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Ask An Army Spouse: Newly Engaged or Married to a Soldier

Expectations When Marrying a Soldier

Please can you offer some advice – my boyfriend is wanting to join the Army and has been talking about whether I would stay with him if he did.

I love him and want to, but I know nothing about the Army lifestyle or how it would affect me. I have been on the Army’s website so have a vague idea, but not really? Any advice or help would be much appreciated.


Check out the information here on this site under the lifestyle section for starters.

I firmly believe that the Army lifestyle is what you make of it. If you survey a hundred spouses about their experience in the Army, you will likely get one hundred different responses. Some will be positive, some negative and some in the middle.

It’s not an easy lifestyle but there are many other career choices he could make in the civilian world that could be just as challenging on your relationship.

I personally wouldn’t trade the time my husband spent in the Army for anything and neither would he. Were there bad times? Times we wished he was just a civilian again? Of course. But that’s true of any job. Overall, the Army was a very positive experience for us.

Getting Married to a Soldier While In College

My fiance is in the Army and he is an E-3, I believe. I am only 18, and I am currently about to start college for my first semester. He wants to get married towards the end of my semester and me transfer schools and move up there with him and continue getting my associates degree. I want to eventually become an ortho.

I am afraid that if I move up there with him we will not be able to afford my college or even dental school with his paycheck and mine. We could probably do it, it would just be really tight. what do you recommend we do? Wait? Or go ahead?

I know you aren’t supposed to marry or not marry for financial reasons; but I don’t want our marriage to suffer due to our temporary financial state.

Also is there any way I could get scholarships for school or anything else? Please help all the other advice I am hearing is spinning me in circles.

Thank you so much for you help!

I certainly don’t recommend getting married until you are ready. Regardless of the circumstances, getting married when you aren’t ready is just asking for trouble.

There are scholarships available for military spouses as well as a my career advancement account that can help in certain professions.

Based on what you have said your plans are, you probably would not qualify for the latter. If it were me, I would complete my schooling first (as it sounds like it is financially feasible if you remain where you are) and get married after completing my degree. Good luck!

Best Time To Get Married

My boyfriend and I have talked about getting married and know it is going to happen. We are best friends and even though this time of him being gone to basic is hard, we are making it through it. It is actually bringing us to a new level of connection and just supporting our decision to be married.

My question is, is there a better time for a couple to get married? Are there certain times in his training and/or deployment (before or after) that is better to get married. Thank you so much for your help.


The best time is when you’re ready – don’t base it on a date like when he enlists.

That said, if you’re getting married regardless, it’s best to do it before he joins as it will be the only time during his enlistment when he has total control of his time.

While it won’t be impossible to get married after he enlists, planning a wedding becomes a little more difficult as it is harder to plan for anything months in advance with the Army.

Overwhelmed About Marrying a Soldier

Wow… I’m reading through everyone’s questions, and I can honestly say it has helped me a lot.

So I got engaged to a guy who I was, at first, just friends with, and the day he leaves for basic training, we get engaged. The entire thing happened.. crazy like. I guess it was a “fell in love” kind of deal. He’s in Ft. Benning, GA. and I guess the reality of him being in the Army didn’t set in until recently.

My brother was in the National Guard, and because I don’t have much common sense, I assumed the Army and the National Guard worked the same way. little did I know, it was entirely different. I didn’t know until my fiance explained it to me.

After he graduates from both basic and AIT, since he’s doing them together and will be gone for 14 weeks, he’ll be home in October, and we had planned to get married in the 2 weeks or so that he will be home. I guess I’m just really concerned about.. well everything. I mean, I have so many questions!

I’m still really young, and so is he. So this is all completely new to me. I’m reading, and it seems to me that there is a whole lot of paperwork to be done after we’re married and whatnot; that way I can move with him. So, I can FOR SURE move with him, as long as it’s a necessary base? And for some reason, I know it probably doesn’t make much of a difference, but with me not having my license and all.. does that matter? Is there any reason why I couldn’t live with him on base?

