FORT KNOX, Ky. – The “personally procured move” to a new duty station – formally referred to as a DITY – can prove to be stressful if not planned properly.
Members of the Fort Knox Transportation Office understand the strain it can put on Soldiers and Families. That’s why they’ve put together a system that helps guide military members through the process as easily as possible.
The key, however, is to act quickly.
“Get into Transportation early,” said installation Transportation officer Horace Bowden.
He explained that what many Soldiers don’t realize is they can help streamline their upcoming permanent change of station prior to having official orders in hand.
“Even if you don’t have orders, you can still come in and get all the paperwork done,” said Bowden. “You just can’t book the shipment until you have orders.”
Families also have 24/7 access to find answers to PCS questions on the Army PCS Move smartphone app and the move.mil website.
“Anybody who goes on and reviews move.mil will get most of their questions answered, and know what questions they need to research,” said Bowden. “The FAQ questions on there answer just about everything.”
For Soldiers who are looking into a personally procured move, there are several pros and cons to consider.
Transportation supervisor Jarret Gonsalves explained the two biggest upsides to a PPM are the overall control Families have with their move, and the incentive compensation. The Army will pay out 100% of what it would cost to hire movers.
However, Soldiers will only receive incentive money based on one very important factor: weight tickets.
“The absolute most important thing is your weight tickets,” said personal property lead Melissa Davis. “If you do not get weight tickets, all you’ll receive is maybe what you spend, not your incentive.”
Weight tickets must be collected at a certified scale prior to loading the vehicle, and again once filled with household goods. If Soldiers do not turn them in at the PCS destination, they run the risk of losing their incentive money.
Conversely, there are also downsides to going with a PPM. Gonsalves said some things to take into account are the added stress of having to organize the entire move, and not having the resources to help make it all happen.
“It’s all on you,” said Gonsalves. “How you pack and how you offload is all on you.”
Bowden also pointed out whereas damage claims can be filed if Families have the Army bring in movers during a PCS, that’s not the case with a PPM.
“If you break something, you can’t go through the claims process,” said Bowden. He also reminded Families that any incentive money they receive is fully taxable as income.
According to Transportation, the main way to ensure a successful PPM is to stay as organized as possible with everything that needs to be turned in at the next duty station. Those items include all contracts, such as truck rental agreements and storage units, receipts for packing supplies and most notably, weight tickets.
Davis explained while it can be overwhelming to think about all the factors that go into prepping for a move, it’s important to remember the initial priority needs to be talking to the Transportation office.
“We’re the first stop you need to make,” said Davis. “Then, start planning.”