For Families


Military retirees and their dependents based in the U.S. may now renew their military ID cards online and receive them by mail, relieving them of a trip to the on-base ID card office.  Sponsors and cardholders may request renewals at the ID Card Office Online website. At the site, the sponsor must verify the dependent's identifying information and digitally sign a new Form DD 1172-2 to receive the renewed ID by mail.

PCS and School Transitions- Reminders for Military Parents

EFM Legal Assistance and Policy Branch

PCS and School Transitions- Reminders for Military Parents

WHO Should Know: As we approach PCS season, it is important for military parents to remember that school transitions trigger crucial protections for military children, even some college level dependents, not just those who require special education or accommodations. 

What Does the Law Say:

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act provides parents with the right to access and obtain copies of all their children’s educational records, including evaluations, Individualized Education Programs (IEP), progress reports, and all other relevant documents. Parents can request a copy of their child’s records in writing, or using a local form, through their school or district. Complete school records will help your child’s new school to offer comparable services or to appropriately address any special needs and/or accommodations a child may have. Parents should hand-carry these documents during the PCS and avoid packing them with the rest of their household items. 

The Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children is an agreement amongst states to assist military kids in experiencing seamless school transfers and consistency in attendance, enrollment, eligibility, and graduation requirements. It ensures military students receive consistent educational opportunities with different schooling and placement requirements for all sorts of school-related activities, including extracurricular and after school programs. 

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act provides specific timelines for gaining schools to adopt or complete new evaluations for children with disabilities. Services should not be discontinued while new evaluations are underway. Further, special education services and accommodations should not be denied because a student is new or because their existing IEP is from another state. Seek assistance from the local Legal Assistance Office, School Liaison, or EFMP Coordinator, if facing unreasonable delays in receiving services, implementing existing IEPs, or other educational difficulties.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 protects individuals with disabilities from discrimination in federally funded educational programs. Section 504 provides services to students who require accommodations even if they do not qualify for special education through an IEP. Protections under 504 extend beyond public schools and 12th-grade into other educational settings when an institution is receiving federal funding. Before you move, communicate with your children’s current school about their Section 504 Plan, and ensure the new school is aware of your children’s needs and is better prepared to implement the necessary accommodations. 

Summary: Plan Ahead; Maintain Records; Advocate; and Seek Help Early and Often. Military parents play a vital role in ensuring each child’s educational success. Plan ahead, maintain records, communicate with both the losing and gaining school ahead of time, advocate for your child and seek support early and often. Reach out to your local Legal Assistance Office, School Liaison, or your EFMP Coordinator, for further guidance and assistance. 

For more information, check out the video library on DAF Family Vector at:

Five & Thrive Initiatives

  1. Thrive Helps Military Parents and Children - Thrive is a free online program for busy parents like you. Thrive provides evidence-informed, best-parenting guidelines that promote positive parenting, stress management and healthy lifestyle practices. Find out how Thrive can help you raise healthy, resilient children from birth to 18 HERE
  2. Text Tips for MilParents - Get parenting tips texted to your phone twice a week for 10 weeks. To opt in, text "MilLife Parenting" to 468311.
  3. When a Service Member May Be at Risk for Suicide - Suicide prevention is a serious issue for service members and their loved ones.  Reservists are of special concern because they often live in areas with limited access to health care services. Learn how to recognize warning signs of risk and how to take action by visiting THIS website.
  4. Free Membership to FlexJobs - Military spouses can find a career that meets their unique needs with a free one-year membership to a leading specialty online job search site HERE.
  5. Deployment Resources for Families - Military families know how to stand strong, but the stresses of deployment can bring extra challenges. Military OneSource can connect members to a wide array of information and services designed to support military families HERE.
  6. Housing Availability Issues Affecting our Service Members - The current hot housing market is impacting many military families. Those relocating are facing rising rents and home prices, paying out of pocket for temporary lodging, waiting longer for on-base housing and paying more per month than their housing allowance covers. Go HERE for the DoD BAH calculator.
  7. Strengthen Your Relationship - Couples counseling can help military personnel and their families stay steady during life's challenges and build a stronger, closer relationship HERE.

Five & Thrive Background

Expanded Childcare Program (ECC)
The Department of the Air Force Family Child Care (DAF FCC), Expanded Child Care (ECC) Program assists families in obtaining high-quality childcare from certified providers at or near the installation. Childcare is available for children ages two weeks to 12 years. ECC is available at all DAF led Active-Duty locations with an active FCC Program or at other non-DAF led installations/locations where approved providers are available. Use of ECC is permitted once all paperwork is completed and approved. Parents using ECC are expected to arrange their work schedules to have ample time to be with their children. Care is dependent on the availability of funding and providers. Click HERE for more information.

Pilot Program
The Department of the Air Force (DAF) Child and Youth Programs (CYP) is piloting a program that allows military families to consider off base childcare that uses state quality-rated programs when military families are unable to secure enough nationally accredited care. DAF CYP is piloting this initiative in Virginia, Maryland, and Nevada. In FY22, this pilot program will be expanded to Florida, Washington State, and California.
10 Great Resources for Military Spouse Jobs
Check out 10 resources for military spouse jobs HERE.

Spouse reimbursement for Licensures and Certifications
Learn how your spouse may be eligible for License, certification, and business costs reimbursements following a PCS or PCA  HERE

New Military Spouse Employment Partnerships (MSEP) Employers
The Department of Defenses inducted 45 new companies and organizations into the Military Spouse Employment Partnership. Learn about these new partners and their commitment to recruit, hire, promote, and retain military spouses. Click HERE for more information.
TRICARE Open Season is the annual period when you can enroll in or change your health care coverage for the next year. In 2021, TRICARE Open Season begins Nov. 8 and ends Dec. 13. Any enrollment changes you make will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2022. Open season applies to anyone enrolled in or eligible for a TRICARE Prime option or TRICARE Select.
Click HERE for more information.

