Getting Ready

So your spouse comes home with Permanent Change of Station orders and you are not sure where to begin, before exploring resources take some time to assess the needs of your family. Do you need to give your landlord notice of your move or do you have a home to sell? Do you have school-age children or children who will need child care? Do you need to take copies of any important records with you (school records, health records, employment records, etc)? What other items need to be personally carried with you to your new duty station (wills, powers of attorney, social security cards, marriage certificates, multiple copies of the service member’s orders, financial documents, etc.)? Are you looking for a new job at your new duty station? Before you begin to panic, explore the military-specific relocation resources below and click here for a detailed moving checklist

Relocation Resources

Essential military relocation resources are updated frequently to keep pace with our diverse on-the-move population. Even if you have used the resource before or are a seasoned PCS-mover, we encourage you to explore these options for current information before your next move.

If you are live near an installation, stop by your family support center and inquire about classes or resources offered through the Relocation Program. The Relocation Program provides a number of moving-related services including pre-move and post-move workshops, assistance in finding affordable housing, and newcomer orientations. Ask about all moving options available to you, including Personal Procured Moves (PPM) formerly called DITY or Do-It-Yourself move. The Program can also link the service member with a Command-designated sponsor and manages the lending closets. Your local Relocation Manager can help you gather resources, put you in contact with the Relocation Manager at the receiving installation, and identify other points of contact on your current installation to help answer moving questions (Finance Office, Travel Office, etc.)

Military INSTALLATIONS is your official DoD source for installation and state resources available to active duty, National Guard and Reserve members, and their families. Families are able to find installation quick facts, points of contact, photos, major units, a downloadable installation booklet, and local community information for Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, Defense Logistics Agency and State Department installations. MilitaryINSTALLATIONS includes information on shipping pets, services for special needs families, check-in procedures, motor vehicle requirements, school information, long-term and temporary housing options, and much more.

Plan My Move (PMM) provides a step-by-step guide for military families that will help you take charge of your PCS move! PMM is a comprehensive online moving guide which can help you move door-to-door. PMM includes a printable calendar, travel checklists, arrival checklists, documents to hand carry, important telephone numbers, and a to-do list. First-time movers and families with a special needs family member can select additional information customizable to meet the needs of their family. PMM provides a manageable overview of what you need to know.

Relocation Logistics

How will your household goods make it from one side of the world to the other? This process is coordinated through your local Transportation Management Office (TMO); contact information is available through MilitaryINSTALLATIONS. Depending on your Service branch, TMO will have one of the following names:

  • 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

Even though you cannot officially coordinate your move without orders in hand, you can contact TMO to discuss any changes in benefits, weight allowance, and the option of a Personally Procured Move, find out about any required classes, and ask about reimbursement or advance payment options. If your service member is deployed or temporarily stationed elsewhere, you may need a power of attorney to work with TMO  on your own. Comprehensive information on transportation logistics and benefits is available at the official DoD Household Goods Portal:

Where will you live? Each Service has its own housing website and the housing privatized contractors maintain separate websites. Links to both the government housing office and the privatized contractor are available through your Relocation Manager, MilitaryINSTALLATIONS or PMM. Don’t forget to check out the DoD Automated Housing Referral Network (AHRN). AHRN allows military families to search for housing availability both on and off-base. It also includes military shared rentals, community rentals, temporary lodging accommodations, roommate wanted, and for rent or sale by military members. 


See also:

Moving with Pets in the Military

Moving and Money: Allowances and Entitlements

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