A permanent change of station is part of military life. Experiencing different parts of the country and the world is a unique benefit of military service. In fact, travel and visiting new cultures may have been among the reasons you joined the military.
More than 400,000 service members PCS annually, so you can expect PCS orders to be part of your military career.
Received PCS orders?
Military OneSource moving experts can help you with moving tips, information about your new duty station and everything you need to master your PCS.
Overseas? OCONUS dialing options.
What your PCS orders include
Unlike temporary duty assignments, permanent change of station orders are a longer-term assignment, generally two to four years. Broadly speaking, your orders will tell you where you’ll be moving to – either CONUS or OCONUS.
- CONUS: Moves inside the continental United States
- OCONUS: Moves outside the continental U.S. These are typically overseas moves, but also include Alaska, Hawaii and U.S. territories.
Your orders will also include:
- Issue date
- Issuer’s name
- Order number
- Authorized locations
If you are going to coordinate your move through the military, you will need to have this information handy.
Organizing your move
Moving is rarely simple, and in times of global uncertainty it is more important than ever to know the best ways to organize the logistics of your move and act fast once you get your orders. The Department of Defense provides a variety of resources to help make your PCS as easy and safe as possible:
- Military OneSource is available 24/7 anywhere in the world with expert moving consultants and online tools and resources to help you get organized and settled. Call anytime to speak with a consultant, or set up an online chat. Learn more about moving in the military and find out how our experts can help you master your PCS.
- Move.mil, the official Department of Defense customer moving portal is moving to Military OneSource. In the next few months, you’ll be able to access resources and tools available from U.S. Transportation Command here on Military OneSource. Some information is here now, including:
- Customer support for moving household goods
- Resources to help you plan your shipment
- Link to log in to the Defense Personal Property System to schedule your move
Additional resources and information will be coming to Military OneSource soon. As we work toward giving you one source of access for all your moving needs, you can still use Move.mil for tools, tips and more.
- Plan My Move is an online tool that helps you create, organize and manage your PCS through customized checklists, so you can stay on top of important to-dos as you go through the moving process. Answer a couple of questions and you’re on your way to building your custom checklist.
Relocation assistance and resources
There are a variety of resources both online and through your installation to help you transition before, during and after your move:
- Your installation’s Relocation Assistance Program is a great source of information and support for moving and getting settled at your new duty station. Relocation experts offer pre-departure briefings, newcomer orientations, and information about job opportunities, child care, school liaisons and more. Find out how to put the military’s relocation assistance program to work for you.
- The MilitaryINSTALLATIONS website provides comprehensive information about military installations worldwide. Search for programs and services, access information on temporary housing, check-in procedures, schools, surrounding community and more.
- The military sponsorship program helps service members and families as they transition to a new duty station and community. Typically, your unit will assign a service member of similar rank and family make-up to help you learn the ropes at your new duty station. Learn more about the benefits of sponsorship in the short Sponsorship and You course available on MilLife Learning.
- The Blog Brigade website offers insider moving tips and military life insights from other service members.
Personally procured moves for do-it-yourself movers
If you prefer to organize your move yourself, you may be able to choose a personally procured move, or PPM. You are eligible for a PPM when you have PCS orders, a temporary duty assignment, or face separation, retirement or assignment to, from or between government quarters.
During a PPM, you coordinate the move of your household goods yourself without using any military moving services. This means that you are responsible for all the planning and communications that a military-coordinated move usually handles. Doing it all yourself can mean added stress and possible problems.
But military moves don’t have to be exclusively one or the other. You can use some military moving services and manage other parts of the move yourself. For more information, contact your local transportation office or ask a Military OneSource moving expert.
Whether this is your first PCS or you’re a seasoned professional, let Military OneSource help you master your move so you can get on with your mission.