Albuquerque MEPS Oath of Enlistment, 7 November 23, 1115
This is the official page of the Albuquerque Military Entrance Processing Station
We process individuals for enlistment or induction into the armed services, based on DoD-approved peacetime and mobilization standards
Albuquerque MEPS Oath of Enlistment, 7 November 23, 1115
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Frequently Asked Questions for
Applicants’ Family Members, including Spouses
These Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and answers use the term “initial entry training” or IET to represent Army basic combat training, Marine Corps recruit training, Navy basic training, Air Force and Space Force basic military training and Coast Guard basic training. The term “applicant” refers to an individual who is processing at a Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS). After an applicant takes the Oath of Enlistment and ships to IET, for the purpose of these FAQs, they are referred to as a “trainee” or “military member.”
The Army has four IET sites: Fort Jackson, South Carolina; Fort Moore, Georgia; Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri; and Fort Sill, Oklahoma. The Marine Corps has two: Marine Corps Recruit Depots at Parris Island, South Carolina, and San Diego, California. The Navy has one: Recruit Training Command, Naval Station Great Lakes, Illinois. The Air Force and Space Force have one: Joint Base San Antonio, Texas. The Coast Guard has one: Cape May, New Jersey.
Since all the military services have different standard practices, the following guidance is intended for a general audience. Military recruiters can and should provide general and specific answers to questions about their service. Also, refer to military service websites that end in “.mil” or “.gov.” Some sites are listed in the FAQs.
Q: When can I expect first contact with a trainee during IET?
A: The first phone call should be within a few days and is generally very short. Primarily it is to verify their arrival and give a mailing address and other prominent information. Phone calls after the initial call vary by branch, week of training and any punishment/reward systems in place.
As for mail, this could take a couple of weeks to begin receiving. In the initial weeks, time is more limited until a routine is established and maintained. After that the trainees will begin having more free time to write correspondence.
Q: What kind of mail can be sent during IET?
A: Letter, cards, pictures, religious material are all acceptable. Rule of thumb, items should fit in an envelope that is preferably no larger than 5 x 7. Books, magazines, food, etc. will be confiscated. Some special circumstances may arise, and in this case, a trainee could get permission from their instructors and then make arrangements with a family member. Mail will be opened in front of the trainee’s instructor, so refrain from sending inappropriate pictures or materials.
Q: What physical contact can be had during IET?
A: NONE. During IET, making physical contact with a trainee is not allowed. Family members are prohibited from being in any training area or dorms.
Q: What training follows IET?
Military members will travel to a new installation to attend additional training for their assigned career field. Some school types may vary for specialized career fields.
• Army – Advanced Individual Training (AIT)
• Marines – School of Infantry (SOI) for infantry MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) or Military Combat Training (MCT) for non-infantry MOS. Upon completion of SOI or MCT, they will be sent to their follow-on specialized training.
• Navy – “A” School
• Air Force/ Space Force – Tech School
For Married Trainees/Military Members and their Spouses
Q: When will my spouse get their first pay? How much can we expect?
A: To ensure promptness and avoid delays, please ensure the trainee has a bank account set up and has all pertinent information like the account and routing number with them when they go to basic. Their first pay will be deposited between 30-45 days after beginning IET. Note that this initial pay will be less than normal. During IET the pay will be reduced (varies by branch) to pay for uniforms and other goods issued and bought during IET. Prepare your finances and budget accordingly.
Q: When/where/how do I get my dependent military ID? What paperwork is required?
A: During the recruiting process, an applicant’s recruiter will ask for, collect, verify, and enter all necessary paperwork for all dependents. Be prepared to bring in marriage licenses and birth certificates for verification. Once they are at IET, they will complete and mail an Application for Identification Card/DEERS Enrollment form (DD Form1172-2). Following this, family members may then visit the DEERS office at the nearest installation to obtain ID card(s). You can visit your local DEERS office website to set up an appointment or view office/walk-in hours. Kirtland DEERS info:
http://kirtlandforcesupport.com/military-personnel/. In some cases, the service will send a letter with information on how to navigate through the RAPIDS system to make an appointment.
If family members are not near an installation, you may be able to visit the DEERS office located at the base where the trainee is completing IET – while there for graduation.
Q: When do family member medical benefits begin?
