How to prepare before a PCS
Military OneSource's Plan My Move page asks service members and their families many questions to build checklists tailored to their needs. (Photo Credit: Screenshot by Sam Campbell) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — Peak season for military moves is between mid-May and August, and, according to staff at Fort Leonard Wood Army Community Service, there are a number of resources service members and their families can take advantage of before a permanent change of station.

In/Out Processing

Fort Leonard Wood’s Directorate of Human Resources, Military Personnel Division, has a designated office to assist service members with a full spectrum of HR support. Kyle Roberts with ACS said this is the first destination Soldiers should go when they receive orders. To reach Fort Leonard Wood’s In/Out Processing office, call 573.596.8118. For more information, visit https://home.army.mil/wood/index.php/about/Garrison/directorate-human-resources/military-personnel-division/inprocess.

Sponsors

Sponsors are typically assigned through a service member’s unit, however, they can also request a sponsor through their local relocation assistance program or Military and Family Support Center. Fort Leonard Wood’s Relocation Readiness Office can be reached at 573.596.4923.

Roberts said sponsors can help service members acclimate easier, introduce them to important resources and give an insider’s perspective of the new installation and community. Relocation officials suggest reaching out to sponsors before moving day.

Housing

According to ACS staff, one of the next places Soldiers should call when they receive orders for a PCS is their current and next installations’ housing offices. These government housing officials are trained to assist service members and their families through the sometimes-intricate process of moving to a new post. To get in contact with the Fort Leonard Wood Directorate of Public Works Housing Division, call 573.596.0984.

Financial Readiness Office

The Financial Readiness Office, part of ACS, strongly recommends Soldiers and their families take part in its preparatory one-hour class before a PCS, called “Money on the Move.” Among other topics, personal financial readiness specialists teach participants to:

— Set aside enough money to offset the cost of off-base housing.

— Budget for replacing household items.

— Account for potential increases in vehicle expenses.

— Budget for pet-related expenses.

To get in touch with FRO, call ACS at 573.596.0212.

Socializing at the new installation

As the military’s network of support and leisure activities, the Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation program sponsors a variety of activities. Service members and their families can take advantage of opportunities to relax, laugh and bond with their new neighbors. For more information on Fort Leonard Wood FMWR’s calendar of events, visit https://leonardwood.armymwr.com/calendar. For a list of phone numbers of the various programs within the local FMWR, visit https://leonardwood.armymwr.com/directory.

Creating a customized checklist

No matter the destination, circumstances will likely depend on where service members and their families are moving. ACS staff strongly recommended creating a customized PCS checklist through Military OneSource at https://planmymove.militaryonesource.mil/. Through the step-by-step questionnaire, Military OneSource builds a specifically tailored list of to-do items for service members and their families.

For a comprehensive block of resources aimed at helping those moving here, visit https://installations. militaryonesource.mil/military-installation/fort-leonard-wood.