Besides the obvious.. because my plans for the time being is to be a “stay at home wife” for a while. My mom says it would be good our relationship that I spend as much time as possible with him.. because I stress out so much about him being deployed. I guess I’m just concerned and want to make sure that everything will be okay, and that I can be with him for sure. That’s all I care about.

There’s no reason that you have to have a driver’s license. Your military ID can be used for anything on post that you may need. As long as he doesn’t get assigned to an unaccompanied tour, you will be able to move with him.

There is a lot of paperwork but it can generally be accomplished in a day. It’s basically just getting your ID and enrolling in Tricare. For the rest, he will have to go through the finance office.

Paperwork After Getting Married

I know there is paperwork that needs to be done after we’re married; what are they and what will I need to have along with that?


After you get married, he will need to take the marriage certificate to finance so that his pay status can be updated. This will enable him to get BAH or apply for housing on post.

He will also need to enroll you in DEERS so that you will be eligible for Tricare. This is just a simple form that needs to be filled out. When you are first enrolled, you will be eligible for Tricare Standard. If you want to be on Tricare Prime, there is an additional form to complete.

You will also need to have a military ID made on post.

It sounds like a lot, but it could all be accomplished in a few hours on post (at the most). Good luck!

Living On Post While Engaged

Hi, my name is Kim, and I am about to graduate from high school. My boyfriend of over 2 years has now decided that he wants to join the Army.

I fully support his decision and am willing to move where his base is to be with him. We have talked a lot about what is best for me like where I would live, my education, and income, and I have decided to take the risk and go.

I am not sure what exactly what the rule is for “family” living on base; I am pretty sure you HAVE to be married… but what if you are engaged? Also I would love to get some advice from those who, like me, followed their soldier from straight out of high school.


Hi, you will not be allowed to live on post unless you are married.

The housing on post is only available for married soldiers (with the exception of the barracks for single soldiers).

As a single soldier, he will most likely be required to live on post. Nothing will stop you from moving to the area where his post is located but just know that depending on his command, he may or may not be able to stay with you.

Regardless, he will not receive a housing allowance until he is either married or higher ranking and allowed to live off post as a single soldier (generally at least an E-5).

Adding Dependents (Kids) and Permission to Get Married

Me and my boyfriend are planning on getting married after his basic training is all over which is in June. He will already have his orders, and they would state he is single so I wouldn’t be able to move with him.

What does he have to do to get me and my son on his orders? And also does he have to get permission from the army to get married? I have a lot of questions. I am new to this, and my soldier isn’t sure what to do either.

After we get married who should he take the paper to? And how does he add my son and me to the healthcare the Army has? And how about how to apply for BAH?? Thank you!! :] is there anything else I should know??


Sometimes, the soldier may be able to amend his orders to include newly added dependents. He will need to talk to his command about that possibility. He does not need permission to get married.

After you are married, he will need to take the marriage certificate to the finance office for his unit. After you are married, you can go to the nearest military post to get a military ID made and be enrolled in DEERS.

You will need DD Form 1172. Some posts will require him to be present, some will require a POA, and some won’t require either. Be sure to call ahead to check before you go.

BAH should be automatic after his pay status is updated with finance.

A good resource for you would be the new eBook that I wrote. It covers in detail many of the questions you have and gives an overview to the Army lifestyle and what to expect. You can find more here.

Documents to Get Married

Hi! My fiance and I are planning on getting married in 2 weeks while he’s in AIT training at Ft. Sam Houston. What do we need to do in order to get married?

We are both originally from Birmingham, AL, and I still live here but plan to move w/him to his next duty station. Who do I need to or does he need to get approval from his Sgt? Anything would help us. Also, what documentation do we need in order to be married there? Thanks so much!



He certainly doesn’t need permission from the Army in order to get married but its never a bad idea to let them know that he is planning on it either.

