Families First--The Department of Defense Future Personal Property Program

Thursday September 6, 2007

What is it? The Families First Department of Defense (DOD) Personal Property Program Initiative is DOD's answer to significantly improve the quality of life for our Service members, Civilians, and their Families. Families First is the primary component of DOD's plan to interject best commercial practices into the household goods moving program by:

- Improving quality and best value services for household goods transportation,
- Streamlining filing of claims, and
- Providing Full Replacement Value for lost/damaged property.

Starting in 1994, DOD pursued a number of initiatives to improve the shipment of household goods for Service members and their Families. By the Fiscal Year 1996 Defense Authorization Act, Congress directed DOD to develop a pilot program implementing commercial business practices and standards of service for its movement of household goods.

What has the DOD done? A plan to simultaneously test and evaluate the results of four on-going pilot programs was established. The U.S. Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) evaluated each of these programs and provided recommendations to the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Congress. The recommendations included improving the liability/claims process; improving carrier performance through performance based contracting, and implementation of an integrated move management system.

What continued efforts does the DOD have planned for the future?

- Phase I. This phase of the Families First program was implemented in June 2004. It encompasses electronic billing and payment and the interim customer satisfaction survey began to collect service members' input on their move experience.

- Phase II. Expected to begin implementation in fall 2007, it will provide most of the improvements required such as Full Replacement Value, direct claims settlement between Service members and their transportation service provider (TSP); online web-based counseling; improved communication between the Service member, TSPs, and military personal property offices; and fielding of the Defense Personal Property System to a small population of shipping offices. All shipping offices are expected to be operational by spring 2008.

- Phase III. The final phase of the program is expected to be implemented in fall 2008 and will encompass the Direct Procurement Method (DPM) and Non-temporary Storage (NTS) functions. These are the last of the personal property functions scheduled to be implemented in the DOD Families First program.

Why is this important to the DOD? Today more then ever, it is critical to the DOD to retain its trained and dedicated Service members. One of the important issues impacting on their retention is the quality of household goods moves they receive from one duty station to another.

**- This topic was taken directly from the 2007 Army Posture Statement.**

INFORMATION YOU CAN USE

- 2007 Strategic Communication Guide - Be Army Strong, and Army Smart. Read the 2007 Army Strategic Communication Guide.

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