The Royal British Legion


Deployment Guide for Families

Before your family member leaves for deployment the MoD recommend extensive preparation. By creating a check list, you can attempt to ensure that no stone is left unturned so you and your family are adequately prepared for what can be a challenging period.

Preparing for Deployment

As soon as you know that your family member is going to be deployed on operations you should start making plans to help you and your family manage whilst they are away. Many areas of your life will be affected by their departure but the deployment will be a lot easier to bear if you and your family are well prepared. Some key areas you might want to think about are in this section.

During Deployment

Keeping your emotions in balance can be a real challenge when your serving family member is deployed. You may experience different emotions in clearly defined stages, starting when you first learn about the deployment and continuing until well after your serving family member has returned.


If there is a requirement for those serving overseas to return to the UK for compassionate reasons, for example if a close relative becomes very seriously ill, then it is the role of the the Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre (JCCC) to investigate the circumstances and make a recommendation as to whether compassionate travel should be granted.


Settling back to a family routine after your family member has been away from home for any period of time can be difficult; it is a time of adjustment after separation for the whole family. The returning family member can upset routines that may be in place, or a partner may feel undermined at giving up control of things they have managed perfectly well during the deployment.

Click here for the full MoD Families Deployment Guide

Click here for the RAF Families Deployment Guide 

Click here for the Navy's Family Deployment Guide 

The Royal British Legion – Helpline

if you would like some assistance from organisations outside the Services, The Royal British Legion’s helpline is a good place to start. You can call from 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week (calls are free from UK landlines and main mobile networks) for all enquiries.

Inside UK: 0808 802 8080

From overseas: +44 (0)20 3376 8080 (full rate)

You can also email or make use of the online Knowledge Base where you can submit a question or participate in online chat.

MoneyForce – plan financially before your loved one’s deployment

Before your partner or spouse is deployed, it is important that you have planned financially for the period they are away. MoneyForce outline some practical steps for your loved one to follow to make sure that your family suffer as little stress as possible when he/she is deployed. They include:

  • Making a will
  • Getting finances in order
  • Reviewing their Personal Accident (PAX) and Service Life Insurance (SLI) and membership of Army Dependants’ Trust, RAF Dependants’ Fund or Naval Service Dependants’ Fund
  • Registering a lasting power of attorney for their health and welfare and/or finances
  • Ensuring that unmarried fathers left behind have rights of parental responsibility
  • Notifying local authorities if children are going to be left behind for more than 28 days in the care of someone who is not a close relative
  • Thinking about their car
  • Setting up an ICE (In case of emergency) file to keep all documents in one place

Read more useful information about finances and deployment on the MoneyForce website.

The Royal British Legion - Live On

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