Moses W.