Permanent Change of Station (PCS) OCONUS

Army Reserve: Active Duty

Benefit Fact Sheet

Summary

There are numerous steps in an Overseas 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

Army Reserve Soldiers on Active Duty may or may not be authorized government funded PCS moves. Soldiers serving on AGR will are eligible. Refer to your orders to confirm eligibility.

Benefit Highlights

An Overseas 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 (HRC) 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): PTDY is not authorized for Outside the Continental United States (OCONUS) destinations.

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

  • Command Sponsorship Program (CSP): If taking your family to your overseas assignment, you must apply for Command Sponsorship. Your family members need to have a medical screening completed to make sure your gaining installation has medical facilities available to accommodate your family’s medical needs.

  • 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. Request using DD Form 2560 .

    • Advance Travel Pay- All requests must be made through Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) by emailing: DFAS-MILPCSADVANCE@mail.mil. Include a copy of your PCS orders and all amendments along with DFAS Form 9114 .

3) Family Travel Requirements - Orders authorizing Family travel will not be issued until this step is complete.

  • Family Member Travel Screening (FMTS) is required for all family members who will be moving, and all must be present at this appointment. FMTS are administered by the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) office. Appointments can be arranged through your local medical clinic. In addition, bring the following to your appointment:

    • Completed (Part A) and signed DA Form 5888

    • Military Dependent ID Card

    • Shot Records

    • Copy of current physicals (within the year) -all Family members must have a current physical.

  • Exceptional Family Members: the EFMP screening simply acts as a process to confirm that the special need still exists or provides an opportunity to update the status of the special need if it has changed.

  • Upon completion of Screenings Soldiers must bring the following to Military Personnel Office (MPO):

    • DA Form 5888 (EFMP Overseas Medical Screening) - complete parts A & B

    • DA Form 4787 (Reassignments Processing-Family Member Data) - complete blocks 3-17a

    • DA Form 5121 (Overseas Tour Election Statement) - signed by Soldier and S1

    • DD 1172-2 (Application for Identification Card/DEERS Enrollment) - verified by DEERS office

    • DD Form 2792 (Family Member Medical Summary) For each EFMP warranted family member and supporting documents if EFMP

    • Sex Offender Declaration - for PCS to Korea or Japan

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

5) Sponsor Request - A sponsor is someone — ideally from your unit — who will help arrange a time and place to pick you up and show you around. Once you have received notification from HRC concerning your assignment instructions request a sponsor using the Total Army Sponsorship Program (TASP):

  • Log on to Army Career Tracker (ACT) (Common Access Card (CAC) Required)

  • Complete DA Form 5434 . In the left column, click the “Messages” dropdown menu and click “DA Form 5434”.

  • Click “Create New Form”.

  • Fill out all applicable sections (Sections 1, 2, 4 and 5).

  • Once complete, your sponsor will be notified.

  • You will receive notification in the Messages section if your sponsor changes in ACT.

6) Passports This appointment can be made only after your Family has been cleared for travel and your PCS orders or amendments approve dependent travel. No-fee passports are used for official travel and not the same as tourist passports. For information on tourist passports see the U.S. Department of State website.

  • Bring the following to your appointment:

  • A copy of your orders approving dependent travel

  • 2 passport photos for each applicant that meet Department of State requirement. No military uniform, headgear or glasses

  • Typed passport application ( DS-11 or DS-82 ) for each person

  • Proof of U.S. Citizenship for each person

  • Military ID/CAC

Do not purchase tickets until you have made your official travel arrangements with port call.

7) Moving Services and Transportation - Moving services can be arranged using Move.mil using 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:

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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).

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

  • 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).

  • 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.

Non -Temporary Storage (NTS)

You have an option for Non-Temporary Storage (NTS), long-term storage – These are items you don’t want to take with you (e.g., power tools, boats, washers and dryers, or larger furniture items that you know you won’t have room for in your overseas home). These are stored at government expense for the duration of tour.

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 Books, Papers, and Equipment / Professional Gear (PBP&E /PRO-Gear) 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.

  • repare 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.

8) Privately Owned Vehicle (POV) - There are only 2 options covered by the military. Your orders will indicate which option you are authorized. You will be authorized to EITHER store your vehicle or ship your vehicle.

  • You may ship your POV to your overseas location:

    • ONE POV per Family may be shipped if it is authorized on your orders

    • You must get this POV to the Port Vehicle Processing Center (VPC). There are 10 locations in the United States and your installation will have guidance on which VPC you are authorized to use. For more information see Defense Transportation Regulation - Part IV, Attachment K3, Shipping Your POV . Your expenses for bringing your vehicle to the port will be reimbursed.

Note: If your POV is leased or a recorded lien exists you must provide written approval from the leasing company or lien-holder stating the vehicle may be exported. This written approval must be on the leasing company or lien-holder's letterhead paper, and contain a complete description of the vehicle, including the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), the name of the owner or lien-holder of the leased vehicle, and the telephone numbers at which the owner or lien-holder may be contacted.

