A permanent change of station (PCS) is when you are assigned to a location for 20+ weeks, regardless of whether your assignment pertains to training or a new job. So, it is part of the military life; more than 400,000 service members and their families make a Military PCS move annually.  Experiencing different parts of the country and the world is a benefit of military service and offers an opportunity to engage in new cultures.  So, you can expect PCS orders to be part of your military career. Below you will find tips and information to help you during your move.

Color-code for easy unpacking   –    Have a backpack for each child with their favorite things & a spare outfit   –   Part ways with things you don’t need

Miltary PCS, Military Discounts, Military PCS Move, Permanent Change of Station, PCSing


A long-term assignment, usually two to four years. Your PCS orders will tell you where you’ll be moving to –

  • CONUS: Moves inside the continental United States
  • OCONUS: Moves outside the continental U.S. These are typically overseas moves, but OCONUS moves also include Alaska, Hawaii and U.S. territories.

Your orders will also include:

  • An issue date
  • The issuer’s name
  • An order number
  • Authorized locations

Therefore, you’ll need to reference each of these items when setting up your move. Refer to our PCS Guide below for more information.

When you make a military pcs move, the way your household goods get transported from “Point A” to “Point B” largely depends whether your entire move will happen within the US states or internationally.


1. Set up a meeting with your base transportation office as soon as possible. 

  • The Department of Defense: Joint Personal Property Shipping Office.
  • Air Force: Traffic Management Office.
  • Army: Installation Transportation Office.
  • Navy and Marine Corps: Personal Property Shipping Office.
  • Coast Guard: Household Goods Shipping Office.

During the meeting, ask about all the moving options available to you including a DITY move and start making preliminary arrangements for your move.

2. Contact the family center at your new location. Family centers offer relocation assistance programs that provide moving information to you and your family. 

3. If you are currently living in government quarters, notify the housing office of your projected move out date because you will want to make sure you know all the regulations about cleaning your home before you move out.

4. Make an appointment with your finance office at your current installation because making a move will be a drain on your bank account. Moreover, the finance office can give you the lowdown on your options, and relocation benefits that you’re eligible for. 

5.  Use Report To Base’s PCS Guide below to help plan your move. Because, in preparing for a move, it’s easy to be bogged down with all the details and things to do. Our guide can help you stay on top of it all with handy checklists that cover everything from packing to setting up in your new location. In addition, the free downloadable lists will remind you what you need to do.

Remember, you can split up your total allowable weight into multiple shipments. For example, many military service personnel doing a PCS CONUS move will have both a PPM (Personally-Procured Move or “do it yourself”) shipment of their prized, valuable possessions as well as items needed immediately and a HHG (“Household Goods”) shipment using a government-furnished moving company for the bulk of their belongings.


  • Important documents to carry with you
  • Travel pay information
  • Tips for a successful PCS
  • Housing information
  • Pre-move checklist
  • Post-move checklist
  • Notes
  • Expenses
Military PCS Move, Permanent Change of Station, PCSing

Join our community

Receive great PCS tips and additional resources