FORT DRUM, N.Y. (June 2, 2016) -- As the peak moving season approaches, many service members are preparing for a permanent change of station, or PCS.

One of the many steps of that move is arranging for the transportation of your personal belongings.
As soon as service members receive their orders, they can begin the process of scheduling the pickup and delivery of their household goods.

"We have heard that some Soldiers are told by their chain of command that they need their leave form before coming into the office, but that is not correct," explained Jennifer Cacho, an outbound counselor with the Fort Drum Personal Property Shipping Office. "We can do everything that we need to do with just the Soldier's orders."

However, over the past 10 years or so, the Department of Defense has changed the transportation process so that service members have more interaction and take more responsibility for their move.

Transportation counseling
When Soldiers are ready to schedule the movement of their household goods, they have two options when it comes to receiving the transportation counseling -- online or in person. If Soldiers decide to take the online route, they will need to visit www.move.mil.

"If you choose this option, be sure to read the tutorials, especially the information in red, so that you know what to expect through the transportation process," said Daphne McCarty, Fort Drum Personal Property Shipping Office project manager. "At the end of the self-counseling, you need to print off the forms and bring them to the office with your orders. Without those forms, the shipment will not be booked."

Service members who prefer a face-to-face counseling will need to make an appointment to meet with a counselor at the transportation office.

Once a transportation company has been assigned to move the service members' belongings, it is important for them to maintain contact with the moving company, Cacho said.

Personally procured moves
Another option for moving your personal items is to do a personally procured move (previously known as a DITY -- do-it-yourself -- move). Service members who choose this option need to keep in mind that there are two types.

The first type is an actual-cost PPM, which is where Soldiers hire someone to move their stuff for them. With this method, service members will be reimbursed the actual cost of what was spent for the move, as long as they don't spend more than what the government would spend.

The second type is the incentive-based PPM, where service members will receive 95 percent of what it costs the government to move their belongings.

"In order to receive the incentive-based PPM, the service member has to have weight tickets," McCarty explained. "Without the weight tickets, they will revert to the actual-cost PPM and only receive back what they can prove that they spent."

Those service members who are considering a PPM need to visit the transportation office, because the checklist that is listed on www.move.mil is obsolete, and there is a newer checklist.

Stay in contact!
Another crucial part to having a smooth transportation experience is to always answer your phone, have voicemail set up, and check your email regularly.

"Don't screen phone calls," McCarty stressed. "If the carrier calls and the service member doesn't answer or doesn't have their voicemail set up, they may drop the shipment, and the service member will have to wait for another carrier to pick up their shipment."

Cacho recommends that all service members take the time to read the information presented in the self-counseling on www.move.mil and always have a contingency plan.

"The website provides important information for before, during and after the move," she said.
Service members who are retiring and separating must visit the transportation office and attend a briefing, as there is additional information that pertains to their specific situations.

For more information, contact the Personal Property Shipping Office, which is located in Clark Hall. Office hours are 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. The staff is available by phone at (315) 772-7776; for Front Desk, select Option 2; Inbound, Option 3; Non-temp Storage, Option 4; or Outbound, Option 5.