Research from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau indicates that roughly one third of active servicemembers receive PCS orders each year, and if you?re one of the many, the tips below will help you make the transition as smooth as possible.
1. Start planning as soon as you receive PCS Orders ? the time to receive orders can vary between 6 months and 3 weeks prior to the report date to the new location. Regardless of where you fit in on this timescale, you will have to start the moving process as soon as you receive those orders. Starting early is important especially if you?re PCS?ing during the peak season, which generally runs between May through August each year. During the peak time, securing the pickup and delivery dates you want may be more challenging so bottom line is to be proactive and don?t procrastinate.
2. Create a Moving Binder ? When moving to a new base, you will need important paperwork more often than expected such as social security cards, birth certificates, rental agreements, mortgage documents and most importantly copies of your orders. Put together all these documents in a distinct binder with sleeve protectors that contain all the aforementioned important documents.
3. Managing your PCS Move ? there are two ways to go about this ? either by visiting your personal property office or local installation?s transportation office to receive a relocation briefing and familiarize yourself with your moving options or simply going online and using the DPS (Defense Personal Property) System. Move.mil is the portal for DPS and is the ultimate hub to manage the entire moving process. Here you will receive first hand access to online training videos and checklists on the moving process, your entitlements and benefits, and even information on education and employment.
4. Be moved or Move Yourself ? you always have the option of moving yourself or DITY ? Do-It-Yourself or being moved by the government. Do-It-Yourself (DITY) moves or Personally Procured Moves (PPMs) provide you will more control over your move where you take on all the work right from the planning, moving to unpacking your belongings. Another perk of taking on all the work yourself is that the government will reimburse you 95% of the amount a commercial moving company would charge you for the move.
5. Familiarize yourself with your New Installation ? often times, it is impossible to drive over to check out your new location so the best alternative is to visit Military.com?s Installation Guide where you can get acquainted with the area you?re moving to along with important contact information, services, entertainment, housing information and even family support functions.
PCS checklists prove handy in one way or another and allow you to plan your entire move 3 months prior to your actual moving day and until you actually arrive at your new destination.
Military families are always on the move so it?s best to be prepared and educate yourself on the services available to you in order to make a great move each time.