You’ve got PCS orders. What’s next? We’re here to help you with the best tips and tricks to ensure success during your PCS (Permanent Change of Duty Station).
Here we've listed our six key steps to making your PCS move successful. Chime in with a comment if you have any extra tips to share!
- Think about what kind of move you want to make.
- DITY Move: Do It Yourself –or-
- Door to Door Government Move
Most people opt for the government to move them. Moves are stressful on families and having the military pack, ship, unpack and be financially responsible for when items get broken take a lot of the stress out of the equation.
We always recommend doing a partial DITY, because let’s face it: You’re driving your things to your new base. You might as well get paid for it. (Unfortunately move.mil – step 2 below - doesn’t allow for a partial DITY in the paperwork today. You will need to amend your paperwork with the transportation office after you’ve completed the paperwork online.
- Get your paperwork in at MOVE.MIL In the past, appointments were needed at the local base office, but they have now moved everything online to one site for every service. Follow the directions and instructions listed on the website to get your paperwork in. You will want to get your paperwork in as early as possible to get your desired shipment dates.
- Contact your base housing authority at the new duty station, regardless if you want to live on base or not. They can provide a list of incoming information to you with area guides, out in town referrals and more. If you want to live on base, now’s the time to apply. Some housing may be more readily available than others. If you’re attending a school, they may have a lottery for homes set aside for students. If there’s a housing wait, most housing authorities utilize the military member’s check in date, not application date.
- Go online and learn about your new area.
- If you’re moving to a Marine Corps base, you’ll want to check out USMC Life, for the best insider guides to Marine Corps bases, housing photos on base, area activities and more.
- Military Town Advisor also has great reviews of housing and neighborhoods off the base.
- Facebook groups are a good way of learning the inside scoop. Check out Moving House for the Military Spouse.
- Give notice to base housing, or out in town rental guides. If you are renting and receive orders, you may break your lease depending on what your orders state. Check with base legal if you run into issues.
- Plan, Plan, Plan!