A: As soon as a family member obtains a DOD ID card, they can then register into regional Tricare. The Tricare representative can explain the different plans and assist in selecting a local Primary Care Manager (PCM). Appointments can be made by calling the appointment line at the family member’s assigned Military Treatment Facility (MTF). For those who live outside the required distance to an MTF, Tricare will assist in finding a local in-network provider.
Q: What military installation benefits can I access?
A: As soon as a family member obtains a DOD ID card, they will have access to installations. Below is a list of some of the agencies and services:
• Base Exchange
• Force Support Squadron (Air Force/Space Force Bases) (Includes Outdoor Rec, Bowling Alley, Theater, Child Development Center etc. See website for full list of services offered at Kirtland Air Force Base (AFB) www.kirtlandforcesupport.com, Cannon AFB https://www.cannonforce.com/forcesupportsquadron and Holloman AFB https://www.hollomanfss.com)
Army MWR (Morale, Welfare and Recreation) (Army Post) https://bliss.armymwr.com Marine Corps Community Services (MCCS) (Marine bases) Navy MWR (Navy bases)
• Airman’s Attic (Air Force base) open to qualifying members of any branch.
• Thrift Shops
• Chapels and Chaplain Services
• Military and Family Readiness Flight (Air Force/Space Force base) Army Community Services (Army post)
Fleet and Family Readiness (Navy base)
Marine and Family Support (Marine Corps base)
• Judge Advocate General (JAG) Office (limited services)
• And more - availability at bases varies.
Q: What help can I get, especially if I don’t live close to a military installation?
A: You have access to an amazing online community through www.militaryonesource.mil
They offer large array of services like:
• Individualized work and life counselors
• Confidential non-medical counseling
• Financial and tax consultation
• Spouse relocation and transition
• Spouse education and career opportunities
• and more
For family members with children, there are organizations that can help with childcare costs. Click here to get more information: https://www.childcareaware.org/fee-assistancerespite/military-families/
Q: When can family members move with the military member?
A: Army, Navy, AF/SF:
If the member will be attending a specialized training of 20 or more weeks, their dependents can be added to their orders and authorized to move to their training location with them. While at training, some branches may have limitations and special permissions that must be obtained so make sure to have them ask what the rules are for their specific training school.
Spouses cannot accompany a military member to SOI or MCT. In some cases, they are authorized to move with the military member to their specialized training school if the school is over a certain length of time.
Q: How do I prepare for moving to our first duty station?
A: Begin the process as soon as the military member obtains their orders.
• Contact the Transportation Office on the installation to set up a move. A decision must be made to do a Personally Procured Move (PPM) (also known as a DITY (do-it-yourself) move) or military arranged move. If you choose for the military to arrange your move, they will hire professionals to pack and move your household goods.
• Research the installation you are going to, i.e., housing, schools, job market, etc. There are many online resources. Each installation should also have some information on their websites for newcomers. Military One Source is another great online resource for installation information and for move preparation in general.
• Contact your inbound installation’s housing office. On
base/post housing may be an available option, however some installations may have a wait list, in that case living off base/post might be the better option. The housing office can offer information on the local rental/real estate market.
• Make sure all your important documents, i.e., insurance, wills, power of attorney etc., are all up to date and kept with you during the move.
• Sort through your household goods and purge any unnecessary items. There is a weight allowance for your move based on rank and dependence status. https://blog.ahrn.com/pcs-weight-allowance/
Link to: Guide to a Military Member’s First Move
Q: How many dependents can a military member have?
A: At the time of enlisting, a trainee/military member may be restricted to a certain number of dependents.
• Army: Allow 1 spouse + 2 children
• Marines: Allow 1 spouse + 1 child
• Navy: Allow 1 spouse + 2 children
• AF/SF: Allow 1 spouse + 2 children.
If a military member has more dependents than listed, they can request a waiver from their service.
PCS – Permanent Change of Station
DEERS - Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System
TRICARE – Military health Care coverage for Service members and their family
Orders – Official documents stating the military is moving someone from point A to point B.
LES – Leave and Earnings Statement
BAH – Basic Housing Allowance
CAC – Common Access Card (Used by Service members and Federal Employees)
DOD ID Card – Department of Defense Identification Card (Used military spouses, children, and retirees)
Active duty military resource website, offering 24/7 support for service members, spouses, their family and survivors on taxes, moving, benefits, MWR and more.
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10500 Copper Avenue NE
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