  • You may store your POV:

    • If you are authorized to ship a POV, you are NOT authorized to store your POV.

    • It must be stored at a commercial facility or Vehicle Processing Center (VPS).

 For additional information see the Defense Transportation Regulation- Part IV, Attachment K3, Shipping Your POV or contact your local TO.

9) Booking Travel

Airline Flights - All travel arrangements must be made through the Contract Travel Office (CTO) at your losing duty station. Assignment orders tell you when/where to fly. Travel can start as of “Availability Date” from the “Port of Debarkation” (departure airport) to the “Port of Embarkation” (arrival airport).

For the Army to pay for travel, flights must be booked via the CTO on a U.S. Flag Carrier, as required by the Fly America Act , and orders must indicate either:

  • Individually Billed Account (IBA) - With an IBA, your Soldier will use a government travel credit card (GTCC) to pay for flights made at the CTO. Your Soldier will then claim reimbursement by filling out a travel voucher during in-processing at your new duty station.

  • Centrally Billed Account (CBA) - With a CBA, the CTO is responsible for paying for the airfare. The CTO charges the cost of airfare and is reimbursed after submitting a claim.

NOTE: CTO can book flights to/from alternate ports, but you must pay any costs above your travel entitlement.

Temporary Lodging

Accommodations vary by location. For the widest array of options make reservations for temporary lodging prior to your arrival. Some hotels accept reservations 180 days or more in advance. For lodging information at your new location consult the Resource Locator .

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

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

  • 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.

  • Rental Property: The DoD provides https://www.homes.mil/ which is designed to connect Service members and their families with community housing rental listings 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 .

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

  • Unaccompanied Housing (UH): When assigned to a duty station outside of the United States (Foreign), Soldiers in the ranks of private (E-1) through staff sergeant (E-6) who are either bona fide single Soldiers or are unaccompanied military personnel with dependents serving a Dependent Restricted tour (Families are not authorized to accompany the Soldier), are required to live in UH.

Soldiers with dependents who are serving a Dependent Restricted tour will not forfeit their housing allowance when assigned to UH at the new duty station.

For more information use the Resource Locator to find your installation and call the Housing office.

Government Loaner Furniture – Selection, availability and length of loan period varies by location. For specific information on furniture and appliances available at your Post contact the Housing Office.

11) 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 iUB 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) eligibility.

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 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.

12) Monetary Allowances and Subsidies

Transferring your Professional License Overeas: In some occupations, your state-issued license - no matter where it's from - is valid for government and contracting jobs. To learn more about transferring certifications overseas, check with that installation's hiring authority.

Travel Voucher

For a detailed guide on how to complete the DD Form 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 $.20/mile for PCS travel beginning on or after 1 January 2019.

Overseas Cost of Living Allowances (COLA)

The Overseas Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) is a non-taxable allowance designed to offset the higher overseas prices of non-housing goods and services. It affects approximately 250,000 Service members at 600 locations overseas, including Alaska and Hawaii. Use the Overseas COLA Calculator for current information on your location.

Overseas Housing Allowance (OHA)

The Overseas Housing Allowance (OHA) enables military members assigned overseas to privately lease housing on the economy. This program encompasses a reimbursement system designed to partially defray housing costs when on-base or government leased housing is not available. OHA rates are compiled by country and are updated based on new cost data and currency fluctuations. For current rates see the OHA Calculator .

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 .

Per Diem Rates for Authorized Dependents Traveling on PCS Order

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 Allowance (TLA)

TLA may be authorized to partially reimburse a Service member for temporary subsistence expenses incurred OCONUS (Foreign or Non-Foreign). The appropriate OCONUS TLA Authority may authorize TLA up to 60 days upon arrival at the OCONUS PDS or up to 10 days prior to departure from the OCONUS PDS. Additional TLA may be authorized when necessary, i.e., when in the Government’s interest and never for personal convenience.

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 TLA. Contact Military Pay Office for additional information.

Determining TLE Entitlement:

Determine the TLE entitlement by multiply 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%

13) 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.

14) Other Considerations

 Pets - Contact your local transportation office for specific immigration requirements to include quarantine and detention for the country to which you are shipping your pet. Additional information can be found in the OCONUS Country Instructions under paragraph “6. Pets/Quarantine” for each country. No matter where you PCS, vaccine records and proof of microchip is required.

  • Travel - During the summer months, most airlines won’t ship pets due to the heat. You may need to send them in advance or bring them to your new location after the temperatures have cooled down. You may be eligible to ship your pets via the Patriot Express Air Mobility Command Flight .

  • Quarantine - A Service member on a PCS order is authorized reimbursement for mandatory pet quarantine fees for household pets. A household pet is a cat or a dog. Reimbursement for actual mandatory household pet quarantine fees is authorized, limited to $550 per PCS move. Transportation for a household pet is not a reimbursable expense, except when transportation is incident to an evacuation from a foreign PDS.

Driver’s License Requirements

Requirements vary by location and are issued by local law enforcement. For more information check the guidelines for the country in which you are stationed.

Additional Information
Document Review Date: 24 September 2019