What Not To Do Prior To a Deployment

The orders are official. You’re leaving for 6-12 months to another country you know almost nothing about. Regardless of the mission, or what your MOS is, there are some things you shouldn’t do before you get on that plane to go wherever it is that Uncle Sam thinks you are needed.

Don’t Get Married

You might be dating someone when you get the word that you’re deploying. You might even love this person and, because of that, the next illogical step you take in your mind is to marry them. Don’t. A deployment takes a lot out of marriage; the divorce rate in the military exceeds the civilian side as it is. Is having your first year of marriage with one of you being gone going to make things better or worse?

“But I might die and I want them to get my benefits.” Well, fictional reader, you don’t have to get married to be able to do that. You’ll be able to designate whoever you want to get your death benefits and you’ll be filling out a will before you go. If you want them to have everything you can do that, but you don’t need to stick yourself in a legally binding contract to do so. Also, it should be noted that statistically, the President is more likely to be assassinated than US troops were likely to be killed in Iraq and Afghanistan combined.

DeploymentDon’t Get In Trouble

Getting into trouble, be it with the law or with the military, is a really bad idea before a deployment. If it’s civilian law that you’ve broken, and the issue hasn’t been settled before your deployment, you might not be able to go either because you’re in jail or because the unit won’t take you with it. It’s not 2005 anymore, so being in the military doesn’t get you out of what it used to (not that it should get you out of anything). And even if the court case does get settled, you might be looking at an Article 15; and doing extra duty during a deployment is just the worst.

But it’s not just extra duty during a deployment that could be bad if you get into trouble with the military. Imagine getting demoted right before a deployment; think of all that money you’ll be losing out on, and if you have dependents your stupidity is literally taking food out of their mouths. If you do get into legal trouble, take a look at this article from Military.com. There’s some good advice and some resources are linked too if you need legal help.

Don’t Buy High-Speed Gear

It’s one thing if you’re buying a sling for your M4, extra medical pouches if you’re a medic or boots that are actually comfortable. If your unit doesn’t supply you with everything you need, it’s sometimes best to spend your own money.

What I’m talking about is buying a damn bowie knife that you attached to your lower back, or buying 16 different Gerbers. If you do that, you might as well buy some ACU pattern condoms also, since everyone is going to make fun of you for being a d-bag. A good rule of thumb is, if you don’t need it, don’t buy it. Save your money for tobacco during the deployment and booze for when you’re on leave. You know, the important things.

Everyone has a different experience, so let me know if you disagree or if you have something to add in the comments.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

Mark Wasson

Mark spent 7 years in the Minnesota National Guard as a combat medic. When's he's not busy losing friends, he's drinking with his dog. Befriend him on Facebook or follow him on a Twitter that he doesn't use.
Mark Wasson
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