For service members and their families, moving is a part of life. A Permanent Change of Station (PCS) happens quickly and can be especially stressful for those unfamiliar with the military relocation process.
This quick step-by-step military relocation guide will help you navigate your move with ease.
- Preparing for the move
Once the service member receives their PCS orders, they should contact their base transportation office to set up a meeting. Here are the different military branches and their corresponding relocation offices:
- The Department of Defense – Joint Personal Property Shipping Office
- Air Force – Traffic Management Office
- Army – Installation Transportation Office
- Navy and Marine Corps – Personal Property Shipping Office
- Coast Guard – Household Goods Shipping Office
During the meeting, moving options and details about the place of relocation are discussed.
Get in touch with the family center at the new location and ask about the community there. Finding out all you can about your new home will make you and your family’s transition to the area smoother.
Military relocations are usually hectic and fast-paced, making it easy to overlook important things. Thus, it’s best to create a PCS moving checklist to stay on top of everything.
If you’re a homeowner, explore all your options on what to do with your property.
- Knowing your entitlements and allowances
Moving is an expensive process but the military offers reimbursements and entitlements to help offset some of those expenses. Here are some of the allowances you could be eligible for in relation to PCS:
- Dislocation Allowance (DLA)– This is a partial reimbursement of household relocation costs.
- Per Diem– An allowance to partially reimburse lodging, meals, and other miscellaneous expenses when transferring duty stations.
- Temporary Lodging Expense (TLE)– An allowance to offset meal and lodging expenses when a service member and their dependents need to live in temporary lodging in the Continental United States (CONUS).
- Monetary Allowance in Lieu of Transportation (MALT) – If you want to use your own car for the move, military members are entitled to reimbursement for gas, toll, and other expenses. They can claim up to two vehicles for this allowance.
- Dependent Travel within CONUS by Other than POC – For those moving within CONUS, military members can choose commercial options such as buses, trains, and airplanes. The amount that will be reimbursed depends on how much it will cost the military to purchase the ticket.
- Finding the right home and the best military relocation assistance
Military relocations don’t give service members and their families the luxury of time to go to open houses and research different neighborhoods. This makes finding the perfect home even more challenging than it usually is.
To make buying a home easier, your best course of action is through hiring a real estate agent who is a military relocation professional. Your military relocation realtor should have in-depth knowledge about the area you’re moving to, the type of property you’re buying, and the military relocation process.
With the right military relocation assistance, your home buying experience will be a breeze.
- Choosing the best way to move
Military members have a choice on how they’ll be moving to their new residence: the government contract move or the personally procured move.
With government contract moves, everything will be taken care of by the military from start to finish. All expenses will be covered, as well.
Once the service member has gotten in touch with their respective relocation office regarding a government contract move, they will be set up with a professional military moving service.
Your shipment of household goods will be arranged and transferred to your new residence. This type of move comes with a weight restriction so be mindful of the number of items that you’re shipping out.
A personally procured move, also known as a do-it-yourself (DIY) move gives you more freedom to choose your moving company. For this move, you’ll have to take care of the logistics and moving but the military will reimburse you for the costs.
- Settling into your new home
When all your belongings have found their way to your new home, it’s time to settle in and make the space your own. You can’t unpack everything in one go so it’s best to unload essential items first.
Military relocation is easy with the help of Loralee Wood!
Get in touch with me, Loralee Wood, the #1 military relocation specialist in Las Vegas. I’ve been helping military families relocate to Las Vegas since 2001.
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