If you’re eligible to participate in TRICARE Open Season, you have three options:
Stay in your plan. If you want to stay in your current TRICARE health plan, you do not have to re-enroll. You’ll continue in your current health plan through 2022 or as long as you are eligible.
Enroll in a plan. If you are eligible for a TRICARE Prime option or TRICARE Select but not enrolled, you can enroll in a plan now.
Change plans. If you’re already enrolled in a TRICARE Prime option or TRICARE Select, you can switch plans and switch between individual and family enrollment.
School Liaison Program MilLife Guide
The Military One Source App now contains a MilLife Guide for the School Liaison Program. It allows families, leadership and community stakeholders to connect fast to support and answers. With 24/7 access to powerful tools and help in your hands, anytime, anywhere. Provides a quick read on PreK-12 Education support along with articles, benefits, tools and connecting with a local PreK-12 education specialist. See link for more information on the Military OneSource App HERE.

DoDEA FY21 Grant Awardees
DoDEA received 75 quality and innovative proposals from school districts across the Nation for the FY 21 Military-Connected Local Educational Agencies for Academic and Support Program (MCASP). Thirty-two grants totaling $46.9M were awarded to military-connected public-school districts. Sixteen school districts affecting DAF-connected students were awarded $22M to support STEM, Health, World Language and Technical/Career Programs. DAF Installations supported by schools receiving the grants were Offutt, Scott, Eglin, Hurlburt Field, Peterson, Schriever, USAFA, Buckley, Grand Forks, Whiteman, Beale, and Sheppard. Contact Ms. Lori Phipps at 210-774-8673 or your installation School Liaison
Program Manager by scanning the QR Code for additional information.

EFMP Special Education Specialist
The Exceptional Family Member Program continues expanding its team of resources at the EFMP Central Cell and now includes a special education specialist as part of continuing efforts to support families. Marcine Woodley recently joined the EFMP Central Cell as a special education specialist. In this role, Woodley will assist families navigating the education system. For more information on this new position, please see article HERE.

Power of Partnership in Education
Check out this article that illustrates how we are stronger together, working with our local community partners to make education better for not just our military community but also the civilian community. Consider ways to create these same types of partnerships when trying to tackle Five&Thrive initiatives, as all of these are tied to both family and mission readiness. Read more HERE.
Moving Benefits
Although May through September is considered prime PCS season, there are military families that PCS during the winter months. There is a breakdown of your PCS benefits HERE.

Note: As a reminder, Airmen and Guardians can currently qualify for discounted lodging rates if having difficulty securing housing after PCS to CONUS locations. The discounted rates only apply to on-base lodging for members who have reached the end of the 10-day TLE authorization, and in areas where 60 days TLE have not been approved. This authorization expires 31 Jan 22 and applies to areas experiencing limited availability of rental properties and significant increases in rental costs where Airmen/Guardians are delayed with securing housing. The AFSVC/CC will determine locations eligible for this lodging rate discount. For more information, reach out to your local housing office to see if your location is eligible to the lodging rate discount. The eligible list, current as of 1 December, includes:
Arnold AFB, TN Ellsworth AFB, SD Lackland AFB, TX Peterson SFB, CO
Beale AFB, CA Fairchild AFB, WA Luck AFB, AZ Randolph AFB, TX
Buckley SFB, CO Goodfellow AFB, TX MacDill AFB, FL Shaw AFB, SC
Dover AFB, DE Hill AFB, UT Maxwell AFB, AL Sheppard AFB, TX
Eielson AFB, AK Hurlburt Field, FL McConnell AFB, KS Travis AFB, CA
Edwards AFB, CA Keesler AFB, MS Mountain Home AFB, ID USAFA, CO
Eglin AFB, FL Kirtland AFB, NM Nellis AFB, NV  

DAF Military Housing
Did you know there is a hotline you can call to report a military housing issue that is not being resolved at the local level? Here is a toll free hotline to contact the AF housing section and AFCEC will investigate the issue: 800-482-6431.The Tenant Bill of Rights ensures access to unit maintenance history, and establishes a process to withhold rent payment while in formal dispute resolution. If the 18 tenant rights process is not working at the local level, there is a process to help you address the issues. See article (HERE) for further information.
Additional Resources Five & Thrive QR Code

Spouse Stories

Together We are Stronger
Heba Abdelaal, Air Force Spouse

THIS VIDEO beautifully highlights the mission critical work on the front lines of Operation Allies Refuge/Operation Allies Welcome (OAR/OAW). Most of my volunteer time was spent at the Nightingale Theater which, after outgrowing three previous locations, became the primary donation intake site for OAR/OAW. Day in and day out, you’d see the same volunteers come in to help sort donations sometimes for 10, 12 and 14 hours a day – the more items we were able to sort through, the more that could be distributed to evacuees.

Behind the scenes, military spouses and community volunteers also gave in equally meaningful ways. There were the groups who voluntarily made homemade meals and cookies to feed those volunteering and working 12-hour and overnight shifts on base (thank you!), teachers who helped bridge language barriers through games and music, the group of spouses who started a bottle sanitation initiative, the families who picked up and returned donated items that needed to be washed, and several individuals across Europe that volunteered their skills sewing over 20,000 headscarves and modest dress items required for prayer in the Muslim faith.

To all the military spouses and volunteers who kept showing up on the front lines and behind the scenes – thank you. Thank you for giving of yourselves for those in greater need. Your selfless acts of service make me proud to be a military spouse.

RIO Connect

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