PCS Resources and Support for Military Moves

military pcs resources

Resources and Support for PCS Moves

With Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders come mixed feelings. Whether you’re excited by the prospect of starting over, unhappy about your upcoming move, or processing mixed emotions, the more resources and support you have, the better.  Here’s an assortment of resources in 8 PCS-related categories you might find useful.

1) Mental and Emotional Support

If moving, or adjusting to a new location, is causing you anxiety or depression, you can request Free Confidential Non-Medical Counseling through the Military and Family Life Counseling Program at installations worldwide and through Military OneSource. To learn more, call Military OneSource at 800-342-9647. Phones are answered 24/7.

If you have small children who are worried about the move, Sesame Street for Military Families has created some very special, free PCS-related content just for them.

2) Logistic Support

If you love apps, My Ultimate PCS, is for you. This planning app will help you track your move progress, store inventory photos, and access important links and resources.

If you prefer to work from your computer, Plan My Move, created by The U.S. Department of Defense, (DOD) offers a user-friendly online tool to create a custom checklist.

If you’re afraid of overlooking something, refer to the Ultimate PCS Guide to Packing Out. You can also download and print it as a free .pdf.

#) Packing and Storage

After six PCS moves in a single decade, military wife, C.C., created The Stressless PCS kit, a labeling system to help you keep track of every item.

Before you run off and buy expensive boxes and padding, why not check Freecycle? Someone right around the corner may have just unpacked. If paring your possessions down feels overwhelming, you might want to contact Christina Curtis, a Navy wife who owns and operates Permanent Change of Storage, an organization business that specializes in PCS support.

4) General Information

If you have unanswered questions, you can visit Master Your PCS as well as Move.mil, the official DOD moving portal. Another very thorough online resource is Operation We Are Here.

5) Relocation Expenses

Policies and rates of reimbursements and allowance for Per Diem and Mileage are available online.  The government pays for you to ship your household goods authorized at a weight limit based on your rank and family status. You can reference the Weight Allowance Table and Weight Estimator for that information. Don’t forget that moving expenses that aren’t reimbursed, or furnished in kind, are tax deductible.

6) Arrival at Your New Location

Should you need temporary lodging, PCS at Ease, an AirBnB-inspired option for military families may suit you better than a hotel or motel — particularly if you have kids and pets.  Military Crash Pad is another temporary housing option that was originally created for military members on Temporary Duty Assignment.

There’s always a chance you’ll arrive at your new location before your boxes. That’s why the military community has created Lending Closets. You can borrow basic necessities. All they ask is that you return the items when you’re done. For access to this resource, visit your Fleet & Family Services, Army Community Services, or Airman & Family Readiness office. If you’re moving overseas, you can also request loaner furniture.

7) Permanent Housing

If you want “boots on the ground”  in your new location in advance, you may want to use Millie Scout. They’re a network of independent contractors who help military families manage their long distance rentals and more.

8) Settling In

Participating in a New Spouse Orientation is a great way for military spouses to get an introduction to the new community and make new friends. You can also request a sponsor who has the local knowledge, experience, and connections to help ease your transition. There’s also a Youth Sponsorship Program and a network of School Liasions. You can find the one you need through a search on MilitaryInstallations.

If you’re in any of the 50 states and need help making sure your kids enroll in the classes they need, play sports, and graduate on time, you have the support of the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children.  There are also PCS resources available for family members with special needs.

Moving is a huge undertaking, and saying “Goodbye” is hard, but with the right resources and mindset, you’ll feel better supported when you turn the page to the next chapter of your life.

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About the author

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Caroline Sposto is a writer, actor, and the founder of Savvy Civility, an educational company that specializes in civilian role play training. She has a passion for the arts, education, and small business.