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Ask An Army Spouse: PCS Moves with the Military

Move to First Duty Station

I just have a few questions. My boyfriend is in basic training at Fort Knox, Kentucky. He will graduate June 10, 2010. He will have already completed AIT. We are getting married June 12. I’m not sure how long he will be home for. I have been told from other people I wont be able to go with him right away. He told me he as gotten everything taken care of. Will I be able to move with him right away? The rumor is hes getting stationed in Fort. Hood, Texas but we aren’t sure yet. What are the chances of living on post? Does his rank matter whether I get to move with him or not?




He is typically given 10 days to move once he has orders for his first duty station. But there is no guarantee on when the ten days will be given. In most cases, it is as soon as he inprocesses but depending on what his unit is doing at the time, it could possibly be delayed.

There shouldn’t be any reason why you would not be able to move with him when he goes. If you want the Army to pay for the move, he will need to be sure that his orders to his new duty station include you. Otherwise, the Army will only pay to move his belongings at a single rate.

On post housing availability depends on the post. Some have waiting lists where some don’t. The type of housing you get is based on rank and the size of the family. If there is a short wait, there may be temporary lodging on post that is available. If the wait is longer, you may have to rent off post until something opens up.

Good luck!

Expenses for First PCS Move

Does the Army pay for your first move and when or ow do you find out? My husband enlisted last week and leaves in June but our family won’t move till November/December so I need to know how much money I need to save.


Yes, the Army will pay for you to move. He should get his orders towards the end of his last training school. Once he has paper orders, you will be able to contact the transportation office and they will walk you through how to set up your move. The Army will send a moving company to your home, pack your household goods and move them to the new location for you.

Questions About Moving from a New Army Wife

I am a recent army wife. My new husband went to his new duty station a week ago and in two months I am suppose to join so I have several questions:
1. Will the army pay for my move?
2. Will he be reimbursed for traveling home for Hometown Recruiting and then to KY for his first duty station?
3. When the army allows you to live off base do they give you BAH to put down a deposit on the apartment?

I’m confused about him doing hometown recruiting if he is already at his first duty station. Is he in basic training now or has he already been assigned to his first permanent duty station?

The Army will pay for you to move with him as long as his orders are with dependents and authorize the move of household goods. If you move after he has already moved, then it depends on a number of factors as to whether you can get the Army to pay for it.

The Army does provide BAH if you choose to live off post. However, there is no extra money given for deposits, etc. that must be made for renting a place. However, there are places that consider themselves military friendly and either waive or reduce deposits. The housing office on post may have a list of these places that offer discounts.

Moving Household Goods

My husband was at basic & AIT in GA & within 2 months into basic I had flown  out to visit him for family day & ended up staying till he was finished. We both planned to go back home once he finished but he didn’t have enough leave. He then got his orders to his first duty station & we relocated with out any of our belongings from home. We’ve been here for nearly 3 months now & I was wondering is it to late to have transportation pick up our stuff from our old residence? It’s only our clothes & a few decorations. We thought the movers only dealt with furniture & what not.


If you have not yet had the Army pay for your move to this duty station, it is possible that they will still cover it. However, the only way to find out for sure is to call the transportation office where you are currently stationed. They can tell you if his orders will allow for the move to be covered.

For future reference, when you have an authorized shipment of household goods, the Army will move what you own (within certain parameters).

I hope it all works out for you. Good luck!

Breaking a Lease When Your Soldier Serves

I moved up to be as close to my fiancée as I could be. The closest apartment that had availability is a little under an hour away from his duty station. It’s in a different county as well. The rent is outrageous, but living in a tent wasn’t an option. We got married and now he is stuck too far from work.

Here is my question: his papers say he is stationed at Fort Drum, NY, and we live in a different county. Can we get out of the the lease because his papers say he is stationed there? How far away from the duty station must you live to be considered eligible to get out of your lease because the soldier isn’t at the duty station? Thanks so much!

Usually, you can only break the lease with PCS for a duty station that is at least 50 miles away. Your best bet is to have JAG review your lease and look for a way out. His name will also typically need to be on the lease as well (or your name needs to be on his orders).

Shipping Household Goods from Multiple Locations

My husband submitted a Call to Active Duty packet. When he left the Army previously we left some of our belongings in CTat his parents because in our new apt in DE where he got a job didn’t have room. When he gets orders, will they pick up our belongings from Connecticut and Delaware when we PCS?


