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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?



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.

26 thoughts on “Ask An Army Spouse: PCS Moves with the Military”

  1. 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……

  2. When my husband and I got married he was stationed at Ft. Bragg and I was living in New Jersey with all our furniture and HHGs. Unfortunately because he was already there they would not pay for my move to him, we would have to wait for a PCS or pay for it ourselves. They said because it wasn’t a PCS we could not even get reimbursed for us moving it ourselves. We sadly had to pay and move all our belongings ourselves and it did cost about $2000. I’m sorry I’m not much help with this but just thought I would share my experience with you. I really hope everything works out for you, it is the worst not being able to be there with your husband. Good Luck!

  3. I am not sure when this was posted, if it is old or not- but I will give it a shot. My husband picked his station in school, but I don’t believe that will be the case for you. The only couple we had come into my husbands station from Germany was assigned here first, then he went to school after being here for about 6 weeks. Like I said, this may be different for you. Good luck!

  4. That is bs! My husband and I were not married in Feb 2011 when he got orders to Fort Richardson, AK, so it stated no dependents. Then in May, we got married and he had his orders amended to state ‘yes dependents’ but we opted for an ‘all others tour’ because we were told he was immediately deploying upon his arrival. I was pregnant and also had a 4 year old in preschool. We had just bought a new house and I didn’t want to leave Fort Bragg, pull my son out of school and move to the ‘wilderness’ only for him to leave. His report date was 10 Sept 2011 but at 30 weeks, I went into preterm labor so he put in for a deferment and was approved for 90 days. He got to Alaska 9 Dec. When he got here, he was told that his unit had just left anf there was a possibility he wasn’t going to deploy. So on Dec 12, we started the Command Sponsorship process. I stayed on top of everyone because I don’t play those ‘hurry up and wait’ bs games they like to play. We got everything done- I did EFMP for myself and two kids, we got passports, as soon as our names were on his orders, I went to pick up our passports, I took them to transportation to schedule our packout, I took his orders and power of attorney with me to ship his truck (because you are allowed one free POV ship and then you pay out of pocket for the 2nd if you plan on shipping two) I rented out our house, I scheduled our plane tickets with the travel office on post and we paid NOTHING out of pocket. They paid for everything! I’m not sure I can write my email address without it getting blanket out so I’ll put it like this: mindy dot moore_84 AT Yahoo dot com Since I just went through CS and just got here Jan 21, you can email me if you have questions! Good luck!!

  5. Okay, I just re-read your post and didn’t realize they had already moved his stuff. He’s only entitled to one move and since they moved his stuff, they won’t move yours. My husband didn’t have anything shipped which is why our whole move was paid for by the Army when the kids and I got CS.

  6. If we choose to have the army move us, they would pack up our stuff and move it, correct? But then what about the transportation of myself and my two children? Would we be reimbursed for our plane tickets?

  7. 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.


  8. 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.

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