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Ask An Army Spouse: PCS Moves with the Military

Move to First Duty Station

I have a few questions. My boyfriend is in basic training at Fort Knox, Kentucky. He will graduate in June.

He will have already completed AIT. We are getting married on June 12. I’m not sure how long he will be home. I have been told by other people that I won’t be able to go with him immediately.

He told me he has gotten everything taken care of. Will I be able to move with him right away? The rumor is he’s 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?

**********

Hi,

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 you would be unable 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, whereas some don’t. The type of housing you get is based on rank and family size.

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 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 can contact the transportation office, which 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 supposed 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 several 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, no extra money is given for deposits, etc., that must be made to rent a place. However, some places 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 flew to visit him for family day & ended up staying till he was finished.

We both planned to return home once he finished, but he didn’t have enough leave. He then got his orders to his first duty station & we relocated without any of our belongings from home.

We’ve been here for nearly 3 months now & I was wondering is it too 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 & whatnot.

**********

They may still cover if you have not yet had the Army pay for your move to this duty station. 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 possible. The closest available apartment 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 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 at his parents’ because our new apartment 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 I am unsure 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 his duty station.

Regarding moving, you can let the Army move you, where they will send movers to your home to pack all of your belongings, move them and unload them 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 can 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.

author avatar
Stacey Abler
Stacey's husband joined the Army in 2003 and was medically retired after four deployments. She enjoys sharing her experiences and expertise around Army life while continuing to support Army spouses and families in their military journey.

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26 Comments

  1. 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??

    1. 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.

  2. 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?

  3. 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?

  4. 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?

    1. 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!

  5. My 22 year old dual citizen son is currently enlisting from the recruiting station in K-town, Germany. We live in IRELAND and he will be leaving for basic/AIT in early march at Fort Benning. The recruiter has told him that when he finishes training and moves onto his permanent duty station, he is not entitled a move of HHG with his PCS because he comes from outside CONUS. Everything I am reading states he is entitled 5k lbs of HHG to be moved to his first duty station regardless of where in the world he originated from. Can you please help us clarify what is the truth? As a military widow, I feel this recruiter is taking several shortcuts with those enlisting from abroad and my son is being told things that are not inline with my experience prior. Thank you!!

  6. My husband joined the army about three months ago he’s, almost done with boot camp now. And I’m wondering if I should be the one that’s setting up our move or is that something he will do after graduation, because currently I have no idea what base he is stationed at I only know the state. So If I have to arrange our move who would I need to get in contact with to get all his order information? Help new army wife !!?

    1. I’m sorry I’m so delayed in responding to this and you have likely already moved by now. But for anyone else who may be reading, you will be able to coordinate your move after he receives his orders to his new duty station. Until he has those orders, it’s a “hurry up and wait” game.

  7. My boyfriend is stationed in Italy. He comes home on leave in June and we plan to get married. Will the army pay to move me and pay for my travel? He said he didn’t move HHG when he PCSed to Italy.

    1. Typically, the Army won’t pay to move family after the soldier has already PCS’d. Because he didn’t take advantage of a true PCS so to speak, you may have some wiggle room. You would need to talk to the transportation office. He will definitely have to get command sponsorship for you first though.

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