As far as the documentation needed, it varies from one state to the next. Typically, you can contact the courthouse to find out what may be needed in order to get married.

As far as the Army is concerned, he will need to take a copy of your marriage certificate to finance so that his status can be updated in the system. This will update his pay to show he has dependents.

He will then need to either go with you or complete the DD1172 so that you can have your military ID made and be enrolled in DEERS for health insurance.

Depending on the rules for his AIT, he may or may not be able to live with you while he is in training.

For longer AITs (generally 20 weeks or longer), soldiers may be allowed to live with family after a certain phase. However, it can vary greatly from one school to the next and he will need to check with his instructors if this is your plan.

Good luck and congratulations!

Getting Married After Deployment & Planning a Wedding

My daughter’s fiance is deployed in Afghanistan now. They intend to get married when his deployment is over, during what she has been told is a mandatory 30 day leave. (Is it true they get 30 days after 1 year in a combat zone?)

My main question is, are deployments really 12 months long? or are they going longer? And how much notice do you have as to when they’ll be home? It’s impossible to plan a wedding when you can’t set a date!

Many soldiers have saved up at least 30 days of leave while they are overseas so it is true that they have that time available. Whether or not they will be allowed to take that much time is up to the unit commanders.

As for planning, it can be difficult to pin down a date when the groom is in the military. Deployments can range from 12-18 months with 12 being the norm (at least right now).

However, it isn’t 12 months exactly. It may be 11 months and 16 days or 12 months and 22 days. It’s difficult to predict. Many orders say “until the mission is complete” rather than an actual return date.

Notice varies by unit. I often didn’t know my husband was returning until he was already back. Other units may have a few weeks of lead time.

While others may know a couple of months ahead of time. Just keep in mind it is all subject to change with the military and can be up until the very last minute.

Getting Orders Amended After Getting Married & Moving

My boyfriend gets done with OSUT at the end of June. We were going to get married when he comes back home for hometown recruiting (if he gets it) or when he gets to come home to pack his stuff.

He will already have his orders.. so what all do we have to do? I heard about getting his orders amended so that I’m on his orders and the army will pay for me to move with him.

Also, what is the process we have to do for DEERS and the TRICARE? Does he have to get permission to get married? And who does he go to for everything?

Also I heard that while he is on leave to get his belongings, we can go to the nearest Army post and do everything that we need do there and that it doesn’t need to be at his post? Is that true?? I have a lot of other questions but I can’t think of them right now so if anyone can please help me with the confusion I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you =]


First, don’t count on definitely being able to get his orders amended. It can be done but they aren’t under any obligation to amend them after they have been cut.

After you are married, he will need to take a copy of the marriage certificate to his unit finance office to have his status updated. After that is complete, he can go with you to get your military ID made. The completed forms for that will also enroll you in DEERS. You should be able to do this at the closest military post.

He can set up the move with transportation. Depending on if he was able to get his orders amended will determine the amount of weight he is authorized to move at the Army’s expense.

If you are included, the weight limit will be much higher than if he is only authorized as a single soldier. If you don’t have much in the way of belongings, it may not matter. But try not to go over the weight limit as it can be very expensive.

When you are first enrolled in DEERS, you will be enrolled in Tricare Standard. If you want to be enrolled in Tricare Prime, then you will need to fill out additional paperwork to get that done. Your military ID will serve as your insurance card.

author avatar
Stacey Abler
Stacey's husband joined the Army in 2003 and was medically retired after four deployments. She enjoys sharing her experiences and expertise around Army life while continuing to support Army spouses and families in their military journey.

