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Daughter getting married soon to sailor - Have some questions

Hi, I would appreciate any input or advice.  My daughter is 20 years old and is finishing up her AA degree.  We are a very close knit family and she has never been anywhere away from home for any length of time.  She dated her boyfriend in high school since she was 15 and he was 16 and they recently got engaged and want to get married in December.  Her now fiance  finished his schooling is stationed for 2 years at a location where he is doing his job.  He is located about 7 hours from where we live right now.  By the time they get married, he would have been in the service for a little over a year.  He has been promised to stay at his present location doing his job for at least 2 years and has a term of 5 years.  Their plan is to get married in December, and live off his pay while she continues to go to school full time to finish up her 4 year degree.  They want to be married because they miss each other being far apart and want to be together.  As parents, we want our daughter to be happy and support her decision, but also from experience, we know that it is not going to be easy.  Being away from home for the first time as a married woman, being a new wife in an area that is totally new and not having any family around other than her husband when she is used to having family around, being a full time student, living off of one income.  I don't think she realizes what a culture shock it is going to be and once the novalty of being married wears off a little bit, she may realize that what we were saying was true.  Right now all she can see is that she is in love and wants to be married so they can be together which I understand but am concerned for her.  If anyone is going through or has gone through a similar situation which I'm sure many have, I would appreciate anything you can offer.

If you are a mom who went or are going through a similar situation, were you able to get your daughter to view the pros and cons?  If she got married, how has she adjusted?  Is it as hard as I am thinking it will be?  Do you think it would have been better to wait until she finished school to get married?  Things I'm factoring in is possible pregnancy, moving around to different locations.

Also, if you are a young wife how are you adjusting?  Are you able to continue going to school or are things getting in the way of you completing your degree?

I personally was hoping that when her now fiance went into the navy, it was going to give them the time they needed to focus on their careers and my daughter was going to only have to focus on being a full time student, finish up her degree, and would enable her to become her own person and independent instead of becoming completely dependent on her new husband, being a new wife in a new area, and being a full time student.  This also would have enabled them both to mature a little more since they are only 20 years old.

Financially she says that they will be ok on one income since they will live in housing that is paid for.  I think he will be an E3, so that is what they will have to pay their bills and live off of.  From anyone's experience, is it easy to live off of that.

We do not come from a military family so this is an adjustment for all of us so any suggestions, advise, input would really be appreciated.


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Detail one: if married, he will receive BAH (basic allowance for housing).  This is enough to pay rent and utilities, based on the zip code of his duty station, if they are frugal, they can keep any extra.  Google BAH 2012 and his duty station, you'll see how much it is. Pretty generous.  Plus, she will have amazing health coverage for free, and access to base facilities.  Financially, it is a good decision, as long as they don't get into a new car or something like that.  He (and she) may have to go through financial counseling on base (which would be free).  The Navy will not pay for her move though, not this time. 

I see this often in the GF/wives/fiances group, from the viewpoint of the new/potential spouse.  Thousands and thousands of them do this just fine.  Is it hard?  Yes.  Is it always successful?  Yes, no and maybe.  Does she think she is mature?  I bet she does.  If not, she'll grow up fast as a wife in a new place.  I am betting she in not thinking she is giving up her independence, rather, that she is making a new life and new steps forward.  

She can finish an AA almost anywhere.  If she wants to work, she could.  Family Services offers free courses and seminars on resumes, interviews and job hunting.  There's a lot the Navy offers for spouses.  Look up MWR for his base, you'll see part of it. Also, it is insulting to her to assume because she wants to marry that she is giving up her identity and future.  Sure, she'll be in love with being in love for a while, but she'll find herself when he is away.  It is the Navy, at some point, he'll be away.  

She will also have the support of the other military wives, the Navy is geared toward family support.  If he is on a ship which deploys, she will have the Family Readiness Group to hold her hand through the process.

If he makes it a career, the retirement benefits are amazing.  

Can you tell I was in the Navy my entire life? Born, raised, joined myself, married a sailor who is now retired.  It is not an easy life for a new wife, but it isn't all poverty and strife.  She will have some rough patches, but overall, she is marrying someone who loves her, who is steadily employed, and can offer her what passes for stability in today's world.  

