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Ask An Army Spouse: PCS Orders to Korea

Taking the Family to Korea on PCS Orders

I have a wife and two babies I was reading some of the posts about Korea and the fact that I might not be able to take them or how difficult it can be to take them. I would like to take them with me there so they can visit Korea. I know my wife has an uncle that lives there but I would still like to be close to them. How can I do that?


You will need to get command sponsorship for them in order for them to be able to go to Korea. After it has been approved, they will all need to have a medical screening and get no-fee passports so they will be able to travel to Korea. It can work out – there are many families who are living in Korea. As a commenter mentioned earlier, they are trying to become more family friendly at the posts in Korea now as well. Hope it works out for you.

Phone Calls When Soldier is in Korea

My bf is going to be stationed in South Korea. Can i buy calling cards online so he can call me. I saw a few sites but I am afraid for security reasons to put my credit card info. Is there a safe site? Also, will he be able to purchase prepaid phone over there?


I contacted a spouse, Hannah, who’s husband has recently returned from a hardship tour in Korea. This is her answer about communication in Korea….

I bought an AT&T card from AAFES. I got a refillable one and filled it frequently. Tell them to make sure they research it and find one with the best international rate. I could fill up my card with 500 domestic minutes and to call Korea it dropped it to only 100 minutes.

He did get a cell phone while he was out there. Most soldiers and family members will buy a phone off the economy (Korean phone). They are called Won phones and they work just like prepaid cell phones here. You purchase the phone and won cards. You enter the code from the card into the phone and it gives you x amount of minutes to call or text.

The drawback is that it IS a Korean phone and card so you have to get used to their way of dialing etc and you can only get the won cards outside of post, so if you don’t have enough minutes to make it through the day you are out of luck till the end of the duty day, and Korea phones have a tendency to go to crap pretty quickly.

Another method that has worked pretty well is the MagicJack. As long as the soldier has internet in their room (has to be cabled, it can’t be wireless) they should be able to set up a dedicated phone line to their computer. It gives them an American phone number that the stateside family can call and it routes it to a phone the soldier has set up to their PC. Obviously if the soldier isn’t home or doesn’t have it turned on, they can’t get ahold of them. But otherwise it can save alot of cash on won cards. They sell MagicJacks at WalMart.

Moving to Korea and What to Expect

Hi..ok soooo my fiancee is in the Army (obviously or why be on this site) he is leaving AIT and going to Korea…now I am going to join the military but not Army..Coast Guard..and yes i know this will pose a problem with our relationship. But my mom is telling me to put off military and go with him to Korea.

Now my question is what is in Korea for military spouses? I know legally I can only work on the base unless I get a visa but is it worth it? What’s really in Korea for me to do..I’ve never really been one just to sit around and be a homemaker. We don’t have kids and I don’t plan on having any any time soon. So should I put off military to go for experience purposes or use that time to start my career? Not asking for someone to tell me what to do just opinions.

I personally wouldn’t want to live in Korea but that’s just me. Everyone I know who has lived there has loved it. Korea is becoming more family friendly and it is becoming easier to get command sponsorship for the tour.

Here’s some perspectives on Korea from those who have been there:

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. You DO NOT have to be command sponsored, to have your family live with you in Korea. There are many families, mine included, who joined their soldier in Korea, lived on the economy and were very happy with the accommodations. You will also be able to use the commissary, PX and all medical facilities, everything that is enjoyed by a command sponsored family, with the exception of on post housing. You MUST be command sponsored to qualify for housing on post.

    1. Hello I am thinking about doing this if our command sponsored doesn’t get approved and I am not exactly sure how to go about it or where to start. Any information you have would be great! thank you!

    2. well that message was to Kalli and I just realized you wrote on here in 2010 so you probably won’t be answering me lol but if you do that would be great!

  2. I am Rowena B. Oswald. I am married here in the Philippines with my US Army husband now based in Camp Casey South Korea. We have a 3 months old son. Now we want to be with my husband in Korea. Me and baby have already a passport. What are those steps that is need to be done in order we can be together in Korea. My husband have filed a command sponsorship and waiting for it is approved by thier commander. Now my questions are:

    What are the requirements we are going to bring to Korean Embassy in Manila that are needed.

    How the process is going?

    Please answer and Help me Thanks you.

  3. My husband is in Korea now. We use Skype to contact each other every day. He has a monthly subscription fee for Skype so that our chats are unlimited time-wise, and he also had to purchase internet service (about $61 at Camp Red Cloud). I could just send messages in text and photo files, internet links and emoticons until I set up a webcamera. Now the kids enjoy reading to Dad, playing instruments for him, showing him pictures they’ve drawn. We’ve even enjoyed dancing to the same songs. He can use his Skype account to call our house, but he has to be in his barracks room to do so, as that is where his internet service is. Even though there are places with WiFi over there, he hasn’t successfully used Skype from them, only email. Facebook Chat works sometimes, too.

  4. This question kind of has something to do with this but kinda not.. My husband is in south korea right now, and i want to move there to be with him..Does anyone know if i can go if he is already there? And how would i find out?

  5. I was stationed in Korea in 2010-2011. I am currently in Afghanistan stationed at fort bliss with three weeks left in Afghanistan. I will be going back to ft bliss soon. I just currently reenlisted for Korea. The first time i went to Korea I was single. I’ve seen plenty of army families in Korea the first time i was there. Now I’m Married so now my Question is. How do I get command sponsored, how soon do I start the paper work, where, how, and who do I talk to, for me and my wife to get this process started? I know you have to have orders first I’m currently waiting on my orders.

  6. My boyfriend is currently station in Korea and I want to visit him. Would I be able to stay with him on base or would I have to find a hotel near by? Would I need a visa to stay there for a week or two or would I just need to have an exiting date?

  7. My boyfriend just got orders for one year in south korea. We found out if we get married it would be and automatic two-year deployment so we don’t want to do that. But I still want to move to Korea to be with him. We would be paying out of pocket but that’s fine. The question is, is this even possible and if so what are the steps? Would I just get a normal tourist visa the last 90 days and cross the border every 90 days or is there something else that allows me to stay on post with him?

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