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  1. Hi everyone!
    I have a situation here… my boyfriend (4 year relationship) is at boot camp rigth now, he called me yesterday to my phone.. I was so happy and surprised that I didn´t knew what to say at the moment.. the asked me to marry him after his graduation in South Carolina… the thing is that I´m mexican and I don´t want the migration system think that I have other intentions by marrying him.. I love him so much and I want to start my life with him, that´s all.
    My question is: Does the migratory law applies just the same way as the civilians? I have the tourist visa and I have been investigating in the official website but, does anyone know if it applies the same way to the military?

    thank you so much 🙂

  2. Hey. My fiancé and i have been together for almost 3 years. We have a year and a half old son together. He just enlisted into the army (i don’t know ANYTHING about the army btw). I think he is an E-1? but He is scheduled to leave for boot camp on September 5th. We have an apartment together, we are not married, and i can’t afford it on my own. He had to get a bank account that the army told him to get, so that while he’s in boot camp his money gets put on that and i can pay the bills. My question is, we aren’t sure when to get married. Is it better (for paperwork and everything) if we get married before he leaves in august? Or should we wait till he gets back in January? we don’t want our son and myself to be stuck in Tennessee after he gets his orders and gets stationed somewhere. I’m very confused on how everything works and i am freaking out a little bit because i want to do everything right.

  3. I got engaged to my high school sweetheart back in March 2017 and he left for basic in May 2017. We talked a lot about if we should wait a while to get married or get married before he goes to his first duty station and we decided to do it sooner than later. So my biggest question is how difficult will it be for us to get housing? (how long it would take?) He is done with AIT on November 22, but doesn’t have to report to his first duty station until December 30th. We are planning on getting married in-between that time, just a court thing, and get all the paperwork done on our end. I know pretty much nothing about the army life, (I’m young and dumb) so I need as much advice and help you could give!

    thank you!

  4. Hey Ladies,
    Met my boyfriend over a dating website, he is still on base, we have not talked or seen each other, he has sent me pics. He has told me that he lost his ID Card when is was depolyed, and he has to replace it before he could leave base. He is about to retire. He is Rank E- Ssgt. Some of what he as told me i believe but i feel i should not believe, i feel that sometimes it can be too good to be true. He as told me that when he was depalyed his firearm was discharge so he has to pay for that. He has not given me a reason not to trust him. I have been scam once before. I wear my heart on my shelve, when i love, i love hard so i am very vulnerable person, and i dont want to get hurt. We have been talking for past 3 months. Just any little thing could help please email me.
    Thank you so much
    Melissa Johnson

  5. My boyfriend is currently in Basic Training and then following it with Advanced Individualized Training (OSUT). He is active duty and hasn’t gotten his duty station yet. I have a couple questions. First, if he were to decide to ask me to marry him, would I have to wait to move with him to his duty station afterwards or how does that all work? Also, if I feel I am ready for marriage and spending the rest of my life with him, how long do I have to wait after he gets out of training and stationed to be able to move down there and have a house set up for us and everything? I know these questions are confusing but they are the unknown answers I have while he is at training. While he has been at training, I have grown to miss my best friend and realize how essential days are with him.

    1. Hi, you won’t be able to join him until he finishes his training. OSUT isn’t long enough to enable you to be able to move with him. You would need to be married in order to be on his orders. Being on his orders means the Army will pay to move you as well to his next duty station. If he happens to get stationed OCONUS, you would have to be on his orders to be authorized to go. Basically, until you’re married and he has orders with your name on them, there’s not much to do. Once that happens, y’all would be able to apply for housing on post if that’s where you decided to live or get a place off-post. The marriage certificate and orders are the keys to all of it.

  6. Hi, my name is Zoe and I am just lost. My fiance and I have been engaged for 2 months but know for sure we will get married. He just recently decided to do national guard for the air force but is now contemplating active duty… I am still in high school and am very open to doing online college or other universities and being a stay at home wife. He is getting his ship date within 3 weeks for basic and wants me to come with him for his deployment. How much time would I have between then and his deployment to plan anything? Or if I would even have time and just have to go to a judge then wait for a proper wedding?? He is still thinking of his final decision but I know he wants me with him if he is to leave. I apologize if this is scrambled but I could just really use a time frame breakdown.

