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MilitaryAvenue.com Special: PCS Central

We all know how hard it is to pick up the family and move them to a new duty station!  We have a wide variety of resources for you here on MilitaryAvenue.com.  Here is a directory of articles & MilitaryAvenue.com categories offering military discounts related to PCSing.  This is just a small selection of what MilitaryAvenue.com has to offer you.

MilitaryAvenue.com's Moving Checklist: A move isn't complete without a checklist!  It certainly is less stressful with one.  Click on a link  to take you to the appropriate timeframe and then skim the other lists to make sure you are on track for a great move ...  (Print Your Moving Checklist (.pdf format). A couple of hole-punches and it will be ready for your Moving Binder!)

Moving On A Budget: Moving is an expensive proposition, especially if you're bearing the entire cost yourself. With a little thought and advance planning, you can prepare yourself for the expense — and maybe even find some ways to lower the price tag. ...

Planning Ahead – 5 PCS Tips you can do now: Educate yourself and then Start Saving! Do you know about your PCS Allowances and Entitlements? Find out what they are and what you need to do to get the maximum reimbursement for your move. Dislocation Allowance, Move-In Housing Allowance, Monetary Allowance in lieu of Transportation and much more! 

PCS Allowances and Entitlements: Listed below are various allowances and entitlements associated with most CONUS and OCONUS moves with a brief description of each. DO NOT ASSUME that you will receive any of these allowances.  Allowances change periodically. Please check with the finance office on your installation to determine the exact amount of your allowances and entitlements ... 

PCS Financial Tips from the FINRA Foundation: 1.Get on the same page. Start by talking with your spouse about your family’s finances. These steps can help you initiate a discussion that is productive and may help prevent potential financial difficulties. ...

PCS Doesn’t Have to Mean “Pain in the Cash Supply”:  If you’re like the 700,000 military service members who are reassigned to new locations each year, you shell out an average of $1,725 for non-reimbursable expenses. When you combine moving costs with the difficulty of uprooting your life every few years, relocations can take a big toll. While some moving hassles are unavoidable, you can ease the financial pain of PCSing with a little advance planning. Consider following this timeline for your next move ...

Making Busy Summer Move Season more Efficient:  Summer time is move time! As we all know, more military families move in the summer months than at any other time of year, and the Joint Program Management Office for Household Goods Systems (JMPO) has been very busy.  In April, we launched a number of new capabilities within the Defense Personal Property System (DPS) to make the move process more convenient and efficient in time for the busy summer move season. ...

New Systems Make Military Moves More Efficient: With the busiest season for permanent-change-of-station moves under way, officials at U.S. Transportation Command are encouraging servicemembers to take advantage of new systems designed to make the process more convenient and efficient. Transcom launched the new Personally Procured Move, or PPM, system to better compensate servicemembers who personally move their household goods on military orders ...

Military Launches Improved System for Personal Property Moves: After extensive testing and evaluation, the military has launched an improved system to better compensate servicemembers who personally move their household goods on military orders. All services began using the new system April 15 [2010]. Moves initiated prior to that date will continue to process under the terms in place at the time of initiation. Members can make final moving plans with their local transportation office. ...

New PCS program puts customers in driver's seat:  With nearly 200,000 Permanent Change of Station (PCS) moves expected in the approaching season, it is important for Department of Defense personnel to note several broad changes to the personal property shipment process.  The uniformed services began using the Defense Personal Property System (DPS) to move DOD personal property Nov. 19, 2008. DPS is the system that drives the new Defense Personal Property Program (DP3), formerly known as 'Families First.'

Avoiding Rental and Moving Scams: Service members and their families move more often than most people. In this podcast, you’ll learn to recognize common scams that target people who are looking for homes to rent and companies to transport their household goods. ... 

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Advance Pay:  If you have PCS orders you can receive advance pay and allowances with commander’s approval. These include advances on basic pay and Basic Allowance for Housing.  Up to three months of basic pay at either the old or new duty station can help with out-of-pocket expenses, not typical of day-to-day military living.  If you can not afford a PCS expense but expect reimbursement for it after the move then an advance in pay may be what you need. ...

DisLocation Allowance:  Service members receive a dislocation allowance when they relocate because other allowances usually fall short of the full cost of moving. In general, it is paid once per PCS move and may be paid in advance. ...

