So I know I promised those Disney reviews, but oh my goodness this past week has been crazy. You know those weeks where all of a sudden you look around and realize it is the weekend already, and you still have a full to do list? Totally feeling you right now.
One of the main things that I have been finishing up is my paperwork for Germany. Let us pause while I scream into a pillow, out of both pure excitement and wanting to strangle someone.
Okay, much better now.
As you can tell from this title, my situation is unique. Which means I can barely find any information necessary. Big surprise, it is hard to get information out of the military. Because of that, I am going to compile a list of what I had to do to be cleared.
1. Lets go over the title, to help everyone out. PCS means Permanent Change of Station, meaning you are leaving one base and going to another for a few years. OCONUS means Outside [the] contiguous United States; i.e. Alaska, Hawaii, and all other countries. Geo-Bachelor is a military member that is married, but is currently living alone. So if you are currently not living with them due to work, school, family, etc, they are a Geo-Bachelor.
2. As soon as you get wind of PCSing OCONUS, start filling out paperwork. Ours was a bit different, as he was deployed when he found out, so we had to wait much longer than we would like to. Make sure you have a PCM, Primary Care Manager. This is just your regular doctor, but if you haven’t gone in a while and need to find a new one, do this asap. It may take a while to get it through Tricare, and physicals may take a few weeks. Because I am far from a base, my PCM is a civilian doctor. Some of you may be going onto a base for it all, which on the paperwork side of everything is easier because they already know what they are doing. The paperwork seems huge and daunting, but is really simple for them to fill out.
3. Do the same with a dentist. You will need to enroll in Tricare Dental if you are going that route. Just get it done and out of the way asap. You never know what will happen when you go in. You want all of your dental work completed, so they can check off that you are cleared. There is one page for them to fill out as well.
4. Get your Military No-Fee Passport done. This will take a few weeks to go through. This needs to be done on base. I needed Form DS-11, DD Form 1056, my original birth certificate, two 2×2 photos, my marriage certificate, and a copy of the front and back of my and my husbands military ID card. Thankfully I was able to do this while visiting my husband.
5. In my experience, I had to drive to my nearest base (an hour and a half away in rush hour traffic for my 9:30 am meeting) for my clearance. My meeting just confirmed that everything was correct and there were no problems in our marriage. I think it is great that they ask, but my goodness, why couldn’t I do it over the phone?! I know others have been able to, so maybe you will get lucky. My meeting took a total of three minutes, then they handed me back a copy of my form and sent me on my way.
That has been it for now. The hardest part of the process for me was the final meeting, as I am in school. They had to work a bit with my schedule. That meeting took around 6 weeks to finally get to, which pushed back all of his paperwork.
If anyone has ANY questions, don’t be afraid to ask!
On to the next step!