5 Things to Do When You Get PCS Orders

You've received your Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders, and after the panic subsides, you know you’ll need to get yourself and your family organized for the relocation process. So what's your next move? Once you have your PCS orders in hand, make sure to take the following steps:

1. Set up a meeting with your base transportation office. Depending on your service branch, the name of the government office that handles your relocation varies:

  • The Department of Defense: Joint Personal Property Shipping Office.
  • Air Force: Traffic Management Office.
  • Army: Installation Transportation Office.
  • Navy and Marine Corps: Personal Property Shipping Office.
  • Coast Guard: Household Goods Shipping Office.

Make sure you make an appointment with your office as early as possible. At your meeting, make sure you find out about all the moving options available to you, including a DITY move, and start making preliminary arrangements for your move.

2. Contact the family center at your new location. Family centers offer relocation assistance programs that provide moving information to you and your family. Ask questions, and learn about your new community and what it offers.

3. If you're living in government quarters, notify the housing office of your projected move date. Make sure you also know all the regulations about cleaning your home before you move out.

4. Make an appointment with your finance office at your current installation. Making a move will be a drain on your bank account. The finance office can give you the lowdown on your options, as well as relocation benefits that you’re eligible for.

5. Use Military.com’s PCS Guide and Moving Checklist to help plan your move. In making preparations for a move, it's easy to be bogged down with all the details and things to do. Military.com can help you stay on top of it all with this handy checklist, which covers everything from packing to setting up in your new location. These ready-to-print lists will remind you what you need to do.

If you plan to do a Do-It-Yourself (DITY) move, see our Comprehensive Look at DITY Guides for more information, which will help you during your move preparations.

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