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Making Your Move, Military Style
Your PCS orders are on their way...and so are you. Start from where you are and create a successful military PCS relocation. Military relocation can be stressful even if you've moved every two years since you joined the military. But proper planning can ensure this move will be a positive journey for your entire military family.
The successful PCS plan begins early, as soon as you hear about your PCS orders. Take the time to take advantage of the resources provided by the military to help you keep things moving smoothly. Even the most seasoned military service member can feel a little stressed during a PCS. And relax. This move represents another step forward in your successful military career.
MEET WITH THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICE AT YOUR MILITARY INSTALLATION
They're busy, so making an appointment is mandatory. Call early; you might even get the moving company with the best reputation.
CONTACT THE MILITARY FAMILY CENTER AT YOUR DUTY LOCATION
The family center offers a Relocation Assistance Program (RAP) that provides moving information to all military families. The RAP rep can answer your questions and if not, you can count on the family center's Standard Installation Topic Exchange Service (SITES).
SURF AND LEARN
Visit SITES for information about military installations all around the world, including housing, schools, healthcare and employment. Other online resources like the Department of Defense website are good sources of moving information. Each of the service branches has its own website, and perhaps your new duty station has its own site as well.
NOTIFY YOUR GOVERNMENT HOUSING OFFICE OF YOUR MOVE DATE
Contact them for instructions on clearing quarters.
VISIT THE FINANCE OFFICE AT YOUR CURRENT DUTY STATION
Ask about special relocation entitlements that will help cover both your major and minor military moving expenses. Military members who make Permanent Change of Station (PCS) from one duty station to another have many entitlements. Even if you're not moving just yet, now is the time to become familiar with the rules of military support before, during and even after your PCS. Your PCS benefits can make your next PCS the easiest move of all.
PCS BENEFITS AND ALLOWANCES AT A GLANCE
- You are allowed a permissive TDY (Temporary Duty) for up to 10 days in conjunction with a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) move between and within the 50 states & District of Columbia. Military members not living on base can use this benefit by arriving at their new base 10 days early and using the time for house-hunting, time which is not charged as leave.
- TLE will partially offset lodging and meal expenses when a military member and/or dependents need to occupy temporary lodging in the continental United States (CONUS). Reimbursement is up to $180 per day.
- If you're moving from one CONUS base to another, he/she is authorized up to 10 days TLE, at either duty station.
- If you are military and moving from CONUS to overseas, they can only receive up to five days TLE at the losing duty station.
- Up to 60 days (can be extended) may be paid for temporary lodging expenses and meal expenses after a military member (and his/her family) arrive at a new overseas location, while awaiting housing.
- Active military may be entitled to a Dislocation Allowance (DLA) when relocating their household due to a PCS. DLA is intended to partially reimburse relocation expenses not otherwise reimbursed.
- Military members receive a "per diem" allowance, which is designed to partially reimburse for lodging and meal expenses when traveling from one duty station to another.
- Military members who travel to their new duty station by car are entitled to a mileage allowance, in lieu of cost of airline ticket. The reimbursement rate depends on the number of authorized travelers in the vehicle.
- Within CONUS, dependents may be authorized to travel by commercial means (air, rail, bus), unless they elect to travel by POC, from the old PDS to the new PDS.
- Dependents can travel to overseas assignment locations, either via military aircraft, or by commercial means. The only time one can be reimbursed for flying on a commercial foreign carrier is if no AMC services that overseas location.
- Military members can ship household goods from your old duty station to the new duty station, up to 18,000 pounds, varying by grade & whether or not you are with or without military dependents.
- Military members have 2 years from the date of household goods delivery to make a claim. Claims are processed through the Personal Property Office. Claims are limited to $40,000 depreciated value of the shipment regardless of weight.
- If your military orders state that government furnishings are provided at the overseas location, the Household Good Weight Shipping Allowance is limited to 2,500 pounds or 25 percent of HHG weight allowance, plus non-available items.
- You can elect to have the military store all or part of their household goods on a permanent basis during the assignment, up to their maximum weight allowance.
- A separate allowance for annual shipment of up to 1,250 pounds per year of consumable items.
- When moved by commercial transporter, reimbursement includes carrier charges, road fares & tolls, permits & charges for pilot car. If towed by POC, reimbursement is for actual costs.
- You can ship POVs in conjunction with many overseas assignments (and back). The military can apply restrictions on this entitlement. Military members may also be authorized shipment for a replacement POV during any 4-year period, while assigned overseas.
- You are also authorized mileage reimbursement when driving the vehicle to the authorized port for shipment, and when picking up the vehicle from the authorized receiving port.
- You have authorized storage of a POV when ordered to an overseas assignment to which POV transportation isn't permitted, or sent TDY on a contingency operation, for more than 30 days.