Permanent Change of Station (PCS) CONUS

Regular Army: Active Duty

Benefit Fact Sheet

Summary

There are numerous steps in the Permanent Change of Station (PCS) process. Through various agencies the Army provides guidance and counseling to assist Soldiers and their families in making the best choices.

 

Eligibility

Active duty Soldiers who make a Permanent Change of Station are entitled to receive permanent change of station services and allowances to help manage the move.

Benefit Highlights

A Permanent Change of Station much like everything else in the Army is a process. There are various agencies in place to help with any questions or concerns you may have during any stage of your move.

1) Notification of Move - U.S. Army Human Resources Command will issue either:

  • Assignment Satisfaction Key (ASK) for Enlisted members

  • Request for Orders (RFO) for Officers (O1-O5)

Senior level Officers RFO’s will be issued by either the Senior Leaders Division (SLD) for O6 level Officers or General Officer Management Office (GOMO) for General Officers.

2) Levy Briefing - The levy briefing provides guidance and information to Soldiers during the reassignment process, it is requirement in AR 600-8-11 . Individual posts differ in meeting this requirement with some moving to on-line learning while others require classroom instruction. Contact your S1 for the requirements at your duty station. At that time you will make the following decisions:

  • Permissive TDY (PTDY) - Typically up to 10 days, where leave is not charged, are granted by a unit for purposes of relocating.

    • For house hunting on the economy submit DA Form 4787-R (Reassignment Processing) or

    • If applying to live in Government Housing use DD Form 1747 (Application for and Assignment to Housing). Report the approval of on post housing with a DA Form 31 and DD Form 1747 . Failure to do so will result in the Soldiers being charged leave.

  • Leave - Submit a DA Form 31 if you wish to take leave in conjunction with a PCS.

  • Advances

    • Advance Basic Pay - Advance Basic Pay is similar to an interest-free loan for a PCS with military salary as collateral. Repayment is normally made in 12 equal installments beginning the month after it is drawn

    • Advance Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) - The amount to be advanced will be determined based on the Service member’s current BAH rate and ability to repay the advance. In no case shall the advance payment of BAH exceed a total of 3 months BAH expected to be accrued by the member. Repayment will be made in 12 equal monthly installments of one-twelfth of the amount advanced for the next 12 months. Submit requests using form DA Form 4187 .

3) Orders - To proceed with arranging your move you will receive an approved set of orders.

4) Moving Services and Transportation - Moving services can be arranged using Move.mil, the Defense Personal Property System (DPS) or in person at your local transportation office (TO).

You cannot use DPS if…

  • This is your first personal property move.

  • This is your last personal property move (you are separating or retiring).

  • You are storing or moving personal property AND you have contingency or deployment orders.

  • You are storing or moving personal property AND moving your family to an overseas location.

  • You are not the property owner AND you are using a Power of Attorney.

  • You are moving personal property as “next of kin” or Summary Courts Officer.

Provide the following at time of counseling:

a. Complete set of orders/authorization, including amendments, for each type of shipment planned (e.g., Household Goods (HHG), Non-Temporary Storage (NTS), Unaccompanied Baggage (UB)).

b. An idea of when you want to move and an estimated weight. Be as flexible as possible when selecting HHG pack and pickup dates. Your preferred dates may not be available during some periods such as summer or days near official holidays. Avoid scheduling lease termination or house sale closing on the same date your HHG are to be packed, picked up, or delivered. Leave some time in your schedule for the unforeseen. You or your designated representative must be available between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. local time on pack, pickup, and delivery dates.

c. The date you plan to arrive at your new duty station. Your arrival date assists your Transportation Service Provider (TSP) and/or local TO with scheduling delivery of your shipment(s), which may reduce storage costs paid by the Government.

d. What type of shipment you want to make (HHG, UB and/or NTS) and the estimated weight. Do not forget to declare Professional Books, Papers, and Equipment / Professional Gear (PBP&E/PRO-Gear).

e. Information on excess cost. The minimum excess cost is approximately $100.00 per hundred pounds over the maximum weight allowance.

f. A list of large or unusual items (e.g., large screen TV [i.e., plasma, LCD, DLP], piano, pool table, china cabinet, wall unit, satellite dish, hot tub, boat, motorcycle, recreational vehicle).

g. A letter of authorization signed by you or a Power of Attorney; required if you are unable to visit the TO. You may appoint your spouse or an agent to act on your behalf. Be sure the person you choose knows what you want and has the information to make the right arrangements. Remember, this person is acting for you, and you are responsible for that person’s decisions.

Personally Procured Move (PPM) , formerly called Do It Yourself (DITY)

 The PPM program is an alternate means of moving your personal property. You must make the arrangements at origin just as you would for a Government arranged move and complete certain other requirements to include obtaining weight tickets.

