Money Matters

Deploying to a combat zone (CENTCOM)

Your unit can tell you if your Soldier is in a designated Combat Zone.

Below is a short video explaining Soldiers Money and Leave Entitlements while deployed to a combat zone

  • Combat Zone Tax Exemption: Enlisted and Warrant Officers serving in a combat zone for any part of a month, all Soldier income for that month is exempt from federal taxes. Officers monthly exclusion is capped at the highest rate of enlisted pay, plus any hostile fire or imminent danger pay received
  • The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) designated combat zones https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/combat-zones for tax purposes.
  • Ways to Save on Regular Bills:
    • Call your insurance companies to see about reduced car insurance.
    • Call credit card companies to see if they will lower your interest rate while your Soldier is deployed.
    • Call cell phone company and ask what offers may reduce your rates while your Soldier is deployed.

Deploying to a Place Not Designated a Combat Zone (EUCOM)

Below is a short video explaining Soldiers Money and Leave Entitlements when in a combat zone and when in a zone not designated as a combat zone

  • The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) designated combat zones https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/combat-zones for tax purposes.
  • Ways to Save on Regular Bills:
    • Call your insurance companies to see about reduced car insurance.
    • Call credit card companies to see if they will lower your interest rate while your Soldier is deployed.
    • Call cell phone company and ask what offers may reduce your rates while your Soldier is deployed.

Child Care

Deploying to a combat zone (CENTCOM)

  • You must register your children with Child and Youth Services (CYS) and use the Fort Carson facilities to take advantage of these benefits.
  • You must have a memo from the unit confirming the Soldier is in a combat zone. CYS requires this to confirm you are eligible for these discounts:
    • 20 percent off on full- or part-time day care on Fort Carson. Bring your Soldier’s orders and the unit letter confirming they are in a combat zone. You can get this from your Soldier or his unit.
    • 16 hours of free hourly care. This is called "respite" care. It is available 30 days prior to Soldier's deployment through 90 days after Soldier's return. You must make reservations for the hourly care. It must be a Fort Carson day care facility.
  • Click Here for more deployment benefit details from CYS.
  • You’re not alone! Connect with:
    • Army Community Service to help you connect with other parents, find play groups, etc.
    • Your FRG: Find out more about FRGs
    • #MountainPostLiving
    • Army Wellness Center
    • Check Here for free deployment-related items to help children
    • Keep Yourself Current… Pass it On! : Fun things happening on and off post updated weekly
    • Have a Plan! For your kids if something happens to YOU while your Soldier is deployed.
      • Register your kids for CYS. Even if you don’t plan on using CYS, it is a reliable backup in an emergency. Registration is free. More details are available Here.
      • Complete a Spouse Preference Form through your Soldier’s unit.
      • Ask your Soldier for a copy of the DD93 to be sure addresses are correct. This is the form the Army uses to notify Family if something happens to their Soldier while deployed.

Deploying to a Place Not Designated a Combat Zone (EUCOM)

  • You must register your children with Child and Youth Services (CYS) and use the Fort Carson facilities to take advantage of these benefits.
    • 16 hours of free hourly care. This is called "respite" care. It is available 30 days prior to Soldier's deployment through 30 days after Soldier's return. You must make reservations for the hourly care. It must be a Fort Carson day care facility.
  • Click Here for more deployment benefit details from CYS.
  • You’re not alone! Connect with:
    • Army Community Service to help you connect with other parents, find play groups, etc.
    • Your FRG: Find out more about FRGs
    • #MountainPostLiving
    • Army Wellness Center
    • Check Here for free deployment-related items to help children
    • Keep Yourself Current… Pass it On!: Fun things happening on and off post updated weekly
    • Have a Plan! For your kids if something happens to YOU while your Soldier is deployed.
      • Register your kids for CYS. Even if you don’t plan on using CYS, it is a reliable backup in an emergency. Registration is free. More details are available Here.
      • Complete a Spouse Preference Form through your Soldier’s unit.
      • Ask your Soldier for a copy of the DD93 to be sure addresses are correct. This is the form the Army uses to notify Family if something happens to their Soldier while deployed.

Initiating a Red Cross Message

http://www.redcross.org/co/fort-carson

A Red Cross message INFORMS the Soldier and unit what is happening, it does not mean your Soldier will be sent home from a deployment. The unit chain of command determines if the Soldier will come home.

Situations for which an Emergency Message can be sent include:

  • Death
  • Illness/injury
  • Leave extension
  • Birth
  • Financial assistance
  • Child care issues

Red Cross emergency message may be about the Family of the service member or spouse to include:

  • Father/mother (to include step-parents and legally adoptive parents)
  • Brother/sister (to include step and half siblings)
  • Children (to include step-children)
  • Person standing in place of the parent
  • Only living blood relative
  • Grandparents/great-grandparents
  • Grandchildren (not considered immediate family)
  • Undeclared family member (fiance or fiancee, domestic partner, common-law spouse)

Service members and their Families assigned to Fort Carson can call 719-526-7144/2311 during duty hours or 877-272-7337 (24/7) to start or check on the status of a Red Cross message.

