ETS advice? — The Bump
Military Families

ETS advice?

Hi ladies. DH has decided that 10 years and 3 deployments is enough! He is going to ETS this summer. We have been at this duty station for 7 years and clearing CIF is going to be a nightmare!! Do you have any advice for how to make it go as smoothly as possible? He wants the baby and me to move back to Mass about a month ahead of him to set up house. Thanks!
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Re: ETS advice?

  • Does he already have a job lined up? That would be my number one priority over having the house settled. No way in hell would I leave a stable income and hope to find something after I got out even if I did have savings to live off. You never know, especially in the current economic climate, how long it will take. Unless you plan on finding something for yourself that month before he joins you. I'm sure you've considered the loss of health insurance and how much interim insurance such as COBRA will cost you. Certainly not something you'd want to go without with a little one.

    As for the actual ETSing....just have everything (paperwork, equipment, etc) ready before his appointments. Having to go back a second time and wait in line seriously slows things down. If he doesn't know ahead of time what is needed he can always call and ask. He also doesn't have to wait for his clearing packet to get a copy of what he'll have to turn in to CIF. He can go there and get that any time so he can start hunting for everything now.

    For medical, be sure he completes the full physical and any and all ailments, injuries, etc are fully detailed in his records. That is imperative for disability claims now and in the future. All of you need to get any and all dental work done now as well as eye exams, etc. Be sure you get a copy of all your medical records. Have him check now with places like CIF or other places he could possibly owe money and pay now so it's not a surprise in the end. People are always surprised when clearing somewhere like AAFES and they have a really old charge. This will also give you time to dispute anything.
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  • Have him go to where his medical records are kept- either his clinic or the MTF, and have them update them and he needs to request 2 copies. Some places have a wait of 8-10 weeks for this. He will need a copy for himself, and a copy to be given to the VA when he does his part II physical. He can do his part 1 physical now.

    If he is ETSing, keep in mind that he will only be moved from his current duty station to his home of record. Any distance greater than the move to the HOR will have to be paid by you, at the regular rate. Not pretty.

    Most of the briefings that he needs can be started now- there is a zillion of them so starting early is better.

    Make sure that he utilizes ACAP. He also gets ACAP benefits for 180 days after he moves- which may help with the job search if he is going to another area that has a post.

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