October 19, 2010

Your First Military Move

Your first military move can cause a little anxiety, if you do not know what to expect.  And, truth be told, even those who have been through it many times still get a little nervous before a pending military move.  But knowing how it all works can help lower your stress level and help you get organized.

The first thing to do once you receive your orders is to make an appointment for a counseling session with your transportation or relocation office on base (the name of the office differs from service to service).  During this initial counseling session, your options for your military move will be discussed, as well as your maximum allowable weight for your household goods (HHG).  Household goods are the belongings you plan to move.  That weight limit is important to know, since the government will not pay to move anything beyond that limit.  Your maximum allowable weight limit for your military move is based on things like rank, number of dependents and location.

You have three options for a military move, which will also be discussed during that counseling session.  You can have the government move you, handle the move yourself or do a combination of those.  If you choose to have the government handle everything, a professional moving company will be hired and paid for by the government.  They will pack and move you.  You do not pay for anything.  If you choose to do the move yourself, known as a DITY (do It yourself) move or PPM (personally procured move), you will initially pay the cost of the move and the government will reimburse you for 90 percent or more of what it would have cost them to move you.  If you do it right, you can end up making money with a DITY military move.  That is the reason it is a popular option for many people when they PCS.  You can either seek out and hire a professional moving company of your choosing or handle the move yourself via self service movers, a rental truck or your personally owned vehicle (POV).  The last option is a partial DITY move, which combines the first two options.  Again, it is important to meet with your transportation office first before making any decisions about how you plan to move.  There are some assignments for which a DITY military move is not recommended.  And you need to have authorization to do DITY move, or the government will not reimburse you.