My Significant Other Left for Boot Camp…Now What?

The day my husband swore into the Navy and left for boot camp was a day full of emotions for all of his friends and family. We felt a strange combination of fear, pride, sorrow, and happiness. Over the years spent in the military since that day, my husband and I have noticed that people who have their significant others join the military are so focused on the day they leave for boot camp, that they forget to plan for what comes after. Once the active-duty member actually leaves for boot camp the spouses are then left wondering: “They left…now what?”
Most spouses stay with their parents, or in their own home in their home state, during the boot camp months. They don’t really have a chance to immerse themselves in the military life culture until after graduation and they move to their spouse’s first duty station. There are still ways that a new military spouse can help prepare for what’s to come, though, while their significant other is in boot camp. Here are the ways that helped me prepare the most:


1. Learn Military Time
Your spouse will come from work and say something along the lines of “I have to be back at 0800 in the morning,” or “The FRG meeting for spouses is at 1800 tonight.” When you look up the times that the base pharmacy or commissary is open, the internet will tell you the times in military time format. Knowing ahead of time that 1800 means 6PM will save you a lot of hassle and stress as a new military spouse. The best way that I learned military time was to set my phone clock to portray military time. That way, for the 2 months that my husband was in boot camp, I was able to practice learning the time format and was a pro before we reached his first duty station.


2. Memorize the active-duty member’s social security number
As a new military spouse, I was shocked to learn just how much my husband’s social security number was used. I needed it for health insurance, dental insurance, eye care, and to log into military related accounts online. Carrying around his number in your wallet can be very dangerous in case your wallet gets stolen, so the best advice I can give is to memorize it.


3. Be Patient
“Hurry up and wait” is a real thing. I’m not a fan of being patient, but as a military life you’ll have to be. Don’t freak out if it takes weeks to get your first letter from your significant other while in boot camp. It took me 3 weeks to get the first letter from my husband, and it was very short. Keep sending yours from day one though! Sometimes they can receive mail even if theirs doesn’t get sent.
Be patient with yourself. You will have a lot to learn and it’s overwhelming at times. Be patient with yourself and remember that you can’t learn it all in a day.


4. Plan Your Trip to Boot Camp Graduation
Graduating boot camp is probably the biggest, and scariest, thing that your significant other has ever accomplished. They may play it up that it’s okay if you aren’t there when they graduate, but they want you there. They need you there. You need to be there. Take time off work, book your plane tickets, or check the tires on your car…and go. Tell them ahead of time so that they can reserve you a ticket, or put your name on the list, depending on how the specific branch of military does things. If they offer professional pictures of your active-duty member in uniform at an astronomical price…buy one! We didn’t buy one and have forever regretted it. Here’s a picture of us after his graduation. We were so young!




5. Research where you are moving to after graduation
If you’re one of the lucky ones that know where you are moving to after graduation, then be sure to do TONS of research on the area! Find Facebook groups for the base/post to join and let housing know you are coming if you can. One of my favorite parts of moving to a new duty station is Googling all of the fun activities to experience in the area.



Those 5 steps are simple ones, but they’ll make a world of difference in helping you transition from civilian to military life. Be sure to check out the Military Life section of the blog for more information on what being a military spouse is all about. Welcome to the military community, we’re glad to have you!


One thought on “My Significant Other Left for Boot Camp…Now What?

  1. Anosa

    July 4, 2017 at 5:56am

    I know it is so hard especially during the first few weeks. Great tips indeed. Attending the graduation is really one of the best part.

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  2. Denice

    July 4, 2017 at 5:06am

    These are great tips! Especially learning military time and learning your husband’s social security number by heart.

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  3. Michelle Paige

    July 3, 2017 at 8:49pm

    These are all really awesome tips! I can’t even imagine how hard it must have been to get used to the transition! It’s like a whole different world, not to mention missing your loved one.

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  4. JD Obedoza

    July 2, 2017 at 11:39pm

    Congratulations! I’m sure he’ll make you, your family, and your country proud!

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  5. Erin

    July 1, 2017 at 6:24pm

    Oh gosh, my hubs went to military school so he uses military time constantly!! I STILL can’t get used to it!!

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  6. Claudia Krusch

    July 1, 2017 at 2:16pm

    It would be so hard to see your Husband leave for boot camp. I have a few friends with Military spouses. It is so nice to see such a big support group they have.

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  7. Denay

    July 1, 2017 at 4:34am

    Though military life presents so many challenges for couples, I’m so glad it provides a number of fantastic and interesting travel experiences for you both. What great tips for those with spouses in the military.

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  8. Lorena

    June 30, 2017 at 10:00pm

    Really good tips I am sure they will help many people it has to be hard this style of life which I didn’t know about it.

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  9. Tee

    June 30, 2017 at 8:09pm

    Wow, interesting post. I learnt a lot from it, just for my own knowledge. I don’t know anyone in the military where i live but if i did, I’d pass this on.

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  10. Alayna

    June 30, 2017 at 7:45pm

    My boyfriend comes from a military family. I can’t imagine how many sacrifices were made along the way. This is a great resource!

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  11. Corinne & Kirsty

    June 30, 2017 at 6:44pm

    This is a really interesting post. I new nothing about it before. Not in the situation where my bf would leave for boot camp but I’d be prepared if it ever happens! xx corinne

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  12. Sarah Bailey

    June 30, 2017 at 5:51pm

    It must be a big adjustment to all when a spouse goes off to something like boot camp. These sound like some great tips for those experiencing it for the first time.

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  13. Rosanna Alicia Design

    June 30, 2017 at 3:46pm

    Wow this is a really interesting post! That must be a seriously hard situation – kudos to you! Some great tips for prospective military spouses – I’ll be sure to pass on 🙂 Rx

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  14. Stefanie

    June 30, 2017 at 7:47am

    Wow that must be hard. I can´t imagine how this must be. But yu can be proud of him

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  15. Geek

    June 30, 2017 at 7:39am

    Thanks for nice post and suggestion.I’ll share with my army friend and this family.

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  16. Kristy C

    June 30, 2017 at 4:50am

    I really enjoyed reading this article. Reminds me of when my dad was in the army. My mom cried big time when she was pregnant with my sister and my dad went to camp. My husband works for the Navy. He’s on atwo week trip now. Miss him so much

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  17. Amber

    June 30, 2017 at 12:54am

    This is a tough time! I was in college when mine went to basic training so time seemed to pass fairly quickly. But I did miss being able to talk to him whenever I wanted.

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  18. Heather Johnson

    June 30, 2017 at 12:30am

    I totally could not deal with a spouse away for military service. You offer some great tips for military families.

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  19. GiGi

    June 20, 2017 at 7:58pm

    OMG I would be so sad if my husband left for boot camp or an extended amount of time. He’s my everything. When he leaves for like more than 10 hours in a day I start to miss him, HA! That being said, I am also super independent so I know I would be okay, but we get married for a reason, right?!

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