The PPM program allows you to personally move HHG and either be reimbursed up to the Government’s cost or to collect an incentive payment from the Government.

The TO must provide counseling and prior approval for a PPM move. Failing to comply with Service requirements of the program may limit payment or result in complete denial of your claim.

Weight estimator for a PPM

U.S. Transcom provides an “It’s Your Move” Guide to assist Service members in understanding allowances and responsibilities during the packing, shipping and storage of household goods.

Weight Allowance

Moving allowance is based on the Service members rank, dependency status, and if the move is Outside the Continental United States (OCONUS) or in the Continental United States (CONUS). Overages are the Service members financial responsibility. For up to date information regarding household goods weight allowance use the calculator onMove.mil.

To estimate weight of your personal belongings use a weight estimator calculator .

Professional Gear (PBP&E) Allowance

PBP&E allowances have changed for members whose travel orders are issued 1 May 2014 and after. The new allowances limit PBP&E to 2,000 pounds net weight and no longer include personal computers and accompanying equipment, and/or awards presented for significant contributions while performing official duties.

PBP&E/PRO-Gear is defined as:

  • HHG in a member’s possession needed for the performance of official duties at the next or a later destination.

  • If you have PBP&E/PRO-Gear to declare, you must do so in Move.mil or DPS.

  • If your estimated and declared PBP&E/PRO-Gear weighs 1,000 pounds or less, there will be no additional approval or review of your declared PRO-Gear and it may be included and packed with the rest of your HHG.

  • If your estimated and declared PBP&E/PRO-Gear weighs more than 1,000 pounds, your Service may review your declaration and items at their discretion outside of Move.mil or DPS.

  • When PBP&E/PRO-Gear is properly declared in Move.mil or DPS, the weight of PBP&E/PRO-Gear does not count against the total weight of your shipment(s). Before signing your inventory prepared by the TSP(s), be sure these items are declared as “PBP&E/PRO-Gear”. The proper designation of these items and the exclusion of the weight can be very important.

  • The following items are considered PBP&E/PRO-Gear:

    • Reference material not ordinarily available at the next Permanent Duty Station (PDS)

    • Instruments, tools, and equipment peculiar to technicians, mechanics, and members of the professions

    • Specialized clothing such as diving suits, astronaut’s suits, flying suits and helmets, band uniforms, chaplain’s vestments, and other specialized apparel not normal or usual uniform or clothing

    • Communications equipment used by a member in association with the Military Affiliated Radio System

    • Individually owned or specially issued field clothing and equipment

    • Government- or uniformed service-owned accountable Organizational Clothing and Individual Clothing property issued to the employee or member by the Service/DoD component for official use.

Excluded from PBP&E/PRO-Gear are:

  • Commercial products for sale/resale used in conducting business

  • Sports equipment

  • Office furniture

  • Household furniture

  • Shop fixtures

  • Furniture of any kind even though used in connection with (ICW) the PBP&E (e.g., bookcases, study/computer desks, file cabinets, and racks)

  • Personal computer equipment and peripheral devices

  • Memorabilia, including awards, plaques, or other objects presented for past performance (includes any type of going-away gifts, office decorations, pictures, etc.)

  • Table service, including flatware (including serving pieces), dishes (including serving pieces, salvers, and their heating units), other utensils, and glassware

  • Other items of a professional nature that are not necessary at the next/subsequent PDS, such as textbooks from previous schools unrelated to future duties; personal books, even if used as part of a past professional reading program or course of instruction; and reference material that ordinarily would be available at the next/subsequent PDS either in hard copy or available on the Internet.

What to expect from your Transportation Service Provider (TSP)

TSP’s Responsibilities (at Origin):

  • Conduct Pre-Move Survey (physical or telephonic) depending on the type of shipment and estimated weight. It should be conducted prior to the first day of packing.

  • Begin packing/pickup between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

  • Protect appliances against damage while in transit. The TSP secures moving parts that, if allowed to move in transit, could damage the appliance.

  • Use new, clean packing materials for linen, clothing, and bedding.

  • Use new or like-new packing materials for all other items. Excelsior or newspaper is not allowed. Items packed in boxes should be padded and insulated from carton walls.

  • Pack mirrors, pictures, and glass tabletops in specially designed cartons.

  • Wrap and protect all finished surfaces from marring or scratching; use furniture pads.

  • Properly roll and protect rug and rug pads at residence. Only small throw rugs may be folded.

  • Pack all designated PBP&E in separate boxes. These cartons must be marked “PBP&E/PRO- Gear”, weighed separately, and listed on the inventory form.

  • Put all nuts, bolts, and screws from a disassembled item in a bag and attach securely to the item.

