By Debbie Gregory.
It’s that time again. You’ve received your orders and it’s time to get ready for a permanent change of duty station (PCS).
The thought of having to pack up and move to a new location every few years is not something that the average person looks forward to. But a military move is the reality faced by many military service members and their families.
You have the option of either letting the military take care of the arrangements, or you can handle a Personally Procured Move (PPM) yourself. A PPM used to be called a DITY move for “Do It Yourself”. If authorization and approval for this program is granted, the service member will be paid 95% of the amount of money the government would have paid for the move, regardless of the actual cost.
When PCS orders come, there are steps you can take to take the stress out of what potentially can be a very stressful situation.
Be prepared! Knowledge is power, and you should know what transportation allowances you are eligible for. Whether your PCS orders are for the same geographic area, a change of a ship’s homeport or unit’s location, accompanied or unaccompanied PCS overseas or PCS with temporary duty en route, there are basic allowances you can expect to receive.
The government will pay most costs associated with your move, and many of these expenses can be paid to you in advance or via a travel. These expenses include personal and dependent travel and a per diem for meals and lodging. You are also able to move household goods and vehicle storage/shipment.
If you require temporary lodging, you will partially be reimbursed for the additional costs you may incur while living in temporary quarters.
To aid your move, a personal moving calendar can be a great help. Fill it with the information that you will need based on your moving timeframe. If your move will take place during the busy summer months, allow extra time for pick-ups and deliveries, as schedules may be tight.
When you have figured out when you want to move, contact your Transportation Office (TO) or Personal Property Shipping Office (PPSO.)
Try to get a close estimate of what your personal property weighs. To lighten your load, consider purging unwanted/unneeded items. The items you decide to move should be photographed before packing so that you can document any damages. Keep important documents, valuables and irreplaceable items on your person.
Lastly, work closely with your moving company to arrange delivery and avoid your personal property being placed in temporary storage.