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Making your PCS Easier for you & your Family



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By : M Shane    99 or more times read
One of the more frustrating aspects of being in the military is the fact that at any time, you can be given a permanent change of station (otherwise known as a PCS). This means that you and your family have to pack up your belongings, sell the house, and find a new home. Moving is stressful even under the most favorable conditions, but with a PCS, there's no guarantee how long you'll be living in your new quarters. This leaves everyone on edge, waiting for the next PCS orders to come in.

The most effective way to ease the strain a PCS can put on your family is to be as prepared as possible. It's the unknown that gets everyone excited, nervous, and on edge.

First, visit MilitaryHomefront.dod.mil and click Plan My Move. This online tool helps military personnel plan and organize their PCS. Simply enter the name of your current installation along with your new one, and answer a few short questions. You will then see a calendar with three months' worth of important to-do's, including "Contact the Origin Transportation Office," and "Request a Sponsor." Action items are linked to helpful articles and contact information, in addition to helpful tips and recommendations.

There are also telephone numbers for important resources such as the Housing Referral Office, the School Liaison Officer, and the Finance Office. Moreover, there are several checklists to fill out and printable to-do lists to keep your itinerary well organized. Plan My Move is an excellent resource for first-time movers and for busy families trying to juggle a number of activities.

One of the key items that you need to do before moving is to learn about the Relocation Program, which can be found through Army Community Services, the Airman and Family Readiness Center, the Navy Fleet and Family Support Services, and the Marine Corps Community Services. This program can help you and your family learn about important features of your new installation, as well as advise you on financial matters. Be sure to also find a sponsor through the Relocation Program, so that you have a friendly guiding hand when you get to your new home.

If you are feeling overwhelmed by your PCS, or your family is struggling with your new assignment, you or a family member can receive free short-term counseling through Military OneSource Counseling Services to help deal with the situation.

Though military resources range from financial assistance to therapy, it's also a good idea to do some work on your own. Research your new community, including the schools, parks, and community centers. You want your family to feel comfortable and connected, so don't move without doing some homework. It's also much easier to deal with a move of this sort with the help of a realtor who a) specializes in helping military personnel, and b) knows your new community well. He or she can provide valuable insight into neighborhoods, amenities, schools, and housing options.

With a little bit of help and preparation, your PCS can come off without a hitch. And with a relocation sponsor and a realtor to help you along, you'll feel at home before you and your family even get to your new installation.


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