The problem: You are preparing for deployment and don’t know where to start! Keep reading because: This pre-deployment checklist and Ultimate Deployment Guide will tell you everything you need to know about how to get ready for deployment!

Here is the pre-deployment checklist every military spouse needs to complete

When you first learn that your spouse will deploy, there will probably be some tears and frustration. It’s normal to feel afraid, nervous, and intimidated, especially if it is their first deployment. But once you pull yourself together, you’ll likely switch into planning mode. There are things to be done. Bills to schedule. A freezer to stock. And lots of legal paperwork to take care of. The shear length of the to-do list can be overwhelming. So I’m here to break it down for you.

I’ve created the Ultimate Guide to help you handle Deployment Like a Boss! It has 28 pages of deployment topics, ranging from legal paperwork to giving birth during deployment, sending care packages, meal planning, and resources for military kids. The Guide is available as a download here, or you can buy it directly from Amazon!

You can download the Deployment Guide here, or see it in action:

If you aren’t ready for 28 pages of checklists and planner entries, then just save the file on your computer or print out a few pages that you like the best. The first section, which covers pre-deployment essentials like gathering paperwork, emergency phone numbers, passwords, and getting your financials in order, are all discussed below. So for a sneak peek of Part 1 of the deployment guide, read on!

33 things a military spouse should complete before deployment


  • Power of Attorney
  • Family Care Plan
  • Wills and RED (Record of Emergency Data) form
  • Renew spouse ID card, driver’s license, car registration, etc. if anything will expire during deployment
  • Have a copy of the deployment orders
33 things that should be on your pre-deployment checklist, #milspouse #thisisdeployment Click To Tweet

Bills and Budgets

  • Make a new deployment budget together, decide who will pay bills and when.
  • Set up allotments from service member paycheck, if desired.
  • Write down ALL passwords to access banking accounts, online bills, MyPay, Military LES forms, etc.
  • Adjust TV or Internet subscriptions, insurance, and phone plans to save money during deployment. Get credit card rate reduction (USAA will drop to 4%).
  • If service member will use a credit card, call company to alert them to out-of-country travel
  • Make sure service member’s wallet includes proper credit or ATM cards, phone cards (if needed), and NOT your ID card!

Here's what you really need to do when preparing for deployment. #ThisisDeploymentEmergency Contact

  • Know how to contact the unit FRG or FRO and how to send a Red Cross message
  • Give your emergency contacts to the unit FRO in case they are needed
  • Get contact information for the service member’s family
  • Get the service member’s deployment address. Know full rank and unit name.
  • Know about base resources for financial issues (NMCRS), legal issues (Base Legal), or medical issues (Tricare or hospital).
  • Meet your neighbors, consider who could help in different emergency situations.

Car Maintenance

  • Get an oil change for all vehicles, especially if you are going to put one in storage.
  • Check tires for tread and tire pressure. Have them replaced or aligned if necessary.
  • Get any replacement parts or maintenance that you have been “meaning to take care of.”
  • Make sure your car insurance and registration documents are up-to-date and paid for the next few months. Copies should be kept in the vehicle.
  • If your state requires a smog or other inspection before renewing the registration, schedule an appointment now.
  • Discuss storage and maintenance options for the service member’s vehicle during deployment. If not being used, it should still be driven weekly to prevent tire damage and allowed to idle to charge the battery. If the vehicle is stick shift, make sure the spouse at home knows how to drive it!
Pre-Deployment Checklist to Help Military Spouses

Prepare for car trouble by keeping jumper cables handy! (Amazon affiliate link).

Home Maintenance

  • Walk through house together and make sure the spouse remaining behind knows where the circuit breaker box is, how to shut off water, and where any other heating/cooling controls are located. Discuss upcoming maintenance on any major appliances or systems.
  • Write down contact numbers for emergency problems… plumber, electrician, neighbor who is handy, etc.
  • If you live on base, file any maintenance requests with the Housing office.
  • Make a spare set of keys for house and car, in case you lock yourself out.

Doctor’s Appointments

  • If service member will need new glasses or contacts during deployment, schedule a checkup before they leave to get a prescription.
  • Think ahead for your own doctor and dentist appointments, as well as the kids’ checkups or specialty visits.

Fun Things:

All of these topics are included in the Ultimate Deployment Guide, along with many other resources to help you handle deployment like a boss. Download your copy of the Deployment Guide today and start feeling more prepared for what lies ahead.

I recently went on Facebook Live to answer viewer questions about preparing for deployment. You can see the full video by clicking here.

The Deployment Masterclass offers support and resources to prepare you for deployment challenges!

These military spouses share their deployment tips in videos during the Deployment Masterclass


  1. Sara Prindle

    I love everything that this website offers. It have everything I need for support as a military spouse!

    • Lizann

      Thank you so much! I’m glad you’re finding encouragement and support here. That’s what I’m here for!

  2. Lisa

    I was able to save a bunch of the pages during the week you had the discussions, but I wasn’t on every day to save them all. My hubby is getting ready for his fifth deployment, but it’s my (and “our”) first. He’s used to shutting things down, and is realizing that he can’t do that with me around. I’m used to being on my own (I lived on my own for five years prior to getting married) but now I’ve got double the stuff to maintain and keep running.

    • Lizann

      I’m glad you participated in the Deployment Challenge and found the checklists in the Ultimate Guide helpful. Deployment is always a big adjustment, even if you’ve been through a few before. You will have hiccups, but you can do this!

  3. Alyssa

    Thank you so much for this! As a new Navy spouse, I really appreciate the information and support!!

    • Lizann

      You are welcome! I’m so glad it will be helpful!

  4. Ramona

    I need advice on how to handle the extended deployment! This is my first deployment, first military relationship and I pray on both being my last. He was due home in Feb. Now it’s extended.. I am ready to scream, punch walls, kidnap him etc.. how do you keep sanity especially in a new relationship?

    • Lizann

      I understand, deployment extensions are soooo frustrating, in any relationship! They’ve almost caused me a few breakdowns too. I try to distract myself with anything that will be fun and relieve stress, whether that’s diving into a hobby or craft project, cleaning the house, going to the gym, hanging out with friends, going shopping, planning a get-together, inviting a family member to visit, etc.
      It’s important to find the strategies for managing your own stress, even in extreme “surprises” like an extension. It’s beyond your control, so the only thing you can control is your own reaction and the space immediately around you. Focus on little rituals or routines that calm you and relieve stress until you have another Homecoming date to work with.
      Sending you a hug and all the strength for the end of deployment!

    • Joseph

      Hello, Ramona. I just posted the almost exact same situation. I wish you the best and hope this community can help us find our way so we can support our soldiers as best we can.


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