By Susanna Haynie of Militarydutystations.com
I have been a military spouse for ages!
It’s been 17 years to be exact and in a way I can’t imagine how it would be if we could choose a place to live ourselves and have no one to tell us where to go. Some of you might know that I started militarydutystations.com and the supporting blog to talk about ‘what moves us’ and to give specific PCS tips. Here are a few things for you to consider:
1.If you plan on living on post go to the Army’s new housing website (careful! Army One Stop has unfortunately been discontinued) take a look at floor plans and wait times.
2.Did you get orders? Until you have orders in hand, your new duty station is not sure and there is nothing “official” you can do to get your move started. On that note please keep in mind that EVEN if you have orders you can be rerouted at any time. Stay flexible and don’t panic (well, a little bit)
3.Make sure you attend your ACS PCS brief at your current duty station. In fact, if you can, go along to ALL PCS briefs. This will get you a bit piece of mind, you can ask questions and you have information first hand and not coming through your spouse. ( sorry, but sometimes things get garbled….)
4.It’s good to know how much your authorized weight allowance is and if you can stay within that limit. As a rule of thumb figure 1000lbs per furnished room. If you need an exact calculator then this is a good link (it’s an excel sheet).
5. A PCS is considered “official travel”. Did you know that you can use the Military Government credit card to pay for your PCS expenses? Careful though, if you create charges that are NOT allowed you will be held responsible. Find regulations here.
6.While the Army (Military) ‘advertises’ that you can receive full replacement value for lost, missing, damaged items – don’t be fooled! It’s not free money! If something is too good to be true, it is. You have to have documentation (video, pictures, estimates, receipts…), a strong backbone and a lot of nerves. The transportation provider will try and protect himself as much as possible, therefore it is absolutely important that you check the notes (usually numbers) of the items’ condition that are marked on your pink form (1840). If you don’t agree, speak up. Observe the time limits (75 days for reporting, 9 months for claiming damage)
We were told by movers that the greatest damage happens when your household goods have to go into storage and not during the transport. Unfortunately, we learned , they were right. While it might not always be possible, if you can, have a door to door delivery. All claims will have to be filed through move.mil – the on-post claims office will assist you if you have questions. Again, make sure you stay in the 75 day time limit.
I hope these tips helped you a bit. Please leave your comments and read others experiences on militarydutystations.com. Afterall, sooner or later we are all moving! Wouldn’t you love it, if someone had taken the time to write about YOUR new duty station?
Susanna Haynie is an Army spouse of seventeen years and the founder of MilitaryDutyStations.com.
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