How to Plan Your Military PCS Move

Written By

Machaela Casey

Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders authorize the movement of military personnel, along with their spouse, children, household goods, and personal effects, to a location more than 50 miles from their current one. A military move can be a stressful experience for service members, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Here are some tips for planning your military PCS move.

What You Need to Know

Now you know the PCS meaning, you need to start planning your move. There are different PCS regulations for members of the Army, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard, and so on. However, most service members will need to create a PCS moving file and renew their military ID with their new location information.

Decide How You Want to Move

There are two options for PCS moves. Either the government will pay for your entire move and use their carrier of choice to relocate you. This is called a DPS military move.

Alternatively, you can take care of the process and choose movers yourself. When this happens, the government will pay you 95 percent of the moving costs. This is called a “personally procured move” or PPM. Although managing your own move sounds like more work, you are allowed to keep any extra money after you have relocated, making this the preferred choice for many service members.

Things to Consider When Choosing a PPM

If you decide to go down the PPM route, consider the following factors when choosing a moving company:

  • Choose a company that specializes in military moves. These companies might give you a military discount for being a service member and will take care of every aspect of your move, from packing through to unboxing.
  • Choose a company that provides you with flexible storage options if you need to keep your valuables in a warehouse. This might be a good idea if your new location lacks space or if there is a delay with the moving process.
  • Choose a company that handles your valuables with care. After all, you don’t want to arrive at your new location only to discover that your belongings have been damaged or broken. The best military moving companies use specialist moving equipment and moving trucks that will safeguard your valuables during transportation.
  • Choose a company with the right amount of experience and a good reputation. Movers should transport your belongings safely and quickly and provide you with excellent customer service.