It will all depend on what his orders authorize. Some orders will authorize more than one personal shipment of household goods. You will also need to be sure that you are under the weight limit that will be allowed based on his rank. Your best bet is to call the transportation at the closest post and ask about picking up from multiple locations. I know it can be done but what I am unsure about is if there are special circumstances surrounding the pick-up.

Moving Expenses and Reimbursement

My husband joined the army, and is currently in boot camp. He told me that the army will pay for my flight to get to his graduation for boot camp is this true? Also he told me that the army pays for our moving expenses when he finally learns where he will be stationed, but how will we get this money? Do you have to keep all of our receipts and get reimbursed? Or do they give us a set amount for gas and hotels and that kind of stuff? Thank you!

The Army will not pay for your flight to attend his graduation from basic training. They will, however, pay for his transportation to his next school and to his duty station.

As far as moving, you have the option to let the Army move you where they will send movers to your home to pack all of your belongings, move them and unload at your new place at no expense to you. Or you can choose to do a DITY (do it yourself) where you do everything and then you are reimbursed a certain amount. Some people are able to make money with a DITY whereas others lose when they do it themselves. The transportation office should be able to provide an estimate for you.

About the author: Stacey is an Army wife of a soldier who joined in 2003. He has since been medically retired but she continues to provide information to Army wives and families to make their adjustment to the Army lifestyle easier. Connect with Stacey: Facebook Twitter Pinterest

{ 13 comments… add one }
  • karen November 18, 2010, 2:24 pm

    my son grad. this 12-3 from Fort Benning and says he wants to get married before going to his next assignment…Fort Hood,TX….What paperwork does he need and time frame…our state requires 1 month to get his marriage lic…any help? He will be home with us till reporting 1-4 to tx……Not sure this is the right thing at this time both 18 and know they will get married down the road……but he has no idea of the paperwork he needs to file in either state they get married in……please help a desperate mother who wants to help her son and future dtr-in-law……..please reply to my e-mail thank you and I do support the troops and the families that are in this together…….We are leaving to see him next week…..very excited as you know whether its your mother or girlfriend or wife wanting to see them after this time away……

  • karen November 20, 2010, 7:24 pm

    how long to get a reply

  • Lisa b July 9, 2013, 1:38 pm

    Hello there! I’m getting married Saturday and my fiancé is already living on base since last year in Tocoma. WA. I’ve been trying to find out since I’m moving there in August if the army helps me with the move financially? Reading up, I take it they will not since he is already placed there. Please let me know.


    • Stacey July 17, 2013, 1:11 pm

      They only will if you are on his orders. Congrats on the wedding!

  • Katie Moss November 22, 2013, 10:27 am

    My husband just told me last night that we got stationed in Fort Lewis Washington. I do know the Army will help us move but I would love to find out if I knew how much and if military housing is available. Can someone please help me.

  • Natalie January 29, 2016, 2:53 pm

    I’m new to all this army wife stuff, I have a few questions….
    How much does the army give you to move you self?
    If I choose for the army to move my stuff, do I go with or I have to find my own transportation??

    If I don’t find a house by the 10 days or if there’s a waiting list… Where would we be sleeping..and where would our stuff be??

    • Stacey Abler February 27, 2016, 9:06 pm

      The amount for a DITY move varies based on a lot of factors – you could call the transportation office and they should be able to give you an idea. They can also explain transportation options. Temporary housing is available for short time periods.

  • Alicia May 19, 2017, 4:51 pm

    I have a question and I’m not sure if you guys can help. My husband is doing his AIT, meanwhile I’m trying to move with our 2 kids, but I was wondering if we do the full amount to move in or just the deposit?

  • Ellen June 25, 2017, 3:50 pm

    Hi, My boyfriend is at AIT and said he would ask for the two weeks so that we could get married. Will that amount of time be enough to fly back with him and get our BAH paperwork done before is next duty station?

    • Stacey Abler July 8, 2017, 1:33 pm

      Completing the paperwork could be done in a day once you’re married. Congrats!

  • Kemia July 29, 2017, 11:17 am

    Hi me and my fiancé are getting married before he goes to his next duty station he in South Korea his next to duty station is in Maryland he come on September 27 and he have to be in Maryland October 10 will we have time to had me to his orders to move with him?

    • Stacey Abler August 5, 2017, 4:51 pm

      Actually amending the orders shouldn’t take too long to do. You should easily be able to get all of paperwork, etc done before he leaves. For South Korea, it is my understanding that the family can’t go with him unless he specifically has orders that state accompanied. Please let me know how it turns out!

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