Purpose of Counseling:
Event-Oriented counseling: Premarital Counseling
Key Points of Discussion:
SGT ______, the purpose of this counseling is to inform you on the many changes and responsibilities that comes with marriage and what to expect as a soldier once you are married.
Overall, it is your responsibility to enroll your spouse into the proper Army programs. As the service member, you will be considered your spouse's sponsor for any benefits the Army provides for married soldiers and their significant other. If you have questions on what benefits are available or how to enroll in programs that pertain to you and your spouse, feel free to ask and I will help provide you with answers and guidance so that you are able to take care of your family. Marriage is a commitment and you are expected to balance both your work life and home life.
You must enroll your spouse into the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) in order to receive military benefits and entitlements. After you have all your marriage documents, go to the DEERS office on post so that you can register your spouse and so they may receive a military dependent card. This is an important step in having the Army acknowledge your marriage and for you to start gaining benefits such as Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH), Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS), and military medical and care (TRICARE).
Marriage affects your pay status and entitlement to benefits such as BAH and BAS and requires increased focus on budgeting and fiscal responsibility. Whether you decide you live on post or off, the military provides you with a housing and cost of living allowance. I encourage you to make an appointment with finance to help you figure out a good budget for you and your spouse and how to manage your finances responsibly.
It will be up to you to inform your spouse of upcoming field and training events. Communication is key to a successful relationship, especially while you are in the Army. There will be times when you will not be granted cell phone access when we go to the National Training Center or on certain missions and your spouse should be aware of this. However, in case of emergencies, there are ways for your spouse to reach you. The Family Readiness Group (FRG) was established to provide activities and support to enhance the flow of information, increase resiliency of unit soldiers and their families, and provide practical tools for adjusting to military deployments and separation. By adding your spouse to this program, you can ensure they will be informed of your wellbeing during separation. Also, ensure your spouse is aware of how to utilize Red Cross for emergences at home when you are away.
In the event that a traumatic injury were to happen to you, your spouse is entitled to the Service member's Group Life Insurance (SGLI) benefits. You can qualify your spouse to receive this benefit by going to S1 and having your spouse placed on your SGLI plan and DD93. Although it is highly encouraged that you do this, it is not mandatory that you place your spouse as the sole beneficiary in the event of traumatic injury or death.
As we have stated before, marriage is a commitment and you will be expected to balance your home life with your work life. At times it will be difficult, but it is not impossible. If you find that you are having trouble in your marriage, the Army provides many programs to help you and your spouse as you go through this journey together. Soldiers are what fuels the Army, and family is what fuels the soldier. Do not hesitate to seek help or even simple advice. Congratulations on your marriage and taking the next step on this journey we call life. As always, feel free to contact me if you have any questions, comments, or concerns.