Deployment Preperation

Good Afternoon Everyone!

Deployment is something that every military service member and family will have to face.  Most more than once.  But that doesn't make it any less scary.  Especially when its your first.  This post is about how to set yourself and your family up for success from the get go by being as prepared as possible.

I am a list girl.  I function better knowing that I don't have to remember something because I wrote it down.   About two months before a deployment, I make several lists on my phone and delete them off as we get things done.  I make one of things that need to be done before he leaves and one of things that I want to accomplish that deployment.  We also have a checklist that I made up before he left for his second deployment that we keep in our Home Binder.  It contains a list of what he needs on the ship as well as general things that need to happen before he leaves.  I've included a copy of our checklist at the bottom of the post for an example.

This is the most important section.  Paperwork is extremely difficult to deal with when they are gone so its important to get it all done before he leaves.  You may think that some of the paperwork is not necessary but remember if it can happen while he is gone, it will.  Trust me, it is much better to have the paperwork done and not need it, then to need it and not have it.

Things on the Ship:
These items will depend on the priorities of each person.  My husband took all of our DVDs and saved them onto an external hard drive to take with him so that he could watch movies on his laptop without having to make space for all those DVDs.  He also prefers to try and take enough personal items (shampoo, deodorant) to get him through the deployment without having to pay full price for items in the ship store.  The best idea for this list to for him to make a list of things that he cannot live without then start filling in the left over space with the nice to haves.

Things around the house
My husband and I own our house so there is always something that needs to be done.  Many are things that I can handle but there are some projects that are on my husband's list that we like to try and get completed before he leaves.  For example, there is trim that needs to be installed and painted in the bathroom, there is a mouse living in our outdoor storage closet (ICK!) and cleaning out the dryer vent.  He also likes to have the oil changed and tires rotated on both cars before he leaves.

Here is our family's Pre-Deployment Checklist.  (I apologize for the weird formatting)

Pre-Deployment Checklist

·         Paperwork
o   Current ID (Does it expired before you get home?)
o   Copy of House Emergency/Evacuation Plan
o   Passports: Blue and Brown
o   Copy of Orders
o   Dive Card
·         Uniforms/Clothes
o   2 Sets Digies
o   Dress Whites/Blues-1 set each
o   1 set Peanut Butters
o   Uniform Jackets: Digies, PB, coveralls
o   4 Sets Coveralls
o   Hardware/Patches: (are you expecting to complete a qual or advancement that will need additional hardware or patches?)
o   Combat Boots
o   Polish, conditioner
o   Dress Shoes
o   10 pair Boot Socks
o   4 pair Dress Socks
o   PB Shirt Straps
o   4 sets Boot Straps
o   Belts: 2 black nylon
o   Covers: 2 Digie, 1 PB, 1 Dress, 2 ships ball caps
o   Undershirts: 10 blue, 6 white
o   10 pairs boxers
o   2 Navy PT shirts
o   2 Navy PT shorts
o   PT shoes
o   8 Shorts with socks
o   6 PT shirts
·         Personal Hygiene
o   Shampoo: 2 large bottles, 2 travel size
o   Body Wash: 3 large bottles, 2 travel size
o   Axe body tool-3
o   Face Wash: 2 regular bottles
o   Foot spray-2
o   Toothpaste- take travel size
o   Toothbrush Heads- 4
o   Floss- 4 packs
o   Deodorant- 8 sticks (several different brands)
o   2 Razors, 12 Blades
o   3 Towels, 2 regular, 1 dive
o   Shower Shoes- crocs
o   Q Tips-2 big packs
o   Bathroom bag
o   Toothbrush
o   Toothbrush charger
o   Hair clippers
o   Nail clippers
o   Grooming scissors, tweezers
o   4 cans of shaving cream
o   2 full size bottles of hand sanitizer
o   2 Pump travel size hand sanitizer
o   Flushable wipes
o   4 boxes laundry soap sheets (these are the Purex Laundry sheets that have the detergent and fabric softener in the sheet.  My husband loves these because they make his rack smell good and he doesn't have to worry about it spilling)
·         Entertainment
o   Lap Top
o   Lap Top Charger
o   Lap Top protective case
o   Headphones: 1 noise canceling, 2 ear bud style
o   12 AAA, 12 AA, 12 (123) Batteries for flash light
o   External Hard Drive with Movies
o   E Reader
o   E Reader Charger
o   IPhone
o   IPhone Charger
·         Port Items
o   Backpack
o   Water Bottle or Camel Back
o   Port Cell Phone and Phone Chips
o   Cell Phone Charger
o   Swim Shorts
o   1 pair jeans
o   3 collar shirts
o   2 pairs shorts
o 4 pairs tennis shoe socks
o   Tennis Shoes
·         Study/Class Materials
o   Dividers/ Compass- OS stuff
o   1 2-3” 3-ring binder
o   1 3-subject spiral notebook
o   Pens: 3 refills of all-weather pen, pack of black
o   2 Highlighters
o   2 permanent markers
·         Other
o   2 Lights for Bunk
o   Pillow w/ Pillow Case
o   Sleeping Bag
o   Pocket Knife/ Multi-tool and Case
o   Flashlight and Case
o   2 Rite in the Rain 3x5 note pads
o   Eye and ear pro for gun shoots
o   2 cans of spray starch
o   6 air fresheners
o   Cash: small bills
o   Protein Powder container
o   Protein shaker
o   Vitamins, joint pills
o   Lysol wipes
o   4 locks (4 digit combo)
·         Dive / Scuba
o   Mask
o   Mask case
o   Mask pad
o   Snorkel
o   Snorkel strap
o   Hood
o   Wet suit(s)
o   Gloves
o   Booties
o   Fins
o   Spring straps
o   Spare straps
o   BCD
o   Regulator
o   Regulator bag
o   Weight belt
o   Camera
o   Camera charger
o   SD card
o   Black mesh bag
o   Towel
o   Sun block
o   Swim suit
o   Combo lock
·         Meds
o   Pepto
o   Immodium
o   Gas X
o   Asprin
o   Cough Drops
o   Cough Syrup
o   Eye Drops
o   Benadryl
o   Anti-Itch Cream
o   Decongestant

·         Paperwork
o   Power of Attorney
§  General POA
§  Specific for DEERs and Tricare?
§  Specific for anything else like selling cars, house, etc
o   Update both Wills
o   Update all Firearm Registrations/Paperwork
o   Copy of Orders
o   Update Page 2 (Emergency Data Sheet)
o   Update DEERS
o   Current ID (Does Claire’s or the kid’s IDs expire before you get home?)
o   Current Car Decals (Do they expire before you get home?)
·         Contact Info
o   All Doctor Information
o   Command Quarterdeck Phone Number
o   Fleet and Family Main Number
o   Ombudsman Number and Email
o   Tricare Numbers
o   Red Cross Numbers
·         House
o   Change Batteries on Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
o   Complete all Pending Repairs
·         Other
o   Call USAA to Update Deployment Status
§  Fax a Copy of Orders
§  Fax a Copy of POA
o   Double Check Deployment Emergency Plan
o   Double check Life Insurance Policies