You know very well that, as soon as you enroll in any of the military’s branches, moving will be a part of your life. You’ll no longer stay put for an extended period of time – instead, you’ll have to go and be where duty calls.
Luckily, the military provides the ones that have to move with a permanent change of station (PCS). This means the official relocation of an active duty military service member, along with any family members that may live with them.
Now, given the fact that moving as a civilian is already complicated enough, we thought of rounding up the essentials when it comes to PCS.
Therefore – let’s see how the permanent change of station process unfolds!
The PCS Binder
It is extremely important that, long before your effective move, you start working on your PCS Binder. It must contain all of the documentation – orders, moving documents, school records, medical records, etc. – that you may need when you arrive at your next duty station.
The distance between your current home and the new one can be quite impressive, in some cases – that’s why you should never forget a single important thing behind.
Decide Over PPM, Partial, or Military-assisted Move
When moving, you can either deal with everything on your own, have packers help you with certain things, or let the military employ a moving company that will take care of everything for you.
A PPM move – personally procured move – means that you’ll take care of everything on your own. In this case, you are entitled to a government payment of 95% of what would the military move cost. Moreover, you will receive travel allowances for your family and Executive Auto Shippers can PCS your POV.
If you spend less than the 95% you are provided with, you get to keep the rest.
On the other hand, if the military will be setting up the move for you, then you can be sure that all the procedures will be scheduled conveniently and that you won’t have any issues to deal with.
Decide What to Do with Your Home
You may find yourself in one of these two situations – you are currently living in a house that you own, or you may be renting one.
If you own your current household, then you have to consider whether you will sell or lease it. Naturally, if you are renting, it may be the right time to let your landlord know that you will be leaving, as well as when you will be doing so.
Gun-Discipline and Protection
As an active duty military service member, you may currently have weapons within your household. The number is, obviously, not important. What matters is that you take the appropriate protection measures, as well as a strict approach to gun discipline.
You may already have a gun safe in your house to keep everything dangerous away from your family, especially from your children. However, depending on its size and/or the number of weapons you currently have, it might be difficult for you to move it efficiently.
It goes without saying that gun safes are necessary, as through them you will protect your family. You must be the only one to have access to your guns! You may also want to consider a brand-new gun safe if the one you currently have is outdated and not that secure anymore.
Research the New Area
Before moving to your new area, it is recommended that you do some research on Military Town Advisor. The platform features reviews, tips, and so on, from military families that are living or have lived there.
This way, you will know which its good and bad areas are, as well as where the best schools and restaurants are.
Setting Up a New Budget
When moving, your BAH – Basic Housing Allowance – will most likely change. This will influence the sum you will be willing to put away for your new home.
Taking your BAH as well as your budget into account before moving will give you some insight on what you can afford and on what you have to do in order to stay within your budget.
Searching for Your New Home
Searching for a new home is a little bit easier for military personnel undergoing PCS. You can check MilitaryByOwner and find your new house in a matter of minutes. All you have to do is to find your base, fill in any search criteria fit for you, and start looking for the home of your dreams.
In some cases, you may decide that living on base might be the best for you for the time being. If so, you will have to contact the local housing office – we advise you to do so early – get your name in and wait for confirmation.
Base housing usually comes with a waitlist, which is why you should be among the first to apply. Moreover, the local housing office can point out some areas that are fit for living and will give your information on the areas that should be completely avoided.
Hold Mail and Cancel Utilities
Clearly, the last thing you want to discover after arriving in your new home is that you have missed any payment notices or that you still have uncollected mail.
Obviously, shortly before moving or finishing your moving process, it is advised that you let the utility companies know that you are going to move soon and make the preparations for holding your mail.
The Bottom Line
If you are about to go through a military move, then you can freely rely on this guide and moving checklist to help you out with some things as well as remember you some moving aspects that you should not forget.
Also, if you are looking for more in-depth information, you can always check this full PCS Guide!