Pentagon to Study PCS Costs


The Defense Department soon will start a review of the military move system and its costs, Pentagon officials said Monday.

The review, which was originally reported by Alaska Public Media, comes after a Government Accountability Office finding last year that the cost of permanent change of station (PCS) moves increased 28 percent from 2001 to 2014 to $4.3 billion. The investigation also found that the DoD does not conduct reviews of the PCS system.

"DoD is convening a working group to review and revise, as necessary, the current PCS budgetary reporting requirements," Air Force Maj. Ben Sakrisson said in a statement. "DoD is also coordinating efforts with the military services to improve the completeness and consistency of the data, and to complete periodic evaluations of the effectiveness of the PCS program."

No information is available on when the review will be finished, he said.

"The working group is relatively new, and it would be premature at this point to commit to a firm end date to their efforts," he said.

Information on who is in the working group was also not available.

The report recommended that the DoD periodically look at PCS data to learn if the program is cost-effective and whether service members are staying long enough at each duty station. Sakrisson said the working group is being held in response to those recommendations.

Among the report's other findings was that the Air Force had the highest per-move cost at an average of $8,548.

It also found that the average cost of moving an officer from all services between fiscal years 2010 to 2014 was 134 percent higher than the cost to move an enlisted service member. That disparity, the report noted, can be blamed on the higher weight, travel and cost allowances given to officers.

-- Amy Bushatz can be reached at

A previous version of this story incorrectly stated the increase of the cost of PCS moves between 2011 and 2014. The increase was 28 percent.

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