10 Military relocation terms you need to know

happy african american soldier in military uniform looking at camera with family in park

Are you and/or your partner anticipating a permanent change of station (PCS) soon? Along the way, you’ll encounter a dozen or so terms related to military relocation. If this is your first time to undergo such a process, this dictionary will help.

Here are some of the key military relocation terms (and their corresponding acronyms) you need to know.


  1. Continental United States (CONUS)

    As the name implies, Continental United States refers to all the 48 states located in the North American continent. As such, Alaska and Hawaii are not included, as well as U.S. territories like Puerto Rico and Guam. These places fall under the acronym “OCONUS,” which means “Outside Continental United States.

  2. Unaccompanied Baggage (UAB)

    Unaccompanied baggage simply refers to the personal items that will be taken to your new station by air or ship. They will all be there when you arrive, as opposed to other household items, which will be shipped after you get to your destination.

    Since shipping for these items are expedited, your unaccompanied baggage should only include must-have personal items.

  3. Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS)

    As part of the US military, your information (as well as your dependents’) will be available on this database. In the event of a permanent change of station, you’ll need to update your database information to reflect the relocation.

  4. Transportation Office (TO)
    The Transportation Office (TO) will take care of transporting your personal effects and household items to your new station. This office takes different names, depending on the branch you’re in.

    The US Army called this the ITO or installation transportation office, while the Navy and Marine Corps call this the PPSO or personal property shipping office. The folks at the Coast Guard, meanwhile, christened this office as HHGSO or household goods shipping office, while it’s the TMO or traffic management office for the Air Force.

  5. Personally Procured Move (PPM)

    If you didn’t enlist the transportation office to help you with the move and instead hired private movers, this will be called a personally procured move (PPM). You might also call this as DITY or do-it-yourself, but most people use PPM nowadays.

  6. Temporary Lodging Expense (TLE) and Temporary Lodging Allowance (TLA)

    If you’re gearing up for an OCONUS movie, you will be given a TLA to cover for your meals and accommodation while you wait for the housing to get sorted. Usually, it covers up to two months, but it can be extended if deemed necessary.

    If you’re doing a CONUS PCS move, you’ll be given a TLE. This will help pay for your meals and lodging before or after you’ve moved, not while in transit. Take note of the differences. TLA is for OCONUS moves, while TLE is for CONUS PCS moves.

  7. Relocation Income Tax Allowance (RITA)

    During a PCS move, additional federal, state, and local taxes are only to be expected. In the event that you used your personal funds to cover these expenses, you can apply for reimbursement, otherwise known in this situation as the relocation income tax allowance.

  8. Government Constructed Costs (GCC)

    This term refers to the moving fees the government will incur in relocating a servicemember and their dependents to a new station. This is applied towards both OCONUS and CONUS transfers.

  9. Mileage instead of Transportation (MALT)

    For your relocation, you can opt to move to your new duty station using your privately-owned vehicle/s (POV). In this case, the government will give you an allowance, depending on the distance between your old duty station and your new one.

    It’s $0.20 per mile for each vehicle you use for your transfer. This will reimburse everything, from the wear and tear on your POV to the gas expenses incurred during the move.

  10. Defense Military Pay Office (DMPO)

    If you or your spouse is undergoing a permanent change of station (PCS), the Defense Military Pay Office will be the office to get in touch with to handle all the travel-related financing.

    DMPO is different from the Defense Finance and Accounting Services or DFAS, which is responsible for military pay and other related issues.

Do you need some military relocation assistance in Las Vegas?

The services of a military relocation realtor will help. Fortunately, you don’t need to look further. It would be an honor to help you smoothen out your transfer.

Get in touch with me today at 702.419.3212 or loralee(dotted)wood(at)cbvegas(dotted)com and tell me all about your impending move. I can help you create a PCS move checklist and find you your home in your new duty station.