Things You Should Know About a Military Move

Posted Moving Essentials / June 4, 2020
Blake Shaw

Bostonian and residential moving and packing expert. Blake Shaw enjoys bar-hopping, music, and writing insightful content.

Did you know that more than 400,000 service members relocate every year? The military move is something most service employees can’t avoid in their careers. When orders arrive, there are few things you should know that will help ease you and all of your family into the whole process.

A PCS Requires Preparation

When you get your orders, it is time to prepare and organize the whole moving process. Use Plan My Move, a tool developed by the Department of Defense that can help you track your relocation progress. If you feel overwhelmed by the whole process, seek help from organizations specially created to assist service members.

Military Organizations Can Deliver Some Useful Information

You are not on your own. There are more than a few organizations that can provide you with some more than useful information. All of those will make your move as well as the adaptation process faster:

  • Government Transportation Office can assist you in finding the perfect moving option
  • is a global site that tracks your allowance, schedules, tracks shipments, and files claims
  • Housing Office is a government tool that can provide you with more than one housing option in the new location
  • Finance Office will pinpoint the eligible moving benefits you can use
  • Tricare will show you available healthcare options in your new location

Remember, relocation is a big step in any person’s life, no matter what they do for a living. Nevertheless, when you have to pack up your whole life and move, you should take some time to talk to your family about it. You are all in it together.


Prepare Your Family for the Military Move

Talk to your kids and spouse and explain the sudden change; knowing what is going on will lower their anxiety levels and make the relocation that much easier. Check out the MIlitaryINSTALLATIONS website because there you can find useful information like:

  • Programs and services that include family members as well
  • Check-in procedures
  • Local resources information
  • Worldwide contacts

Also, there are sites like MilitaryChildCare that can show you all the different childcare options. Your spouse can also check Spouse Education and Career Opportunities and easily find employment at the new location.

You Are Entitled to Many Moving Benefits

Depending on where you are relocating, you are entitled to many benefits as a service member. Some benefits cover housing, others the trip to the new base:

  • Dislocation allowance or DLA is paid once for every PCS move
  • Per Diem Allowance covers your meals and lodging while you are traveling
  • Monetary Allowance in Lieu of Transportation (MALT) you can get if you are driving to your base
  • Temporary Lodging Expense (TLE) covers temporary housing
  • Advance Basic Pay is an interest-free loan
  • Advance Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) covers up to 95% of housing expenses.

Keep in mind that rules and regulations may change, so you need to contact the Defense Travel Management Office and see precisely what benefits you are entitled to.

PPM or DITY Relocation Comes With Benefits as Well

The Personally Procured Moves (PPM) are also known as Do-It-Yourself (DITY) moves, and they allow you to be repaid for relocating by yourself. Under the PPM program, you are allowed to use your car, rent, or borrow one. Also, you will receive the travel allowance and insurance coverage up to $25,000.

Its Best to Find a New Home Before the Relocation

If you don’t want to use temporary housing and put yourself and your family through a prolonged move, start looking for accommodation as soon as you get your orders. Finding the home in an unfamiliar location can be challenging, and even though the military does not cover house-hunting costs, they give you up to ten days of permissive leave.

Ask realtors to provide you with detailed maps of the location, especially if you are relocating to a big city. Find a place that is close to the base or has a good commute network. Again, you can reach out to families and service members in your new base, because they will be able to provide you with some insights into the local housing market.

Tips on How to Make the Military Move Easier

As soon as you receive PCS orders, everything starts revolving around getting from the old to the new home as efficiently as possible. That’s why every useful advice is welcome:

  • Get rid of all the things you don’t need; it will speed up the packing and unpacking process, and it will be cheaper.
  • Keep essential documents on you all the time.
  • Follow the steps in your checklist, and you won’t forget important things.
  • Talk to your spouse, reach out to families that have already relocated, and remember you are not alone.
  • Hire a reliable moving company with a wide range of services.

Professional Movers Can Help You Relocate

Another way you can make relocation easier is to hire a professional moving company to handle your belongings as part of the PPM or Do-It-Yourself-Move scheme. Movers will make sure that your long-distance relocation runs smoothly by providing a variety of top-notch services. They will take care of everything from auto shipping to keeping your things in storage if your new home is not ready for you to move in right away. This way, you can kick back and relax while professionals do all the work.

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