One of the best and worst parts of being in a military family is seeing and living all over the world. While you get to experience different places and cultures quite often, you also have to endure the moving process more than you’d like to. Fortunately, there are companies out there to help you with this move as much as possible.
What is a Military Move
A PCS (Permanent Change of Station) order is when a member of the military is assigned a new location to live. Once you are able to gather your thoughts on the often-abrupt move order, here are some steps you will need to follow:
- Set up a meeting with your base transportation office as soon as possible
- Contact the family center at your new location for possible relocation assistance
- Make an appointment with your finance office at your current location for moving and pricing options
When a military family receives their moving orders, the first step is to contact the Transportation Management Office (TMO) to learn all the logistics for their move. They will need to make sure all their names are on the service member’s orders to relocate with them. That is basically saying that the military approves the entire family to move together.
The next step is to secure a good sponsor. This is someone who is already located where you are going. This can be assigned to you before you arrive. A sponsor is someone who can help answer basic questions for the family before and after they arrive. This person will give the incoming military family all the information on their new home that they will need. It is suggested that you type a list for your sponsor with any questions you have may have. This may be particularly helpful to lessen the stress of moving such a far distance to a place you’ve never lived before.
Another tip is to keep in mind that some things just shouldn’t travel with you to your new station. Some items (like an RV or camper) can be left behind to make the move less stressful and less expensive. Check with your sponsor to see which items and appliances may already be provided at the new location. The government may pay for the storage of these items in the meantime. These are things that a civilian family might not have to give up, but it may not be practical for a military family to bring it along.
Military Vs. Civilian Moves
There is a big difference between a military family moving and a civilian family moving. Military families relocate 10 times more than civilian families do, the average move for a military family is every 2 to 3 years. This means a military family must uproot everything 10 times more than civilian families. As if the process of moving wasn’t stressful enough, imagine multiplying that stress times 10!
There are a lot of things that civilians take for granted when moving that a military family cannot take advantage of. While a civilian is usually responsible for the cost of their move, military families receive help from the government who will pay for most of their move. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always pay for all of it. Military families may be issued a travel card that keeps them from having to pay for the high cost of moving out of pocket. Another payment option may that they can claim moving costs on their taxes.
Depending on the relocation distance and the number of things the military family has, the government will provide transportation from one duty station to another. They may issue you tickets to fly or take a train, or pay for a privately-owned vehicle to make the move. They also give a per diem pay, which allows for meals and lodging for a certain allotted day between the move.
A military family moving across the country (or world) is a much different process than a civilian family moving a long distance. There are rules and protocol that needs to be followed to make the move less stressful and to get more bang for the provided buck. If you’re interested in getting options to see what’s available, that’s something we can help with. Get a free quote from us.