Adjusting to a new PCS as a Military Spouse, and as a Family

Adjusting to a new PCS as a Military Spouse, and as a Family

Adjusting to a new PCS as a Military Spouse, and as a Family

You’re at your spouse’s new duty station. Perhaps this is your first taste of military life. Perhaps you’re an old hand at military moves and deployments. In either case, you’ve found yourself in a new town (possibly state or even country) facing a brand new military community. You want to get involved and that’s great. But how do you go about doing it?

As a Military Spouse

As a military spouse, there are many ways to get involved in the community but first you need to examine some things in your life. First off, you should gauge how much time you will realistically have to pursue your military community involvement. Do you want to spend a few hours a month? One day a week? Five days a week? Figuring out how much time you want to dedicate will help you find the right fit for you.

Once you have figured out how much time you have to devote to getting involved, you need to look at your outside commitments. Do you already have a job? Do you stay at home caring for your children? Do you have educational things you are pursuing? Will you be too tired from your outside activities to pursue involvement in the military community? You might have to prioritize some things, move some things in your schedule around, etc., in order to make it work.

Finally, you need to decide what you are interested in doing? Do you just want to make new military friends? Do you want to take classes on the military installation? Do you want to volunteer for the military community or even work for pay? These are questions you need to answer before you begin.

Friendship & Classes

If it is making friends, keeping fit, or learning something new (or any combination), head into your installation’s fitness center. Most gyms have classes and you can pick up a schedule. You can also hire a personal trainer at many facilities. Getting involved at the gym will not only help you keep fit, but it will provide opportunities to make friends centered on a common interest.

But fitness classes aren’t the only thing you can do. Most military installations have craft and automotive classes and workshops. For a nominal fee, you might find a framing class, or an automotive repair class. Not only will you be learning a new skill, but you’ll quite possibly make some good friends.

The last type of classes are college classes. If higher education is an interest, contact you’re installation’s college office. They’ll be able to provide you with enrollment information, costs, and course offerings.


Perhaps making friends and or taking classes isn’t where your interests are. Perhaps you want to give more, or give back to the military community. Volunteering is an excellent way to do that. Most installations have many volunteer opportunities and it is just a matter of match the opportunity to your time and interests.

The National Military Family Association has many volunteer opportunities available. Their volunteers do things like hosting info tables at local events, judging scholarship applications, and speaking on behalf of military communities just like yours.

The United Service Organizations (USO) has volunteer opportunities at their many locations. Some are on military installations, or nearby. They work to make sure that service members stay connected to their families, homes, and country thus strengthening the military community as a whole.

The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society provides need-based assistance to active-duty and retired Sailors and Marines, their eligible family members, and survivors.

Fisher House Foundation runs a network of comfort homes where military and veterans’ families can stay at no cost while a loved one is receiving treatment. They have locations at military medical facilities all over the country.

Don’t forget to include your volunteer experience on your resume. Not only are you giving back to your community, but you’re also gaining useful skills and experiences that can help you in the job market in the future.

Military Employment

Many times you can find employment opportunities on your military installation as well. Your family service centers can help you with your resume, interviewing techniques, and even federal job applications. They also keep a list of job openings for the installation. There is everything from retail, food service, administrative, medical, and federal jobs. If you want to do an online search, you can go through the link below and it will take you to listings for federal jobs (not just military) in your area. Getting into the federal job pool can be difficult but, if you do get a job offer, incredibly rewarding.

As a Military Family

Getting involved as a family follows much of the same guidelines above. How much time do you have to commit to it? How much energy does the family have after their other obligations? What are your interests as a family? Once you figure that out, you can decide whether taking a class together, or volunteering together would be a better fit. Perhaps both? Most volunteer organizations have opportunities for families to volunteer together. It’s just a matter of finding the right organization on your installation for you and your family.

Perhaps, if you live on your installation, or in a military housing area, you can get together with other parents and create opportunities to connect with each other as families. Get creative. Ask your kids for their input. Make it fun and make it your own.

Regardless of how you choose to get involved, the people you meet, befriend, and/or help will become a part of you and you’ll be enriched by your involvement in your military community.

You can get a headastart on finding employment, schools, adult classes and groups at over 150 military installations in the U.S.A. at You can also download the mobile app and carry all that information in your pocket, along with local military coupons and discounts. 



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