Permanent Change of Station: Tips to Help with Your Move

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Where will the military send us next? It’s a question that almost every military family will ask during their time in service—for most of us, more than once. While the prospect of moving across the country or around the world might seem exciting, it can also be overwhelming. Juggling the emotional upheaval, logistical details, and financial strain of a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) move is a challenge, whether it’s your family’s first military ordered move or you’re a seasoned PCS veteran.

Luckily, you’re not alone. At NMFA, we’ve compiled a list of the best, most trusted tools and resources to help you navigate your PCS. Read on for tips to guide you along your journey from orders in hand to your new home.

Resources for Your Family

Many resources are available to help service members and their families prepare for a PCS move. Making the list of our favorite PCS guides, we have:

  • Family Relocation and PCS Hub: At NMFA, we’ve gathered the best-in-class resources and articles to help military families go from PCS notification and orders in hand to a new home and address (and, of course, everything in between, such as school transitions for kids and continuity of healthcare).
  • PCSgrades: Our friends at PCSgrades are on a mission to reduce the stress of relocation for the military community. Are you looking for a trusted community of military families with a wealth of knowledge to share about PCS’ing? This is the platform to get that insight and find practical resources with trusted reviews.
  • Sesame Street for Military Families: Moving with school-age kids can be challenging, and Sesame Street for Military Families eases this burden with interactive stories and games, videos, and coloring pages.

Knowledge is Power

One of the most important aspects of preparing for a PCS move is understanding entitlements and allotments. Beware of information shared on social media. The best way to stay up to date and get the correct information is to access the following:

  • Relocation Assistance Program: Every military installation has a center dedicated to counseling and assisting service members and their families to prepare and execute a military move. Representatives will also be able to provide the latest updates to changes on entitlements, such as the recent update of the Temporary Lodging Expense entitlement expanded to cover 14 days.
  • Plan My Move: A Military OneSource hosted fillable and customized checklist for each step of your move. This military family favorite tool keeps the checklist organized with the most updated steps to tackle as the move progresses.

When it is time to say goodbye to one military installation and say hello to a brand new one, it can come with mixed emotions. Soon you will be making new friends, building community, and empowering other families like yours to make their move with ease.

Let us know how your PCS move is going. Share your story with us below.

By: Angela Sablan Tenorio, Content Manager