I heard a rumor that I can count all of my home business stuff as "pro-gear" during our military move. My spouse gets an allowance for professional books, paper and equipment that doesn't count toward our weight cap, and it would be awesome if I could have the same. I've got a desk, some office supplies and all of my inventory. Can you tell me what the rules are? Can I PCS with spouse pro-gear?
We have to admit that when we got your question, the idea of spouse pro-gear was totally new to us. But a little research and a sit-down with personal property officials at the Defense Department's Surface Distribution and Deployment Command got us fully in the loop.
Quick caveat here, as with all things PCS: Many of the PCS rules are made by the Defense Department, but give the services leeway to change what they want to do. That means that if you are in the Army, for example, the rules may be different. Always check with your local transportation office.
According to DoD officials, yes, there is such a thing as spouse pro-gear. You can have up to 500 pounds of business- or volunteer-related items for every move except your final move after an ETS. But the bad news is that it doesn't really cover as much as you'd hope.
Let's talk first about what it does cover. Since a 2014 regulation change, spouse pro-gear covers only a very limited number of things. Reference material, instruments, tools and equipment "peculiar to technicians, mechanics, and members of the professions," the regulation says and "specialized clothing such as diving suit, flying suits and helmets, band uniforms, nurse uniforms, chaplains' vestments, and other specialized apparel not normal or usual uniform or clothing" all are included.
That, however, leaves a lot of things are not considered spouse pro-gear. Here are some things that are not pro-gear: office furniture; computers; table service, including flat wear; and sports equipment. Look at pages IV-K1-10 and IV-K1-11 here for even more information.
Bummer, right? That means that, for you, most of what you were hoping to move as pro-gear probably doesn't qualify.
Finally, you should check with your local transportation office on rules for notifying your movers that you will have spouse pro-gear as part of your shipment. Depending on your service, they could require it before you register for your pack-out date. Better to be safe than sorry.
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