  • Mark each carton to show general contents.

  • Prepare an accurate and legible inventory.

  • Obtain approval from the TO prior to loading on the tailgate of the moving van.

  • Remove all excess packing material from your residence

TSP’s Responsibilities (at Destination):

  • Begin delivery between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

  • Perform a one-time placement of rugs prior to placement of your HHG.

  • Unpack and unwrap all cartons, boxes, and crates.

  • Place each item or carton in the room you indicate. This one-time placement includes placing unpacked articles in cabinets, cupboards, or on kitchen shelves when convenient, safe, and it is your desired location. Have placement planned out before the TSP arrives. TSPs are required to place each item only once.

  • Assemble all furniture and equipment if disassembled at origin.

  • Remove packing and blocking from appliances. The TSP is not required to connect appliances to electric, gas, or water outlets.

  • Provide a “Joint” written record of any loss and/or damage at delivery on DD Form 1840 or on the “Defense Personal Property Program Notification of Loss or Damage AT Delivery” Form. You and or your designated representative along with the delivery TSP sign this form. The TSP’s representative must provide a copy of this form.

  • TSPs are not required to go into an attic, crawl space, or similar storage area for the purpose of delivering and placing personal property.

  • Once the shipment has been delivered, the TSP is not required to deliver property to a self-storage facility.

NOTE: It is not advisable to waive unpacking at any time during the delivery. However, if unpacking is waived, the TSP is not required to return later to unpack or remove debris

5) Housing - The housing options that are available when relocating:

a. Government owned Military Housing: property is owned and managed and maintained by the Department of Defense. BAH is used to cover the cost of rent, maintenance and some utilities. Use the Resource Locator for housing information at your destination.

b. Privatized Military Housing: property is managed and maintained by a private entity. BAH is used to cover the cost of rent, maintenance and some utilities. Use the Resource Locator for housing information at your destination.

c. Rental Property: The DoD provides https://www.homes.mil/ which is designed to connect Service members and their families with community housing rental listing located near U.S. military bases. Remember to ensure your lease contract incorporates the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) an additional protection to military members. For additional protection have the lease reviewed by the legal assistance office .

d. Purchase a Home: Service members may also choose to purchase a home. See the Homeowners Assistance Program and VA Home Loan s Fact Sheets for purchase information.

e.  Unaccompanied Housing (UH) - Barracks are built to house bona fide single military personnel who would be entitled to a housing allowance at the without dependent rate. Soldiers in the ranks of E-5 and below may be required to live in the barracks. For additional information use the Resource Locator to contact the housing office and your new installation.

f. Unaccompanied Personnel with Dependents - Unaccompanied personnel with dependents who voluntarily separate from their dependents are sometimes referred to as “geographic bachelors.” Unaccompanied personnel with dependents must submit an Exception to Policy (ETP) through their chain of command to the housing office for processing to reside in UH. If approved by the garrison, they are housed on a “space available” basis.

Your local housing office is available to provide more information. Be sure to check local BAH rates before deciding on which option is right for your family.

6) Claims - Unfortunately, you may suffer loss or damage to your personal property during movement. If your property is lost or damaged, you have the right to file a claim directly with the TSP.

To file a claim, log on to DPS, from the welcome screen locate your shipment and click on the “File a Claim” link. To create a claim, click on the “Start My Claim” button. On the Claim page, click on the icon in the BOL/GBL Number field. DPS will present a pop-up window with a list of shipments. Select a listed shipment in the pop-up window, click the “Pick” button and then confirm by clicking the “Ok” button.

If a claim is filed directly with the TSP within 9 months of delivery, then the TSP’s maximum liability on each domestic HHG is:

  • $5,000 per shipment or

  • $4.00 times the net weight of the HHG shipment, or gross weight of the UB shipment, in pounds, not to exceed $50,000, whichever is greater.

For direct claims settlement between member and TSP:

  • Claims must be filed through DPS.

  • Claims must be filed with the TSP first to maintain full replacement value (FRV) protection eligible.

A member has the option to transfer the claim to the military claims Service after 30 days. In these instances, the military claims Service pays the member a depreciated value and then pursues the FRV claim with the TSP. After settlement with the TSP, if the FRV settlement exceeds the amount paid by the military claims Service to the member, the member receives the difference.

Accepting a Claim Offer

To accept a claim offer, log on to DPS and click the “Claim History” button. Then click the “View My Claim” link. Within the “All Claims” section, locate your claim number and click on it. Now click on the item that you are wishing to accept and click the “Accept Offer” button. Be sure to confirm if you want to accept the offer.