  7. my situation is this i once got engaged to a young woman from chicago ill, but we never married 1981-`1982-2020. we got of into studing the book of the revelation for some reason without ever having even read the new testament i guess some people choose to read a book from ending to a beginnig. and the last temptation of christ and the jezebel spirit, and doctrines of demons and devils. and she left me. i guess its kind of like minister td jakes says that you have 3 types of people, constiuants those who were not really for u they were just for you a long as you had a caused to fight for. and confidants, those that you thinkn you can confided in and tell your deepest secerts and wants desires and emotions. but to find out that these people not only told your top secret information. they sought how a way of betraying you and having you turned over to the authoraties. and comarades those who u think will stick to u through famine, war, sickness divorce deasese and sin and racisim and death deliverance the conciouse awareness of the self God, Christ, and Jesus, and The Holy
    Ghost and what it means to be saved and on your way to heaven and wake up one day in paradise will betray u just a judas did to jesus. and also i realized that the only one in my life that i should except as comarades are my father, john c, gay sr. my mother bobbie n thomas gay and my suman cum laude baby sister university graduate with a mastery of library sciences prarie view a&m universtity kimberly m gay and my pastor of the mount Zion missionary baptist church ardmore oklahoma. the rev e. c. baiey and his lovely wife fist lady mrs. bailey. no weapon formed against she prosper. i can do all things through christ that strenghnet me the to hell is paved with good intentions, and niether do men light a candle and put it under a bushel but they put it on a lampstand to give light to everone that is in the house of wife my children my home my house my faith my confession my faith and my baptissim my garden my my heaven my responsibities as a man to take care of my family my paradise my future. my faith my savior my lord and my god my christ, my jesus and my holy ghost lifestyle.if god be for me he is more than the whole world against me, people who life in glass houses should not thro stones. a rolling stones gathers no moss and a three are even a four fold cord is not easily broken, jerusalem is like a city that is compact together, wheather the tribes go up to give testamony untu the lord. i say again pray for the peace of jeruslem they shall prosper that love thee. the end and may god be with you until we meet again itself i was a missionary baptist, evangelist, worker, she was a student at university and a museum workiere. i had a king james bible that had, and she a a little book of the new world tran. of the holy scriptrures that i threw away do to the fact i thought it was the devil. and satan, and adam, male, man, husband, and, and, and she was pissed because it got wet. do to raining while ait advanced individual training for computer science, phsycology, at the university of north texas state. and communications and transportation, for the united states navy and cox cable , golden triangle comunications and 1345 trans. desert storm sheild combat transportaion veteran, e-4 infantry, saudia arabia 1989-`1991. sadanm huiesiens war. though tried to be converted to islam i remained a christian, saved, delivered, sanctified and filled with the holy ghost. i got passed up for seargeant due to discrimination in the company. i latet joined the united states navy and was going and had to be discharged under the covinuance of the navy that i could not adust to active duty navy life and was going to be awarded a dishourable dishcharged but my mother would not have it. and after talking to her and finding out that her baby was navy captian everet scott thomas jr. panama canal era 1971-1979 with and estemeed perfect honable elistment and service to the united states navy. they dropped captains mass charges of incompetence and my inablity to be able to adjust to the navy lifestyle and committments and responsiblities and duties of remaining and one day retireing 1996-2018 after serving 21 yrs navy they changed their minds and reinstated my to my a shcool and all my aquiered benifits after serving just two years. work. no kids female, eve, woman, wife. she was catholic, protestant. protesting racism and discrimination, sex chicago ill. she studied catholism a and i gorilla and combat warfare, aviation e-2 word. helo-anti-sub 41 seahawks.i am now a student studying jazz a the university of north texas and contining my study of Gods word and specializing in the studying and understanding of the book of the revelation of jesus christ. and the end times. and the mark of the beast and the antichrist. which is to come.

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