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Ask VMW: I Just Got Married and am Having Troubles w/Finance & Command Sponsorship

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Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!): Ask VMW: I Just Got Married and am Having Troubles w/Finance & Command Sponsorship

Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!)

My goal here is to make your life easier, especially those who are in the unique situation of being a military spouse. Yes...I've been around...but in a good way...and hopefully can share those tips, tricks and shortcuts with you too. I've been on this military bus for over 40 years now. My goals in life are to have a well-run home, few money worries, well adjusted children, money socked away and whatever happiness I can scoop out of life.

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After life as an Army brat, being in the Army myself and marrying a soldier, I can honestly say I have a bucket full of life lessons I can share to help you make your everyday life easier and enlightening. Don't waste your time making unnecessary mistakes and benefit from others who have come before you on your journey through life.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Ask VMW: I Just Got Married and am Having Troubles w/Finance & Command Sponsorship

I frequently...actually, many times a day....get emails from people who need help. Many, I can just steer to one of my past blog posts or another. A few can be answered in one sentence or by a link to another site. But, some are a little more involved. Let's see if we can help this reader.

Long story short. My sister met her husband while visiting me overseas. She has finished DEERS and is waiting on command sponsorship. Her husband has been serving a single tour for about one year. We know that others in this position have had problems. So far housing won't talk to them till they have command sponsorship but do you know if they will approve a move for them? I had a friend married her husband after he was here three months and housing never would move them because he was already serving here. Also Finance says they cant get BAH or separation pay without command sponsorship. My sister has been hearing so much.

Let me say that getting married while your spouse is overseas is not an easy task. I actually married my husband while we were both overseas and after the rigamarole of going through the German system, we just dropped it, flew back to the States and got married there. But since I was already in the military myself, it was almost a seamless entry of merging into one household as far as the Army is concerned, except the issues I had with my last name.

Congrats to your sis on her marriage. Since her husband is already on the back end of his overseas tour, the Army will not authorize a move for his new spouse to join him, so I doubt she'll get command sponsorship right now. His only option would be to apply for a COT (a consecutive overseas tour), which goes up through his chain of command and outside of his unit in order to extend his time overseas to an accompanied tour length (36 months). If his enlistment is up before then, he'll have to re-enlist to extend past the time of the COT. I can tell you right now, very few COTs are getting approved, at least where we are here in Germany. But it is worth a try. It is up to his command...at the highest levels...whether to approve this or not. It goes way beyond his company commander.

You can read more about the paperwork your husband has to submit, in order to request approval of getting you to his location in Germany.

The info you got is correct on family separation pay. You have to be command sponsored for that and the military member will not get separation pay hitting his paycheck, until the 31st day of separation.

As far as the the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH), if a member is serving an UNACCOMPANIED overseas tour, the member is eligible for BAH at the "with dependents" rate, based on the dependent's (that's you) US residence zipcode, plus Overseas Housing Allowance (OHA) at the "without dependents" rate, if the member is not furnished government housing overseas...in other words, if he is living off post. Many enlisted soldiers under a certain rank, usually Sergeant First Class, MUST live in the barracks so that the command can better maintain good order and discipline.

Bottom line, her husband needs to go thru his chain of command...his company First Sergeant and then his Company Commander to make sure the paperwork gets done. Finance is unfortunately notorious...or should I say, has a reputation...for screwing up and taking awhile to get things right, so she has to hang in there.

But I'd like to make one more point...many times, because wives cannot get command sponsorship, either because the geographical area does not allow it, such as close to the demilitarized zone in Korea, certain assignments in world hotspots or maybe because the command did not authorize it for one reason or another, please read about going to join your spouse as a non-command sponsored dependent. Even though this article talks mostly about Korea, the information is valid for other locations as well. Know what the great risks are and be willing to take them should you go this route.

Do you have any advice for this young lady?

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3 Comments:

Blogger Foof4e said...

discouraging though it may seem, especially for newlyweds, if he is at least halfway done with his tour, the best thing really is to stay w/ family. Germany is pretty bad for deployments, in which cas you'd be apart anyway, & the wait for housing, (at least insome areas,) is awful. Off post housing is only covered up to a certain amount & anything over will come out of your pocket, which cn be very expensive. My husband is SFC w/ 19 yrs in & his orders were changed at the last minute to deferred because the wait for housing was so long. That was in June (cleared in May, got there in July after leave to visit family.) The kids & I are STILL waiting on housing. & after a couple of months he was already deployed. And we did not get any seperation pay until the deployment. So, if she has friends & family, & he has less than a yr on his tour left, stay put w/ family & friends for support. Also, trust your spouse, be strong & connect w/ other military wives for advise & support.

November 15, 2008 at 2:38 AM  
Blogger Starre said...

What issues are you referring to with your last name? My husband and I don't have the same last name and he's entering the Army soon. We were both enlisted prior service, so it was never an issue, but as his dependent this time around, I expect people will constantly address me as Mrs. His Last Name.

August 3, 2009 at 7:54 PM  
Blogger ****Veteran Military Wife at Life Lessons of a Military Wife**** said...

I had to make a decision whether to change my name or not. I had myself pretty well established under my maiden name...and it was difficult for me to switch over. I also didn't want any difficulties with our children either....how do you even begin to say whose last name is used in our culture and what do you do when you have multiple kids (and everyone with a different name?)...and I just didn't want to deal with the confusion, so I stayed traditional and took my husband's name. It's not like I'm a rockstar or anything!

August 3, 2009 at 9:39 PM  

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