Key PCS (Permanent Change of Station) Acronyms and TermsCOLA - Cost of Living Adjustment - A supplement designed to equalize purchasing power between high and low cost areas. DLA - Dislocation Allowance - An allowance that is provided to partially reimburse a service member for expenses associated with relocating the household.  The service member is not required to collect receipts for the expenditure of DLA.  Also, DLA is non-taxable and does not have to be repaid. ... 

Housing: Overseas Housing Allowance: Military members on official accompanied overseas tours either are provided housing or receive the Overseas Housing Allowance. Eligibility for OHA does not require that family members join the service member overseas. ...


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With Proper Planning, PCS Moves Don't Have to Break the Bank:  In many ways, moving day can be a shattering experience. Brickhands Moving and Storage accidentally puts Aunt Martha's antique vase in the box with Joey's Hawaiian lava rock collection, and then slides it down the stairs "because it's faster that way." ...

Take Charge of Your Move: Here are a few things to remember when you sit down to tell your immediate family members that everyone will be moving to a new location. Use this checklist to help with the initial planning. ...

Peak Moving Season Tips: Permanent Change of Station moves are a reality of military life, and arranging for pickup and delivery of household goods between May and August can be nothing short of challenging. Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, or SDDC, executes the Personal Property mission. SDDC is the Army Service Component Command of U.S. Transportation Command and a major subordinate command to Army Materiel Command. Scheduling personal property moves can be made with your Transportation Service Provider, or TSP, either the traditional way through your local Transportation Office (TO) or Personal Property Shipping Office (PPSO) -- or by self counseling using the Move.mil website.

10 Things to Make Your Move Better: Relocating your family and personal belongings due to a permanent change of station (PCS) is something that every military family encounters sooner or later. Whether you look forward to the move with eager anticipation or with feelings that are somewhat less enthusiastic, there are things that service members and their families can do before relocating to make the overall experience better. ...

Making the Move Easier: If you are making a Personally Procured Move, formerly known as a Do it Yourself (DITY) move, here are some essential packing tips to ensure that your move goes smoothly.

 

Book Recommendations: Preparing to PCS

Book Recommendations: PCSing with children

 

The Real Estate Market --Choices, Choices, Choices: I do not claim to be a real estate expert but after 18 moves there is a bit of personal experience to rely on and with our rather volatile housing market there are many decisions to be made during this PCS season! We have lived in government housing, in apartments, rented housing and owned housing in many different areas and market conditions. How do you choose whether to live in military housing, rent a place for the family or buy a home at that next location? ... 

Boats Can Be Shipped Using Your Household Goods Entitlement:  Did you know you can ship a boat to your next duty station at government expense as part of your household goods? You can!  All you have to do is make sure your yacht doesn't take you sailing over your authorized weight entitlement or the move could cost big bucks.  "The Military Traffic Management Command processes nearly 240 boats annually. ... 

When You Move, Pack Your Bank and Insurance: One of the most difficult aspects of being in the military is constantly moving around. Moving every two to three years makes building life-long relationships with companies especially challenging. Most local banks and small-town business are not capable of assisting customers located around the globe. The key is to find companies that are suited for the military lifestyle and build a relationship from there. ...

TRICARE Tips Help Alleviate Stress During a Permanent Change of Station: Many military families plan permanent change of station (PCS) moves during the summer. And with all of the moving-related tasks that Prime and Prime Remote service members and their families must accomplish, TRICARE wants to ensure a smooth transition of their healthcare benefits as well.

Helpful Moving Tips - Single and Relocating: If you are moving by yourself, it is important to be well organized and to have a timeline for your relocation... Even though you may not have family members to spread the chores out with, you have many other opportunities to delegate some of the work and have fun doing it! ...

Moving Tips for the Single Service Member: Moving in the military is a fact of life, presenting both opportunities and challenges.  If you are moving by yourself, it is especially important to be well organized and to have a timeline for your relocation. Step 1:  Know your allowance and entitlements.  Ensuring that you are aware of all allowances and entitlements is important.  ...

How to Prepare Your Kids for a Move:  Moving is a major life event for adults — and even more so for children. As you plan your move, follow these pointers to help smooth their transition to a new community.  Explain why you're moving.  As candidly and clearly as possible, let your children know what's prompting the move.  Acknowledge their feelings.  It's only natural for your child to feel anxious about a move — after all, you probably are, too. ...

