1st PCS, can you break it down for me? — The Bump
Military Families

1st PCS, can you break it down for me?

Hi,my husband is graduating AIT in December and we just got orders to Fort Lewis in Washington. He's in VA right now and I'm in Maine with our son. So I have no idea how this is going to work, does DH come home first to drive out with us? Are they going to think its more cost effective to fly us out? When does he apply for DLA? 

Any breaking down of this process would be helpful!!

Thank you! 

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Re: 1st PCS, can you break it down for me?

  • So let's start at the beginning. We can't tell you if your husband will be able to come home or not. It depends on his command and his report date. My husband was not able to come home after AIT. He went straight overseas to Korea and set up my move from there. They will not fly you out. You can choose to fly yourself, but keep in mind that they will not pay to ship any vehicles. They used to, but I'm fairly certain they won't anymore. You will have to drive, most likely. We haven't PCS'ed CONUS to CONUS, so I'm not sure how your DLA will work. With ours, we had a chunk of money come in before we PCS'ed back to the States, then filed all of the paperwork for any remaining costs that weren't covered (per diem, etc..)

       If this is your first move, I would HIGHLY suggest you letting the military move you. You can do a DITY move, but the reimbursement rates for DITY's has been sharply cut. My suggestion is to pack what you'll need for a month (clothes, a set of dishes, pots/pans, blankets, etc..)  in your car and let the movers take care of everything else.

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  • They will not ship cars CONUS to CONUS, at all, no exceptions.  Someone will have to drive your car(s) out or you pay out of pocket to have the cars shipped.  I recommend letting the military move you, but do a partial DITY for the things you will need ASAP like the PP said.   

    I think DLA works the same as it did for PP.  My husband filed for it when he was out-processing from his old unit, and then we had a chunk pre-move, and then we filed and got the rest (compensation for hotels, gas, etc) after we got to our new post. You only have a certain number of days to get from where you are to Lewis, the military will only compensate you for those days you spend on the road, if he opts to use leave to give you a couple extra days, all gas, hotels and food during those days will be out of pocket costs.  They usually give you a decent amount of time to get to the new post.  We got 3 days to drive less than 20 hours, which was easily doable.  I imagine from Maine to Washington, they'd probably give you 5-6 days.  It's been a long time since I did a move that far, so I can't tell you for sure, they'll tell your husband though.

    Your husband should get a packet of things that must be done prior to PCS, and it should include multiple trips to the Finance office to set up DLA and the like. So he'll know whether he'll be able to come home and how to handle DLA and such relatively soon 
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  • Thank you! I definitely want to have the military move our stuff, can you tell me a bit how that works? Do I just call a random moving company and tell them to bill the Army? Lol, but seriously, how does that work! And where does our stuff go while we're trying to find housing?

    Thank you again!! 

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  • imagej_twitchell:

    Thank you! I definitely want to have the military move our stuff, can you tell me a bit how that works? Do I just call a random moving company and tell them to bill the Army? Lol, but seriously, how does that work! And where does our stuff go while we're trying to find housing?

    Thank you again!! 

     

    No, that is most assuredly NOT the way it works! Big Smile When your husband has in-hand paper orders, he will go to the transportation office. They will help him set up the move. They will hire a moving company who is contracted through the military. The company will call you to set up dates/times. Depending on how much you are moving, it could be a multi-day process. I had a two BR apartment when we had our first PCS and it took two days. One day to pack, one day to move. It went very fast actually.

        The actual PCS process is a whole other post, but I'll summarize a few tips.

    - Take pictures of your stuff before the movers come, especially electronics and expensive things. Write down serial numbers and keep them in a safe spot. 

    - Feed the movers. Trust me. It doesn't have to be expensive, but water/Gatorade/coffee and a pizza go a LONG way.

    -  Review the inventory sheets they give you. This will have any damage that they see listed. Make sure that you agree with what they have listed! Also, make sure they have everything listed. They don't like to, but make them individually list all of your computer/PS3/Xbox/Wii games. Trust me on this. Once you sign that sheet, you have little recourse if something goes missing and it's not on the sheet.

    - Pack your car ahead of time. Anything that you are taking with you should be out of the house before the movers get there. You don't want them accidentally packing stuff you're going to need right away.

    -Your stuff will take a while to get to your new post. Once you get housing, either on or off post, you will call them to deliver. I'm not sure how long they will hold it, since our moves have been OCONUS and on different timelines.

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  • Actually they will pay you to fly just not pay to ship your cars. We just pcsed from CA to FL and they paid for my DH, myself, and even got a ticket for our son. You have to request to fly though.

    I'm bumping on my phone so not sure if you have a siggy that tells your child's age but if they're young I would for sure fly.
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