Life in the Military

Staying Connected

In the Military, there are many tools and resources that can help you stay connected with friends and family, no matter where the mission might take you.

Means of Communication

Though written correspondence was once the most common form of keeping in touch while away from home in the Military, modern means such as calling, video conferencing, text messaging and emails are now the norm. 

While deployed there are also some lesser-known methods of keeping in contact. These include: 

  • Military Postal Service Agency (MPSA) The MPSA operates as an extension of the United States Postal Service in over 55 countries and provides authorized DoD patrons with personal and official mail services.
  • Care Packages Receiving care packages is yet another way that service members stay in contact with those who care about them back home.
  • United Services Organization (USO) This nonprofit organization helps keep military members connected to home through various programs and committees. Learn more at
  • Defense Satellite Communications System (DSCS) Though this constellation of defense satellites has the primary role of providing critical military-related communications around the world, there are times when remote service members are permitted to use this global infrastructure for “morale calls” to connect with family back home.

Safe Communication Considerations (Operations Security)

For security and safety reasons, military members on deployment are not allowed to communicate any information that could jeopardize the mission. It is imperative that service members understand and adhere to these guidelines.

Visiting With Friends & Family

Once service members complete Basic Training, friends and family are typically allowed to visit as guests at their duty stations. Here, everyone is welcome to enjoy most on-base amenities and activities together. Please note that military bases are secure installations, so proper ID, passes and an invitation/sponsorship from a military or DoD member are required for guests. Service members may also need approval from their command. While on base, visitors are expected to follow the same rules as all base residents.

Additionally, service members receive 30 days of paid vacation annually as an employment benefit and can use this leave to visit family and friends.