7) Monetary Allowances and Subsidies

Transferring your Professional License:

The 2018 National Defense Authorization Act allows each service branch to reimburse Soldier's up to $500 for Spouse's relicensure and certification costs resulting from relocations or PCS moves that cross U.S. state lines. The Army defines "qualified relicensing costs" as any fees or costs associated with getting the same or similar license in a new state that a military Spouse held at their previous location. This includes exam and registration fees.  Click here for more information on what documents you need to submit and the reimbursement process.

Travel Voucher

For a detailed guide on how to complete the DD 1351-2 click here .

SmartVoucher can be used to make filling in your DD Form 1351-2 easier. Sending in vouchers that are legible, correct and include all the necessary information and documents is the first step in getting your travel claim paid promptly. After you’ve sent your voucher, check your claim status online at: https://www.dfas.mil/militarymembers/travelpay/checkvoucherstatus.html  

Documents to include when claiming entitlements:

  • DD Form 1351-2 voucher

  • Complete set of orders and all amendments

  • Receipts showing the following

    • Company name

    • Date item/service was provided

    • Cost of item/service

    • Taxes shown as a separate item on receipt

    • Proof of payment (marked “paid” or amount due $0.00)

Dislocation Allowance (DLA)

The purpose of DLA is to partially reimburse a member for the expenses incurred in relocating the household on a PCS, ordered for the Government's convenience, or incident to an evacuation. This may be paid in advance. For current rates see the Defense Travel Management Website .

Monetary Allowance in Lieu of Transportation (MALT)

MALT is used as mileage reimbursement for Service members and their dependents during a PCS move. When a member and dependents relocate on a Service member’s PCS move, MALT reimbursement is authorized for two privately-owned conveyances (POCs), if used. MALT is paid on a per mile basis for the official distance of each portion of the travel. The MALT Rate per authorized POC is $0.20/mile for PCS travel beginning on or after 1 January 2019.

Per Diem

Per Diem is used to reimburse Service members for travel expenses. Rates are set each fiscal year and determined based on location. There are three components to this allotment: lodging, meals and incidentals.

For information on Per Diem rates at your location use the Per Diem Calculator .

Conditions

12 Years of Age and Older

Less Than 12 Years of Age

Dependent Travels with the Service Member

Per diem is calculated at 75% of the per diem the Service member receives for direct travel between the old and new PDS and authorized delay points.

Per diem is calculated at 50% of the per diem the Service member receives for direct travel between the old and new PDS and Authorized delay points.

Dependent Travels Separately from the Service Member

100% of what the Service member would have received.

 

Two or More Dependents Travel Separately from the Service Member

Per diem is calculated at 100% for the first dependent and 75% for each of the remaining dependents traveling with the first dependent.

Per diem is calculated at 50% for each dependent traveling with the first dependent for direct travel between the old and new PDS.

Temporary Lodging Expense (TLE)

TLE is an allowance intended to partially pay members for lodging/meal expenses incurred by a member/dependent(s) while occupying temporary lodging at a CONUS location in association with a PCS move.

TLE is only authorized in the vicinity of the old/new PDS; it is not authorized for house hunting.

  • TLE Reimbursement is limited to 10 days for a CONUS to CONUS PCS

  • TLE Reimbursement is limited to 5 days to/from an OCONUS PDS

*Lodging at OCONUS locations may be reimbursed under Temporary Lodging Allowance (TLA). Contact Military Pay Office for additional information.

Determining TLE Entitlement:

Determine the TLE entitlement by multiplying the percentage in the following table by the applicable locality lodging and M&IE rates .

No. of Eligible Persons Occupying Temporary Quarters

Percentage Applicable

Member or 1 dependent

65%

Member and 1 dependent, or 2 dependents only

100%

For each additional dependent age 12 and over, add

35%

For each additional dependent under age 12, add

24%

8) Resources at New Duty Location - These resources can be located by contacting your local Army Community Service Office (ACS) .

  • Lending Closet: Common household items are available to borrow for up to 30 days. Items available are specific to each installation but usually include: irons, ironing boards, kitchen appliances, dishes, flatware, and pots and pans.

  • Post-Move Newcomers Orientation: Provides information about your new installation, including housing, education, healthcare, and more.

  • Welcome Packet: Most installations will provide you with a welcome packet that has maps (both on- and off-post) and important local contact information.

  • Individual Counseling: Your Relocation Readiness Program Manager can address specific issues with you one-on-one and give guidance and suggestions to help resolve any problems that may come along with your move.

  • Sponsor: A sponsor is somebody from a Soldier’s new unit who is specially trained to help you settle into your new location. Most installations also have a Youth Sponsorship Program through Child and Youth Services .

  • School Liaison: Can provide assistance to relocating families and act as an advocate for military connected students.

Additional Information
Document Review Date: 16 September 2019