4 Military Move Considerations For Service Members
Updated: Mar 23
December 11, 2019
Service members and their families are no strangers to moving.
Permanent change of station (PCS) orders are a familiar part of life for those in the armed forces.
While the military will pack and move your belongings under a household goods move (HHG), there are some definite perks to doing it yourself with a personally procured move (PPM).
You're allowed to pocket the difference between your reimbursement and what it cost you to move. If you time your move well, any extra time on your hands is yours to use as you see fit. Plus, you'll have control over the transportation of important, fragile objects.
To make your military move work for you, here are four important PPM factors to consider.
Planning a military move to make sure you come out ahead can be stressful. Consider these four factors.
1. Start early
As soon as you receive your orders, don't delay. Schedule an appointment with the Personal Property Transportation Office at your base. Discuss your goals and plans, walk through the process and get started on the relevant paperwork.
Starting early ensures that, when it comes time to book services with a military moving company, your chosen partner is looped in on the entire process. It will also help facilitate faster reimbursement from the military.
If you start right away, you can also make sure that you come out ahead on your moving expenses and allowed travel time because you can plan the logistics of the whole process more carefully, avoiding fees and delays for last-minute alterations.
2. Know your weight and your allowances.
You can get a jump-start on planning by completing a rough estimate for the total weight of your belongings and comparing it to your entitlements, which are based on your rank, family size and whether you'll be moving within or beyond the contiguous United States (CONUS or OCONUS).
Remember that the military will generally reimburse a PPM at 95% of what they'd pay for an HHG, subject to restrictions based on the factors we've noted above.
If you have more items to move than you'll receive in reimbursements, consider storing or selling excess belongings to keep your move trimmed down.
3. Know your insurance coverage.
One key perk of doing a PPM is that you can keep a close eye on valuable, breakable items. If you're moving them yourself, though, you'll want to double-check that your homeowners insurance covers valuables stored in your private vehicle during a PPM.
Also, if you're driving your own car or a rented truck or van, make sure that your auto insurance covers you during this kind of move.
Military moving companies with substantial experience in this arena can make sure you're adequately covered. They can also help you follow up and file the appropriate paperwork, should anything unfortunate happen in transit.
4. Get help.
PPMs involve planning logistics, budgeting, paperwork and regular reassessments. You probably can't just check in once and assume you've got it all figured out.
Know what resources are at your disposal, because there are many helpful websites you can consult.
For instance, Military OneSource can direct you toward relocation assistance program or a local personal financial management program. Confidential non-medical counseling is also available to help you keep your cool throughout a stressful, complicated process.
Don't be afraid to reach out and talk to somebody.
Military moving companies can also help you stay on top of your PPM plan by providing receipts and assisting as you execute each step in the process.
Guam Pak Express has extensive experience assisting with military moves. Get a quote today to see what we can do for you.