Preparation Can Be the Key to Deployment Success

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Here are 4 tips to help you get prepared for deployment success:

1. Preparation can make a mole-hill out of a mountain.
The Roman philosopher Seneca wisely observed that luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.  That reality is no less true when talking about deployments.  The experienced spouse doesn’t look forward to deployments either, but listening when they share their keys to deployment success can mean the difference between an unnecessarily stressful experience and a bump in the road that can become no more than a blip on the radar. The reality is, the fear of the unknown is always worse than the actual event. Preparing for every possibility is a far better use of pre-deployment time than worrying about the impending separation. 

2. The folder is your friend.
Build a “family folder” to end all folders with the essentials such as:

  • Powers of Attorney
  • A copy of your military member’s current orders
  • Car titles
  • Birth and marriage certificates
  • Insurance information (health, auto, life, renters, homeowners, etc.)
  • Key medical documents such as current vaccination records
  • Kid’s school records 
  • Passports
  • Bank Information
  • This magical folder will make your life unimaginably easier from day to day. 

3. Set a personal goal before the departure and make it your own. 
One of the best pieces of advice I was ever given was to come up with a personal project or goal to complete during deployment. Focusing on getting started can make the first few days much easier. Share your goal with a friend so you have an accountability partner. There is no time like the first day because each subsequent day will look far better if you have already set out towards your goal.  Some examples might be a fitness objective, learning a new skill, taking a class, starting a small business, or anything that stretches your comfort level enough to give you an accomplished feeling where you stand out at homecoming waving a poster, and knowing daily life is about to adjust again. Make memories that stick out in your mind rather than lamenting over lost time.

4. Be ready to adjust:
Every deployment has the potential to produce surprises. Plans don’t bring with them promises of the absolute. Having a plan makes inevitable challenges go much smoother, so when the unexpected happens you aren’t already at your threshold for problem-solving.  Preparation saves perspiration, keeping you cool and calm for whatever comes your way.  

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