Story by Master Sgt. Shelia L. Cooper
3rd ID Public AffairsAre you ready to move? The peak Permanent Change of Station season is here, and more than 60,000 Soldiers, Family members and civilians across the Army will change locations between May 15 and Aug. 31.
This peak season will also affect the surrounding areas, as more than 490 Soldiers and Family members assigned to the 3rd Infantry Division will begin their relocation and transition to other duty stations this summer."My report date was changed from August to October due to the large number of Soldiers PCSing," said Spc. Ryan Mclaughlin, 27, a wheeled vehicle mechanic assigned to Company B, 3rd Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd ID and native of Orlando, Florida.
Mclaughlin, on orders to Germany, has been in the Army for three years and this will be his first time PCSing. Mclaughlin, like many Soldiers, regardless of the number of moves, has concerns with the Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield PCS process. "One of my concerns is housing and living in the barracks," said Mclaughlin. "I am not as concerned about my finances because I am financially conscious about everything I do."Finance, transportation, and housing are some of the top concerns for Soldiers and their Families, regardless if they are moving stateside or out of the country."I think about how long it will take my household goods to get from here to Germany," said Mclaughlin. "I know transportation will take some time, but I don't want to buy items that I packed but may need before my transportation/household goods arrive."Like Mclaughlin, all Soldiers should consider the following options when planning their move upon receipt of their PCS orders.PLANNING THE MOVEAfter receiving PCS orders, each Soldier should create an account, or login to the Defense Personal Property System at www.move.mil, to begin the transportation shipment application for their move. The Soldier can then contact the transportation office to finalize shipment paperwork and schedule dates for packing and shipment of HHG.Scheduling a move to a foreign country? Soldiers on orders outside of the U.S. must schedule an appointment with the transportation office to receive their transportation counseling and review entitlements for HHG movement overseas.Location, rank, and dependent status all plays into in how much weight a Soldier is allowed for HHG. This information will be determined when each Soldier logs into DPPS and/or visits the local transportation office. Pro-gear, which consists of items like professional books and equipment will be calculated separately.Many Soldiers will have the option to conduct a Personally Procured Move, also known as Do-It Yourself move. This means that the Soldier will either completely move or partially move their belongings to the new location. Soldiers may receive financial incentives for moving their belongings.
The government will also pay for the transport of one privately owned vehicle to the new overseas location.Additional information about transportation and HHG can be found at www.move.mil.Once the move is complete, each Soldier will receive a customer satisfaction survey, which will be available at the DPPS website landing page, accessed via www.move.mil.
FINANCIAL ENTITLEMENTSSoldiers who PCS maybe entitled to financial compensation, such as per diem, dislocation allowance, and/or temporary lodging expenses for transitioning to their new duty station. Each Soldier in the Army is required to have a Government Travel Card. Paperwork to activate a GTC for PCS moves must be completed and turned into the Battalion financial management/budget section."Government Travel Cards can be used for any travel related expenses associated with the PCS move," said Sgt. 1st Class Kelvin Banks, the sustainment automation support management office/maintenance noncommissioned officer-in-charge from the 3rd ID Division Headquarter and Headquarters Battalion. "Things such as gas and lodging can be charged to the GTC as long as it does not excess the allotted per diem amount."Daily authorized per diem depends on length of time for travel, location, and dependent status.Most Soldiers are entitled to dislocation allowance. This allowance is to partially reimburse Soldiers for the transition expenses incurred while relocating their household due to a PCS move.Each Soldier is limited to a specific amount of days of Temporary Lodging Allowance/Temporary Lodging Expenses. These allowances are to compensate Soldiers for lodging/meal expenses for themselves and their dependent(s) while living in temporary lodging during a PCS move.
For additional information about authorized financial entitlement contact your local finance office.OCONUS TRAVELSoldiers traveling outside of the U.S. will need to complete blood work, to include updated immunization, at their troop medical center on Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield or the medical section in the Soldier Service Center, Building 253 on Fort Stewart. Blood work has to be completed within 60-days from their report date and will take seven working days to process.Upon receipt of PCS orders, Soldiers with dependents and who are PCSing to locations other than Hawaii and Alaska, must complete all passport requirement. Authorized dependents must be listed on PCS orders.
Families with pets must ensure they research and understand the airport policies and country requirement for their pet breed.Theater specific training must be completed prior to signing out of the installation and may be required for authorized dependent children, 14-years-old or older.Soldiers with dependents enrolled in the Exceptional Family Member Program must complete the EFMP overseas screening process.
For additional information on OCONUS travel, Soldiers can call the Fort Stewart levy section at 767-7874 or 767-5288.FINAL STEPSSoldiers should contact their battalion's human resources section (S1) 20 calendar days prior to the start of their PCS leave's start date, to conduct pre-clearance paperwork.Ten-days prior to the leave start date, Soldiers can clear the unit and installation organizations, including but not limited to Central Issuing Facility, Post Exchange, finance, and housing.Once the installation clearance is complete, the Soldier must return all paperwork to the battalion S1 and in order to be signed out on leave.
Each Soldier must report and sign into their gaining unit on the last day of leave or by the report date listed in their orders. Additional information can be found on the installation website, online at https://home.army.mil/stewart/index.php.