Cons: he is an E-3, and the Navy is overmanned so he may advance slowly.  It is the Navy, he will eventually deploy.  He will miss family gatherings, and so will she.  The opportunities to be unfaithful will be present for them both, and neither will believe it is ever an issue at this time.  They're young, they could outgrow each other.  Again, they won't believe that.  But they are the same age  my parents married at, and my parents were married until they died, over 60 years.  So it can work.  I can tell you all the cons in the world, but you probably aren't going to change her mind.

Thank you for all your helpful information. 

Welcome, and remember, my opinions are just that, feel free to disagree.

You may want to send the FDIL to the GF/fiance group, so she can talk to other young women about what they are experiencing, and the newlywed ladies can share their bumps in the road.  There are other groups than this one here also.

Ooops, daughter, not DIL, sorry!  Fingers faster than the brain......


Thank you, I will. 

Hi,  I have another question regarding BAS.

Their particular scenerio will be to living in a military housing community that is 7 miles from his base.  Is that considered living on base or off base since it actually is not on base but is a military community?

I have been told that he will not get BAS because he will be getting BAH and if he doesn't have to use it all, what ever is left over they can use for other things.  It looks like that would be about $35.00 left over living in the military community.  So is it correct that he will not be getting any food allowance since he is getting the BAH. 


BAS and BAH are not related directly.  He should be getting BAS on top of the BAH if he is not eating at a military facility.  BAS is for the service member only, even the single guys get it if they aren't required to eat at the galley.  One does not preclude the other.  Unless he's on a ship, then it works differently, the BAS goes to the ship when he's deployed.  (basically, it gets complicated)

Also, if they are in housing and not renting, they don't get to keep any of the BAH.  100% to housing.  It all goes into the check, and then it is all taken out at the same time, an accounting drill.  It is considered "on base" or base housing even if it is not physically behind the gates; most is privatized these days.  Off base means they have a civilian lease.  That's when they get to keep the leftover money, when renting.  The advantage to base housing is the utilities are included and they never have to remember to pay rent and bills.  No budgeting.  The disadvantage, no extra money.

So, if I'm understanding this correctly.   For example, right now, he is living on base but he is living with a roommate and they each have their own bedroom and bathroom and share a kitchen and living room.  He has to go shopping for food on his own, so what ever he is given for BAS stays in his paycheck and he uses it to pay for his food since they cook in their kitchen.  When he gets married, he will continue to have this BAS in his paycheck, no extra money for food for being married, just the same amount that he was getting, and he can buy food with that.  They do not take BAS away when away or add to it.  If he gets deployed somewhere and has to live on a boat, then his BAS will be taken out automatically so he can eat on the ship.  In that case, my daughter has to buy her own food, but she will get separation pay of around $250.00 a month that could help with that.  With reading around, did I learn something and get this right ?? lol

I know it was mentioned that they should be alright on an E3 salary.  When you look that up, is his BAS included in that.  Someone else mentioned that is it already included in their pay. 

I know it was mentioned they should be ok based on his E3 pay since their housing will be payed for and they don't have to pay utilities.  If you factor in the $250 a month new car payment, phone bill, internet, car insurance, food, and gas, is there anything else they need to worry about?



You have the BAS situation correct.  However, it is NOT included in his base pay for E-3, it is a tax exempt allowance.  I don't know which chart you're looking it up on.  In his pay?  No, not his base pay... in his check/deposit, yes.  

So he'd get pay, BAH, BAS and maybe FSA.  Maybe even COLA for some areas.  And eventually Sea Pay.  

I use these:

Base pay, taxable:

Allowances and special pay:

BAS is fixed rate:

Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS) - BAS is a rate based on the service member only and is not intended to cover spouses and/or family members' food/subsistence costs. As of January 1, 2012, all enlisted military members in a proper status draw a full BAS monthly rate of $348.44 and $239.96 for Officers. Service members who draw BAS are required to pay for their own meals, even if provided by the government.

Thank you. Those charts are very helpful. 

Hopefully when the times comes there is availability in the military community.  I'm sure he is being advised on what he needs to do to provide a place to live and he will have all that taken care of before they are married in December. 

I really appreciate all your help.



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