Since March 13, when Secretary of Defense Mark Esper initiated the Stop Move order due to the coronavirus pandemic, it has created a backlog of permanent change of station, or PCS moves.Fort Hood is no exception. But when Esper signed a memo May 22 rescinding the stop movement date of June 30, it is allowing commands throughout the Army to begin preparing to tackle the backlog created since mid-March.“Fort Hood has over 3,000 delayed PCS movers carried forward into June from the March 13, 2020 SECDEF Stop Move order,” Col. Terry Brannan, III Corps assistant chief of staff for personnel (G1), said Tuesday. “This is more than double the installation’s peak monthly movement capacity.”“Fort Hood, for example, can move — maximum capacity — 1,476 people per month,” Maj. Angela Chipman, director of the III Corps Strength Management Branch explained during an interview with the crew from Fort Hood’s Great Big Podcast on Monday. “We recognize that there are more people who will be ready to move than we have logistics to support them moving.”To address that backlog, III Corps G1 published guidance for families who have been affected by the COVID-19 Stop Move order, May 28.The complete document can be found on the installation’s website, at Soldiers, and their families, can expect significant delays to their PCS, unless they are in one of the following Army-directed priority movement categories:An assignment to/from brigade or battalion command (commanders and command sergeants major).An assignment to/from primary military education.An assignment to/from drill sergeant or recruiter duties.An assignment to/from senior service colleges.Soldiers who reenlisted for a PCS move.Soldiers who have been involuntarily extended overseas.“We know if you’re getting out of the Army, you’ve got to be allowed to go. That’s a given,” Chipman said. “If you are going to key or critical billets, as defined by the Army right now, that’s also someone who has to be allowed to go on the first ticket out.”For everyone else, “… we’re trying to find the right balance to prioritize personnel,” Chipman explained, noting that all PCS moves still require an approved Exception To Policy, or ETP.“Soldiers and family members are encouraged to know their adjusted PCS report date and schedule their PCS move as soon as possible,” Brannan said, “so that they know when they can expect to depart Fort Hood and continue movement to their next duty station.”There are several options for Soldiers and their families to navigate the backlog. One option is to opt for a Personally Procured Move, or PPM, when they receive their orders. In other words, move themselves from one stateside location to another.“If we use existing logistics, the backlog will last until March (2021),” Chipman explained. “But if we have 350 use PPM (per month), we’ll be done by the end of the year.”The Army has incentivized PPM moves for troops.“The monetary allowance for PPM normally sits at 95% of the government’s ‘Best Value’ for the shipment of household goods,” Brannan said. “For the rest of the calendar year, Soldiers will be reimbursed at 100% of the ‘Best Value’ rate.”This incentive is meant to “encourage Soldiers to consider a PPM move for their PCS move, which will let them move more quickly and alleviate the backlog at Fort Hood,” the colonel added.“What they would have paid on a government contract to move you,” Chipman added, “they are willing to reimburse Soldiers that amount to move themselves.”Those PPMs would take some of the stress off of existing logistical assets available to move troops to and from the Great Place, enabling the post to tackle the backlog of moves quicker.“When you have that ETP …you go to the household goods office in the Copeland Center and they will walk you through it,” Chipman said of the PPM option.Other options available to Soldiers and their families is to defer their movement for 90-120 days, or ask for a deletion.Chipman said both options, a deferment or deletion, requires the Soldier to make that request through their battalion’s personnel office (S1) on a DA Form 4187, Request for Personnel Action, as a COVID-19 dependent request. While deferments are only three to four months, the deletion is up to one-year.“So, instead of moving this summer,” Chipman said, “they would move next summer.”In addition to providing guidance to troops and their families whose moves have been affected by the pandemic, Soldiers should know that legal assistance is available to them through the Fort Hood Legal Assistance Office if they need it in dealing with lease issues. Currently, the Legal Assistance Office is assisting clients virtually. If you have a legal issue, contact them at the PCS process ramps up at Fort Hood, and across the Army, Brannan said it is important for Soldiers and their families to be proactive, but patient.“Please be patient,” he said, “but proactive in being informed about your PCS move and arranging the move of you and your family and the shipment of your household goods.”