moving in military

Permanent Change of Stations PCS! Moving in the Military

The department of defense relocates more families in the United States of America more than anyone else.
The process at some scale feels overwhelming, but you can choose between how you want to move?
You can visit the defense personal property system to get more information about your move.
Another amazing source is Military OneSource.
Military OneSource has representatives available 24/7 to answer those late night questions about your upcoming move.

Just Remember: Moving is never easy, but you will get through it.


military move

Generally, your military move starts when you receive orders from your service.
In your orders, information describing your rank, the duration of your job/training, and your assigned location will determine if your entire dependent family can come, what you are allowed to bring, and how those items will arrive at your new location.

Two Types

Permanent change of Stations PCS

PCS is the program when you are assigned to a location for more than 20+ weeks.
In this type of move, you are allowed for a full household move. ‘

Temporary Duty TDY

When you are assigned to a new location but for a temporary purpose.
The extended period of temporary duty is for 31 days and a maximum of 20 weeks.
For TDY, it is common that only a small subset of your household belongings will be able to travel with you to your new location.

Where you want to move! Destination Matters.

When you are moving within the military, the destination matter a lot.
According to both types of PCS and TDY you have to determine your location.
The way your household goods get transported from “Point A” to “Point B” largely depends on whether your entire move will happen within the 48 contiguous US states or internationally (includes Alaska & Hawaii).


CONUS (48 Contiguous States)

CONUS are moves that start and end within the 48 contiguous states of the US. Most moves in the US Military are CONUS moves.

OCONUS (International + Hawaii & Alaska)

Moves to or from Alaska and Hawaii along with international stations are considered OCONUS moves. These moves are more complicated and each location may have additional limitations on what you are allowed to transport.

How to ship your household Goods

Once you’ve chosen the type of service PCS or TDY, and also you’ve selected your moving location, CONUS or OCONUS, you are left with a simple question that how you are going to ship your household goods.

Moving Types

Household Goods Move HHG

A Household Goods “HHG” move is a move completed by a government-furnished moving company, also called a Transportation Service Provider (TSP). During an HHG move, your transporter is responsible for packing all of your belongings and transporting them to your new location. If anything becomes lost or broken during your move, you can work with your transporter or the Military Claims Office to receive financial compensation for your items.

HHG is approved for ONUS, OCONUS, and PCS. and HHG is not approved for TDY.

Personally Procured Move (PPM)

Personally procured move can be described as “do it yourself”. It is the type of move in which the military helps you with moving.
You are totally responsible for your move. You are totally responsible for any damages to your household or items. If damage happens during packaging service or during travel, the damage is totally on you.
You can hire a local moving company or commercial moving company for your move.
As an incentive to move PPM, the government will pay you 95% of their cost to hire a moving company on your behalf or perform your own move. 

PPM is approved for CONUS, OCONUS, TDY, and PCS.

Privately Owned Vehicle (POV) Shipment/Storage

In general, if you are traveling overseas (OCONUS), the government will pay to ship one POV to your new location, but you will need to arrange for it to be dropped off at the designated drop-off center before departing.

(Note: There may be some overseas bases, such as in Japan, where it is not possible to have a car. In these cases, the government will pay to store your POV stateside for the length of your tour.)

Privately Owned Vehicle (POV) Shipment/Storage is only approved for OCONUS move.

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Read more: How to Move to New Zealand: the Complete Relocation Guide

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