If that old Willie Nelson classic On the Road Again is bouncing around your head you must have recently gotten a new assignment and you are getting ready for your latest military family adventure. In recent years, the assignments do not come as frequently as they once did in an attempt to cut DOD costs and stabilize the work force as well as the military family. Although less frequent, the moves still remain a part of military life and you need to prepare for the transfers by knowing your rights as well as your allowances for permanent change of station (PCS) moves.
Once you receive your military orders the first thing you must do is contact your installation relocation office. Every base or post has one to assist you in your transfer. By talking with the relocation office you will determine your PCS allowance and receive information to make a decision on which is the best way to handle your move.
Military members now have two moving options to select from. Either the traditional method where a moving company is selected and scheduled by the relocation office to come to your home and pack up your personal and household effects, or the Do-it-yourself (DITY) move.
DITY moves are a fairly recent attempt to reduce costs associated with moving the military member and their family. In a DITY move the transferring member will receive 95 percent of the estimated professional moving costs as an incentive to pack and move their own household goods. This is also referred to as the Personally Procured Move Program.
In a DITY move the reassigned military member can use the money given to them for the move anyway they wish. They can sell most of their belongings and make the relocation and buy new when they arrive at their destination, or they can rent a moving truck and pack up their belongings and drive it to their new duty station.
Only the end result of being at their new duty station on time is the requirement. DITY moves from an overseas location to a stateside location are not recommended.
The first thing you must do is contact your relocation office and then make decisions and plan the move. The relocation office will:
- Provide information on allowances for the moving.
- Schedule a moving company or provide info on a DITY move.
- Arrange for a sponsor at the new duty station.
- Provide information on your new duty station.
- Create a time-line of actions which need to be scheduled.
Next on the agenda is contacting the housing office where you are currently assigned and scheduling the out-processing process if you live on base. You will also need to contact the housing office at your new duty station regardless of whether you plan to live on base or purchase a home in the area.