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Dina Becker’s New Mission

March 11, 2019 | 4 min. read

This former Marine turned military spouse now has a new mission: to help military families prepare for their financial future.

Dina Becker has been supporting the military community for the past 20 years — first as a Marine, where she worked in administration making sure service members were paid correctly, then as a military spouse and First Command Financial Advisor. Now, Dina gets to add 2019 Military Spouse of the Year (MSOY) Nominee to her many titles. 

During Dina’s four year tenure as a Marine, she met her husband, Jesse, in the barracks, which is also where she got engaged. Jesse is a Sgt. Maj. in the Marine Corps and currently stationed in Yuma. Dina received a degree in math from the University of North Carolina Wilmington and has been a First Command Financial Advisor for three years.

What made you want to become a First Command Financial Advisor? 

I love teaching – that’s where my heart is, and once I saw how we go through a Financial Life Interview with our clients, I realized it felt like we were teaching them. I use the whiteboard all the time with my clients. We’ll sit down for a little bit, then I’m up at the board and I’m writing and explaining concepts to them. Still being able to teach Marines is what drove me to this career.

What do you like about being a First Command Financial Advisor?

I love the fact that it keeps me involved with the Marines. That’s why I do this. I don’t think I could go out and be a financial advisor for a different company. I do this because the young Marines come in here and I know that I’m in a position to help them plan for and pursue whatever is important to them. I see older clients who started so long ago, and they’re so excited and say, “Because I came in here when I was a young lieutenant, my wife and I were able to retire and everything is great!” Also, this will keep me involved with the military even when my husband retires in a couple of years. They’re my people. What keeps me motivated is helping other military families. I can’t wait until one day when I’m old and gray and I get pictures of the little baby who I sold the first insurance policy to graduating from college!

Do you think being an advisor with First Command is a good fit for military spouses? 

I do. I definitely do, because it gives you the flexibility to be able to continue your career even when your spouse gets PCS orders, but I’m not going to lie and say that it’s for everybody. It’s a lot of work. You have to be really, really motivated. Something has to keep you coming to work in the morning, and leaving every single night when it’s dark outside. But as long as you are a spouse that has that pure love for the military – it is so rewarding.

What advice would you give a new military spouse? 

Be yourself and don’t take it personally. Our husbands are under a lot of stress. They’re going to come home sometimes and be in a bad mood. They’re going to have ups and downs, but none of that is your fault. You have to really be able to go with the flow and just be there for your spouse. I’m okay being on the back burner when he needs it. Just keep your head up and keep pressing.

On the MSOY website  you mentioned that you are passionate about financial responsibility. Could you expand on that?

Financial responsibility is so needed. As soon as you join the military, you have every single credit card company sending you mail saying, “Hey you’re pre-approved. You can have a credit card!” There’s a lot of people who come into the Marine Corps at 18 years old who have never had a bank account before – never had a debit card or credit card. Back in the day you had to balance checkbooks and pay in cash, but now you have cards and can just keep swiping and swiping until nothing’s left. I’ve had to do numerous debt consolidation loans just to get people out of these deep, dark holes from the early years when they bought expensive cars and other unnecessary stuff. They want to invest and they want to succeed, but they don’t have the tools to do it.

What would you do if you won Military Spouse of the Year? 

If I won, it would have nothing to do with me, it would be all back to the Marines. My biggest thing would be to try to figure out a way to make it about them and not me.

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