For many military families, moving is simply a part of
life. As if having a family member on active-duty in the military isn't
stressful enough, most families will have to relocate at least once every three
years on average. These frequent relocations, called "Permanent Change of
Station," or PCS, are quite common among active-duty military service members
and occur when a service member gets reassigned to a new base or transferred to
other duties in a new location.
When you get your PCS orders, any family
living with you will have to relocate as well. Moving around from base to base
every few years can be highly stressful for your family, but as long as you are
prepared, you can handle the relocation with as little stress as possible.
When you get your PCS
Upon receiving your PCS, there are a few
things that you should do to help to get your family organized and prepared
for the impending move:
Meet with your base transportation office to discuss the details of your
Depending on which branch of the military you serve in, the office
that handles all base relocations will have a different name.
- 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
When you meet,
inquire about what options exist for your move, including DIY moving options or
full-service moves for you and your family and begin making arrangements for the
Discuss potential relocation benefits with finance office.
base will have a finance office for members to visit in order to discuss their
financial options when it comes to relocations. Some members may also be
eligible for relocation benefits to lessen the blow that a move can
take on your bank account. Make sure to inquire about any potential benefits
with your financial advisor.
Contact your new location and get information about your move.
find out where you're being relocated to, contact the family center at your new
installation and ask about the family assistance programs that they offer. These
programs are a great way to help families adjust to the relocation, and they
offer great moving information and tips on how to cope with the move.
Making the move
After your family has relocated to the new
installation that you will be calling home for the next few months or years, you
can begin helping them adjust to the move. Here are some tips for helping your
family get settled in their new home:
Adjusting to the new community:
One of the most difficult parts of moving is transitioning
into a new routine and adjusting to your new community. When you relocate your
family to a new military base, there are relocation assistance programs to help
adjust and to provide information on what the base can offer.
Keeping your children in mind:
Moving is especially difficult for
children, so help them through the relocation by encouraging them and keeping
their best interests in mind. Make sure to keep an open line of communication
between you and your children so that they can come to you to discuss any
concerns. This will help them to remain upbeat during the transition.
Knowing where to look for aid:
The military realizes how stressful
relocation can be for families, and one of the benefits of a military move is
the aid that various branches offer. Whatever kind of help you need for your
move, whether it's childcare services, moving resources or expense tracking and
financial aid, there is no shortage of assistance available.