Requests can also be submitted online at http://www.redcross.org/get-help/military-families/emergency-communication for certain emergency situations.

To start an Emergency Message, you need the following information for the service member:

  • Last name, first name, middle initial
  • Date of birth
  • Social Security Number (SSN)
  • Phone number
  • Unit geographic locations and deployed APO if applicable (your unit, Rear D or FRG can help with this information)
  • Verification source — This could be the hospital, doctor or funeral home to confirm the details of this emergency
  • A Fort Carson point of contact should the Red Cross need to follow up on anything

Single Soldiers: Know Before You Go!

  • Breaking Your Lease: Yes, you can do that without penalty because of military orders, but you MUST give your landlord 30 days notice BEFORE the next rent is due. If you don’t give them the notice, they can charge a penalty for breaking your lease. This is by order of Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). To count as a deployment, you must be deploying for at least 90 days. Click Here to read more.
  • Vehicle Storage: Talk to your unit/chain of command about your vehicle storage options.
  • Personal Property Storage: Talk to your unit/chain of command about your personal property storage options.
  • Legal Documents: Talk to your unit/chain of command regarding what legal documents (powers of attorney, wills, etc.) you might need to execute before you deploy.
  • Is your DD93 accurate? This is how your Rear D and the Army will know how to locate your “important person” (e.g., mom, dad) if something happens to you while deployed.
  • Your “important person” needs to know what unit you are in, down to the company level! Write this down for them and make sure they have it. They would need this if they have to initiate a Red Cross message to let you know about an emergency in the Family back in the States.
  • Make sure your “important person” has contact information for the Rear D and/or the FRG. This is a great way for them to stay connected.
  • Militaryonesource.mil is a great resource to share with your “important person.” This site is a wealth of information even if a person knows very little about the military.

My Soldier is Deploying and I Plan to Move Out of the Fort Carson/Colorado Springs Area

  • Health Care: It’s critical you understand how your TRICARE insurance will work wherever you are moving. Check out all the details Here.
  • Breaking Your Lease: Yes, you can do that without penalty because of military orders, but you MUST give your landlord 30 days notice BEFORE the next rent is due. If you don’t give them the notice, they can charge a penalty for breaking your lease. This is by order of Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). To count as a deployment, you must be deploying for at least 90 days. Click Here to read more
  • Legal Documents: Get your legal affairs in order before you go! Powers of Attorney and wills are free here, but off post they will cost you money to have them created. Check out the Judge Advocate General (JAG) webpage Here.
  • Know the following. We recommend you write this down and ensure you can quickly locate it:
    • Your Soldier’s unit, down to the company
    • Your Rear Detachment unit commander contact information
    • Your Family Readiness Group (FRG) leader’s contact information
  • Militaryonesource.mil is a great resource if you have general questions related to the military but are in an area where there is not much military support.
  • Complete a Spouse Preference Form with your Soldier’s unit and give it to your Rear D commander or FRG leader. This will help them support you should an emergency occur during this deployment.
  • Ask your Soldier for a copy of the DD93 and ensure the addresses are all updated. This is how your Rear D and the Army will know how to locate you if something happens to your Soldier.

Questions I Should Ask My Soldier Before a Deployment

Your Soldier may not know all these answers and that’s OK! If they can’t answer one of these questions, they should ask their chain of command, the Family Readiness Group (FRG) or visit Army Community Service (ACS) or call 719-526-4590.

1. What unit are you in/with?
You may want to have them write this down for you.
2. When is the unit Deployment Fair?
This is help before the unit deploys. Families are encouraged to attend this! Lots of great information and resources will be available.
3. When will you get your orders?
You need a copy of these orders to receive some of the benefits (such as the child care discount). Also, some companies (such as insurance and cell phone) may require orders showing your Soldier is deployed before they will give you any discounts.
4. Where do I get the unit letter that confirms you are going to be in a combat zone?
Child and Youth Services (CYS) will need this to confirm what benefits you get since they are different if your Soldier is deploying to Europe compared to Iraq or Afghanistan.
5. How can I see our monthly pay slips (Leave and Earning Statement (LES)).
Your Soldier can help set you up so you can see it online. If your Soldier is unsure about this, have him ask his chain of command.
6. When will you have a mailing address so I can mail you things?
7. How often should I expect to hear from you?
8. Will you have internet access so we can email each other? What about FaceTime?
9. If you will be getting extra money during this deployment, what is our savings plan?
10. What happens if I get really sick or in an accident?
Who will watch the kids? Will you be able to come home?
11. What is an FRG (Family Readiness Group) and how do I make contact with them?
How can they help me?
13. What if something happens with the car or house and I’m not sure how to get it fixed?
Who should I ask for help?
14. What if I haven’t heard from you in a while and I’m nervous that something may have happened?
Who should I ask for help?
15. What if I feel lonely or overwhelmed?
Who should I ask for help?
16. Is my Soldier’s DD93 updated?
17. Is my Soldier’s Servicemembers Group Life Insurance (SGLI) updated?