Hello, I am 18 and currently in a relationship with my boyfriend who is in boot camp for the Army right now. However, after AIT we plan on getting married. All of this stuff is so new to me. One of his recruiters told him the DEERS paperwork process could take 5-6 months until I get to move in with him and then an army man at MEPS told him that DEERS is optional to either do before or during the time I am living with him is that true? Or would I have to wait the 5-6 months until it is completed? Also, he is an 88M which means he could first be stationed anywhere and I am extremely worried he may get stationed in a war zone and I will not be able to go, but how much of consideration do you think they will take into his Dream Sheet. Do you think he has a better chance of getting a safe station or war zone… please help!!
First, let me congratulate you on your upcoming marriage! Second, let us break down all your questions. It sounds like your boyfriend was given a bunch of misinformation!
Does it take 5-6 months for me to be placed in DEERS?
The short answer is no, he would be able to place you immediately into DEERS as soon as you are married and have a certified copy of your marriage license. He would literally just walk into the DEERS office with that as well as other paperwork and have you added to DEERS (it is immediate and if you are with him, you would get your ID card that same day). You can read more about that here How Long Do I Have To Wait To Be Added To DEERS? Not sure why a recruiter would tell him it takes 5-6 months to process DEERS paperwork, but that is simply not true.
Is DEERS optional?
DEERS is NOT optional unless you never want to live with him or have benefits (medical, dental, post privileges, etc…). It is up to him on when he decides to put you in DEERS, so that part is true. Most do it on the day of marriage (if done at a courthouse) or after the honeymoon (with a traditional wedding). He will also be required to live in the barracks until he reaches a certain rank (unless he is married or has children, in which he would then be able to move out of the barracks). You would need to be placed in DEERS before you and he would be able to move in together either in post housing or off post.
Will his first duty station be in a war zone?
As for his duty station and dream sheet, they will look at his wish list, but it is all based on the needs of the military. Also, they aren’t stationed in war zones, they get deployed to them. In other words, they are stationed at a post and from there they deploy to the war zone for 9 months – 1 year (current typical deployment length) and then return to their post when done. You would stay behind at the post, as dependents are not allowed to deploy with the servicemember. There have been instances where the servicemember gets to their duty station and is immediately deployed, so that is a possibility!
Hope this answers your questions!