Moving is Good for Your Kids After All:  When you're in the thick of moving with your family, you probably aren't spending a lot of time focusing on the long-term effects of moving with your kids. Changing schools, friends, neighborhoods, patterns — it all gets thrown up in the air and becomes something of a scramble to pull it all back together again in the new place. It can get a little rough at times. There is a bright side, though. ...

Helpful Moving Tips - Moving with Teenagers: Pre-Move - Facts about Teens:  * Female teenagers are the group most affected by relocation, followed by all high school seniors.  * Teenagers are independent. We as parents tend to think that they will handle the move "like an adult", but they are still in the process of letting go. * Teenagers are unwilling to accept our advice easily. ...

Youth and Moving: Moving is a way of life for military families. They know that just as they are finally starting to feel settled, they are likely to receive orders to move on to a new duty station. However, with the frenzy of packing boxes and making plans, the difficulties experienced by military children and youth can sometimes go overlooked.  Fortunately, there are a number of  programs and services available to support military youth throughout the relocation process. ...

Finding the Positive in Goodbye:  As a Military-Brat I know the pain that can be found in saying 'goodbye', whether a PCS on my family's part or a friend's family moving away. The tears, the fear of the future, the feeling of losing friends for forever. There was nothing easy about it but I do believe it influenced who I am, for the better. ...

Saying Goodbye & Staying in Touch: Saying goodbye isn’t easy.  However, saying goodbye creates lasting connections between the old and the new. * VISIT favorite places. People need to say goodbye to places, as well as to people. Eat at your favorite restaurant one last time or bicycle around familiar places.  * HOST a going-away party. If possible, host two going-away parties; one for you and your adult friends, and another for your child and his/her friends. ...

Family Matters Blog: Things to Think About When Moving With Pets: I was thinking recently about how difficult it must be to have a pet and serve in the military. In fact, I know several military families and only two of them have pets. One of the challenges of military life is the moving. Moving is stressful for everyone and every family, even if you have done it several times. If your family has a non-human member and you are getting ready to change duty stations, you have even more to think about. ...

Helpful Moving Tips - Moving with Pets:  In addition to the stress that people in your family experience, you must look out for the welfare of the critters that your family has adopted: your family pets. * Some pets are not adaptable to travel. For example, it may be wiser to sell your aquarium and fish and start all over again at your destination. Aquariums are very heavy 1 gallon of water = 8 lbs., so it will be expensive to move. * Pets are very sensitive to changes in their environments, too. ...

PCSing with Pets: We’ve got Orders… never has a more cringe worthy phrase been uttered and I suppress a groan at the thought of what’s ahead. First, I don’t know what’s worst, finding out we’re PCSing in less than three weeks or waiting around six months before you can actually start doing anything!  Right now we’re gearing up for our fourth PCS in 6 years, however, this will be the first time we’ll be traveling with a pet. ...

Travelling with kids: I’ll never forget the first road trip with my newborn son. My usual four and a half-hour trip to my folks’ house took me seven. Welcome to parenthood! Young traveling companions add a whole new dimension to your travel experiences.  Be sure you dial down your expectations, set realistic goals, and take it nice 'n' easy. Here are some parent-tested suggestions for traveling with a young child...

Driving to a New Duty Station: The boxes are packed and you just waved good-bye to the moving van. The excitement of the move overwhelms you. You turn around to see your minivan bursting at its seams with children's toys, fragile belongings, and road trip essentials. You pretend not to notice your spouse trying to tie it all down with what seems to be dental floss. Don't worry. ...

Web Site Helps With School: A Web site created to help servicemembers, spouses and children navigate the challenges associated with military moves and deployments is now available.  Sponsored by the Defense Department, the site offers advice and resource assistance for school transition issues, military deployments and more, said John Molino deputy undersecretary of defense for military community and family policy.

Helpful Moving Tips - Job Hunting Spouses: * IDENTIFY OBJECTIVES: What are your priorities, both personal and professional? * THINK POSITIVELY: The more positive you can be about the move and the opportunities it presents, the more likely it will be that you will find a satisfying position in the shortest amount of time. * EVALUATE YOUR STRENGTHS: It is a good idea to call on family members and long time friends to ask for an honest recounting of your strengths and weaknesses. ...

