Dear Brand-Spanking New Military Spouse,
Welcome! I know you are overwhelmed. I know you are excited. I know your service member is talking to you rapid-fire in acronyms, abbreviations, and regulations. Take a deep breath and pour a glass of wine, I’m here to help.
There are so many misconceptions of what is expected of a new military spouse and what rules a milspouse has to follow. We’ve been talking about these stereotypes and misconceptions a lot lately. I think there are a few important things that will help you get off on the right foot. And chances are, none of these will come from your service member.
1. Know your POAs
Powers of attorney are extremely important in the military community. You’ll probably need no less than 10 in your time as a milspouse. A General POA gives a designated person the right to do almost anything. A Specific POA gives that person the right to do one specific thing. Most of the things you need to do as a milspouse will fall under a General POA. (File taxes, rent a house, buy a car, etc.) However, some military departments (yes, Finance, I’m talking about you) are particular about the POA. They may require a Specific. Always call ahead and ask. Not every service member is comfortable giving their spouse a general POA. This is fine, there is a JAG Office almost everywhere, so they can always get a new POA for you if needed. Special note: If someone tells you the POA is not good because your service member is not deployed, politely inform them you know better and they need to accept it. They will try to fool you with this.