i am guessing that my sailor can't start any paperwork until we are officially married, correct? also, will i need to bring the marriage certificate w/ me to japan? i'm not sure how long it takes to get the certificate (courthouse marriage). also, i'm guessing that i'll go to japan using my u.s passport, but what are the chances that everything won't be ironed out soon enough, forcing me to return back to the states within 90 days? also, my sailor is an "e-4 over 4"...not sure what that means, but that's what he says! basically, long story short, i need to know exactly what needs to be done.
Most importantly, I usually cringe at these types of Internet requests. They're great for backup, but your E-4 needs to be talking to his Chief and getting the process for bringing a dependent overseas all ironed out. If he doesn't know the answers on the military side, then he's WAY behind in his marriage planning. I suspect the "E-4 over 4" has to do with authorization to live offbase and get paid for it (i.e., Basic Allowance for Housing). However, I'm not sure on that one. Regardless, if I were the E-4 I would NOT surprise my Chain of Command with a new wife in Japan.
You'll need marriage certificates for everything. Non-military, your first stop should be at the social security office for your name change, as desired. Driver's license name change, etc. (All your personal, non-military affairs before leaving for Japan). You can get a military ID in Japan...I'm not sure you can work the rest of this out overseas. You don't pass through customs using a dependent military ID. You'll always need your passport.
"DEERS" is everything. This will get you the TRICARE insurance, dental benefits, etc. The ID card is verification that you're in "the system". The people at PSD will help you BOTH out...(IMPORTANT: you can't get into DEERS by yourself...hubby has to be with you the first time).
You can also get some contacts (email addys) from your husband's friend's wives who are already over there. Perhaps even recently married. Finding someone who recently went through your scenario might give the best advice as compared to what us 'ole nukes might try to remember.