Tax Tips: Making a Move: The IRS offers tips for taxpayers who have moved or are about to move. If you’ve changed your home or business address, make sure you update that information with the IRS to ensure you receive any refunds or correspondence from the IRS.  1. How to Change Your Address: You can change your address on file with the IRS in several ways: * Correct the address legibly on the mailing label that comes with your tax package; ...

 

Branch Specific Articles:

Air Force

Program aids foreign-born spouses cope with reassignment: Some foreign-born spouses of active-duty Airmen projected to serve a dependent restricted assignment tour may find help through the Designated Location Move Assignment Program, according to Air Force Personnel Center officials here.  Although the program already exists, beginning April 4 it became available through the Web-based virtual Military Personnel Flight, making it easier for Airmen to apply. ...

What does Full Replacement Value Mean for your next PCS?: The Department of Defense recently entered into new contracts with the carrier industry and introduced a program called "Full Replacement Value." With the goal of providing better financial compensation to servicemembers, the new way of moving has significantly changed how claims are filed and processed.  In order to be made whole for any damages or loss suffered, careful observation of the new filing deadlines is required.  ...

Officials offer full replacement value for damaged goods: Airmen may now automatically receive full replacement value protection from the moving company on damage their household goods might incur during a move, Air Force officials announced May 14 (2008).  Airmen may now automatically receive full replacement value protection from the moving company on damage their household goods might incur during a move, Air Force officials announced May 14. ...

Moving tips in time for summer: For people who are preparing to move due to PCS, separation or retirement, a successful move is not a matter of chance. It is the result of planning and hard work.  Officials at the Air Force Claims Service Center say there are things servicemembers can and should do to safeguard their belongings during any move.  The government does not pay for appraisals. ... 
 

Army

ACS, School Officials Help Parents Moving With Children: "Home is where the Army sends you" is a familiar phrase among Army families. A permanent change of station can be tough for many reasons, but PCSing with children produces many other challenges.  A PCS [Permanent Change of Station] can mean leaving behind friends, familiarity and sometimes even members of the family. To make things easier on children, experts recommend planning ahead as much as possible to ease the transition from the current duty station to the new home. ...
 

Sailors & Marines

Use of Defense Personal Property System Mandatory for Personally Procured Moves:  All Navy service members and eligible civilians must now arrange personally procured moves using the Defense Personal Property System which can be accessed at www.move.milSMARTWebMove, the Navy's legacy system for arranging household goods moves online, is being phased out.  DPS is a centralized, integrated system — a "one-stop" source for managing a household goods move. ... 

Sailors Can Start Preparing Now for Smooth Move This Summer: The Household Goods director for Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) recommends that Sailors and their families start preparing for transfers early to ensure a smooth move.  "Sailors moving this summer should start preparing now," advises Ronald Fevola, NAVSUP Household Goods director. ...

Moving? Fleet and Family Support Center Can Help:  Commander, Navy Installations Command's Fleet and Family Support Centers (FFSC) offer many resources to help Sailors and their families when they receive Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders.  "Relocating to a new duty station is never easy, but can be made less stressful with proper planning and utilization of the free services of the Fleet and Family Support Centers (FFSC)," said Fred Davis, Fleet and Family Support Program's Relocation Assistance Program manager. ...

Update Exceptional Family Members Before Negotiating Orders: There are currently 16,000 Navy families enrolled in the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP), but some Sailors are not updating their packages before entering their detailing window. "Enrollment in the EFM program is mandatory for all family members with long-term medical, mental health or educational needs and is required immediately upon identification of a special need," said Cmdr. Cynthia Granby, EFMP branch head at Navy Personnel Command.  ...

Be sure to check out our local resources.  Find your installation and there you will find military friendly businesses to help you in your next move.  Our MiltiaryAvenue.com partners offer military discounts and incentives for your PCS.  Look for these categories at your current and new installation:

 

  • Real Estate Agents (Real Estate)
  • House Rentals & Apartments (Apartments & Rentals)
  • Mortgage & Finance Companies (Real Estate)
  • Moving Companies (Moving Services)
  • Storage Facilities (Moving Services)
  • Boxes & Packing Supplies (Moving Services)
  • Hotels (Lodging - Temporary)
  • Pet Kennels (Pet-Care) 
  • and much, much more!

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