One of the most difficult parts of supporting your family member in enlisting in the Army is dealing with the first separation when he leaves for training. While in training, communication via phone will be very limited with phone calls generally only happening once a week at a maximum. Many spouses wonder when they will be able to live with their soldier again.
Spouses are not allowed to live with their soldiers during basic training. Soldiers are required to live on post in the barracks during this introduction to the Army. While family members are free to move to the same area, they will not be allowed to see the soldier any more often than if they lived far away. Visitation during basic training is only allowed for family day and graduation.
Advanced Individual Training (AIT)
The longer his AIT is, the more likely it is that he will have more freedom. My husband went through AIT for infantry and he didn’t have any more freedom during AIT than he had during basic training.
For soldiers who attend an AIT of longer than 20 weeks, dependents will often be added to his orders. This means that the Army will pay for the family to move to the AIT location. After a certain time period, the soldier will be allowed to live with his family if he chooses. This generally occurs after making it through the first phase of AIT.
If his AIT is less than 20 weeks long, the dependents will generally not be added to his orders. While the family can still move to the location of AIT, they will not be able to live on post and the Army will not pay for the move.
Every AIT is different as far as free time and the hours of training. Before moving to the area, it is important to talk to others who have been through the same training to get an idea of the amount of time he will have to spend with family. It only increases frustration to know he is just around the corner but still can’t be visited if his AIT is very strict with his time.
First Duty Station
Some soldiers will have additional training after AIT such as airborne. But a great majority will be assigned to their first duty station after AIT. For most families, this is when they will be able to be reunited with their soldier in a more permanent way.
Families will often be included on orders with the only exception being some overseas locations. The Army will pay for the family to move to the first duty station and will provide housing on post. If the family chooses not to live on post, the Army will provide a housing allowance to live off post based on the soldier’s rank and zip code of the post.