Armed with the Department of National Defence (DND) ABCs of Military Posting, military families can become posting pros this year to make relocation a breeze.
Created in 2015 after receiving a number of complaints regarding relocation and gathering feedback from family engagement sessions, the ABCs of Military Postings is the perfect starting point on all the ins and outs of postings.
The guide is especially useful for those who are moving for the first time or are moving out of province for the first time. The guide gives families an idea of what to consider and in what order.
The document is conveniently broken down into three parts that cover each phase of the move and gives information without overwhelming readers. Part A is about what to do before a move and how to prepare.
“There are things you can do so the move is less overwhelming, and it gives more control to families so they can decide where to go with the posting,” said Maj. (ret’d) Carole Lajoie, director of education and collaboration.
For example, part A includes budget sheets, tax information on the different provinces, tenancy requirements in different provinces, and information on what the housing market is like. It also includes resources for spouses on employment and what they need to know for accreditation changes in their field if they are moving provinces. The section also includes resources for special needs children, requirements for graduation from high school, requirements for entry to daycare, and resources in the community for elderly parents.
“We try to tie the families with the communities they will be going into,” said Lajoie.
Part B then goes into what military members and their families should do during the move. This part mostly covers policies and benefits, advice on what to do if you’re having trouble selling a house or how to register for PMQs.
Part C is about what to do once the move is complete.
“One thing relocation directives don’t mention is the importance of completing important documents,” noted Lajoie.
These documents include emergency contact information, next of kin information and anything that is a vital component of the family plan in case of a sudden deployment.
Each section can be accessed separately online, or PDFs can be downloaded and then printed. The document is updated as policies change.
Over the years, the ABCs of Military Posting has become a go-to source for many Military Family Resource Centres, which is how the DND Ombudsman benchmarks its success.
“Military Family Resource Centres across the country use this as their guidebook. Often times they’ll print it out and give it to families once they receive their posting message or once they come through and make their move, just to guide them through that process,” said Andrew Bernardo, director of communications and parliamentary engagement.
Bernardo says that the MFRCs use of the document proves its usefulness to members and their families.
“To have that feedback from them is encouraging to us. We know we’ve hit the nail on the head if they’re using our resource,” added Bernardo.
The DND Ombudsman’s office believes the document not only serves its mandate of addressing complaints but takes it one step further to be proactive and make information available for members of the military community; especially when you consider how stressful relocations can be.
“Sometimes, things can be so overwhelming. You’re provided very little time to go on an HHT and find a house and organize the actual physical move through BGRS. So, to have something at your disposal that serves as a reminder to go take care of, that’s the value this brings,” said Bernardo.
To access the ABCs of Military Posting, visit the DND Ombudsman page.