Monday, February 13, 2012

ETS Checklist

Tschüss, Deutschland (Goodbye, Germany)

ETS: Expiration of Time and Service. When a service member leaves the Military and returns to civilian life.

Steve got to have a sit-down with his Commander and was notified that he is no longer needed since he has no desire to reenlist and is not going to deploy with the unit in a few months. We are leaving Germany and the Army lifestyle in ...drum roll please... 6 WEEKS! Yep. I just went from bored to SUPER BUSY. Steve was in the field when he talked with his commander and called me with this news.. He is home now and done with his last field training! No more separations!
Finally home!
  Now I start compiling my ETS Checklist. Here is one I pulled off the Internet for the Soldiers aspect. It goes all the way to a year out from ETS. He is going to have to get this done in 6 weeks. YIKES! I couldn't find one that was for the wives so I'll show you the one I made. It includes everything that needs to be done that is not Army related, so to speak. I am just posting it so if any Military family here in Germany needs it in a future, here is a good idea of where to start when you ETS.

 Army Soldier ETS Checklist-

-Schedule first ACAP appointment (Usually it's the Tap workshop) (mandatory)
-Schedule VA benefits brief (usually mandatory)
-Schedule any other ACAP class offered (lots of great info and gets you out of work)
-Schedule appointments for any medical conditions you have (if it hurts get it documented, you may get money for it!)
-Schedule dental appointment (get those ugly teeth pulled!)

6 MONTHS - 3 Months ETS Date
-Schedule Phase 1 physical
--Then schedule your phase 2 physical (no more PT!)
-Schedule transitions brief (call the transition office, very important! This is where you get your orders!)
-Put in for your terminal leave (Depending on unit SOP you might need your orders first)
-- Put in CIF memorandum to clear it early (Get this from your company orderly room)
- If filing for disability, request your medical paperwork usually at the hospital. (Get this down before your 3 month mark, they'll fast track your paperwork)
--Once you have your medical paperwork take it to the VA office so they can look it over
--Then submit it to the VA

You should receive your clearing papers around 10 business days before you start terminal leave or if you're not taking terminal leave 10 business days before your ETS date.

Do note that every unit and post does things their own way (where is the uniformity?) but this guide should steer most people in the right direction. If you are filing for disability try to do that as soon as you can, it is the most time consuming part of this process.

Please Pass this guide along to other soldiers can benefit from this hard fought knowledge and enjoy the ETS process and eventually the civilian life. Woot!.

The Army wives ETS checklist-
Since we are six weeks out.. I will give you my exact list. Usually you start at maybe three months out but you can get it done in six weeks no problem. Also note that this is OUR checklist. Adding kids, dogs, different branch of service, PCSing instead of ETSing, moving TO Germany instead of from, ect will change what you need to be doing drastically. But if you happen to be in same position we are in (LEAVING Germany, ETSing out of the Army with one cat) then by all means, here is great check list for your family.

Six Weeks from ETS:
-Google "Plan My Move". Its a DOD run program that tells you exactly what you need to be doing to have a smooth move. Great site to help with everything and tells you exactly what you should be doing for each day.
-Buy USDA approved crate for your pet to fly overseas in. If you don't know what the standards are. Just Google "USDA requirements for pets flying overseas" or something of that nature. Or just call the airline you are flying over with. That's what I did and they knew everything.
-Start selling everything you don't want and just collects dust especially 220V appliances since you can't use them in America.. (so far we have made over the amount of the cost of Tubble's plane ticket, all by selling our "junk").
-Notify Army housing (if you live on post) or your landlord that your are moving in such amount of time.
-Save up as much money as you can. Try to shoot for $4,000. by the time you leave.
-Schedule HHG (household Goods) to be picked up and shipped back to the States
-Ship your car back to the States (if you want it there waiting for you when you get there).
-Try to pay off your Military star card as soon as possible.
-Get medical and dental checkups.
-Arrange transfer of Medical records to new physician. 

Three weeks from ETS:
-Once you have order in hand, schedule flight for family and pets through SATO.
-Change all mailing addresses (magazines, your Bank, your college, credit card companies, Associations, friends and family) Once you know what city you will move to but still don't have a home set up, just open a PO Box.
-Schedule pet's Vet appointment to get health certificate.
-Schedule to have German phone and internet shut off.

10 days from ETS:
-Do a Change of Address at your CMR (Army Community Mail Room) so they will start to redirect your mail on the date you specify.
-Call airline to verify flight and pet's flight.
-Have Military Star Card paid off and canceled
-Get Health Certificate from Vet. Also ask about a tranquilizer so they are not stressed on flight. (Read my experience of PCSing to Germany here. I wished I had given Tubbles a pill but didn't. Won't make that mistake again).
-Pick up pet's medical records for Vet.
-Box up and ship what you will need right away to your new address. (College text books, clothes, animal food dishes, ect)
-Exchange all Euro at the PX so your not stuck with it in America and have a hard time finding a place to exchange it at.

Moving Day/HHG pickup day:
-IMPORTANT! The night before the movers come, pack up your suite cases, important documents (passport, orders, pet health certificate, ect) and put it in a corner of the house. If its not coming on the plane with you, then it needs to be shipped off with the movers.
-Monitor the movers, they arn't all trustworthy.
-Set out lunch for them, maybe a pizza and drinks. If you take care of them, better chances of them taking care of your stuff.

Steve and I went to a Smooth Move class provided by ACS (Army Community Services) and got a whole stack of books that are full of lists, tips ect that help you have an easier transition. We added those and a few other things that is good to know to our lists above. We finally have an idea of what we are supposed to be doing right now to prepare for our move. Got to love the Army and their lists. Makes everything so much easier.
all the book, lists, and tips that we got from the Smooth Move class

On a side note, I read this today and I haven't laughed so hard all week. Its the Dog Diary Vs. Cat Diary. Click here for a laugh.


  1. Wow 6 weeks is pretty short notice. Good luck getting everything all done and in order :)

  2. its 2016 and ive been looking for something like this all over the internet thank you

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.