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Resources To Help You Plan and Prepare for a PCS Move

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It's a huge understatement to say that a lot of planning and preparation goes into making a PCS move. In fact, from the moment you get your orders until the last box is unpacked (or stored away) there's a good chance that the relocation and all that it entails will dominate your thoughts and consume huge amounts of your time and energy.

The following resources, tools and information are provided to help you navigate the system and better understand the various aspects of PCSing, such as learning about your new duty station, planning your move and traveling with pets.

Learning About Your New Duty Station
The sooner that you can start researching your new duty station the better. The information that you learn will undoubtedly answer some of your questions and help you to plan ahead for after your arrival.

But those aren't the only benefits. Understanding where you're going before you get there can go a long way in lowering the stress that often accompanies dealing with the unknown. Furthermore, if you have kids you'll be able to share some of your newfound knowledge with them, which can result in reducing their stress and anxiety about the upcoming move.

Two great places that you can turn to are Military Duty Stations and Military Installations. Both of these resources provide a wealth of information and an abundance of facts about the numerous stateside and overseas military installations and their surrounding communities.

Planning Your Move
Military Homefront offers a valuable resource called Plan My Move. Through this tool, users can stay on track by creating a personal moving calendar. The program also contains checklists, to-do lists, phone lists, budget planners, housing applications, links to important information and a host of other wonderful features.

Education and Schools
Whether you plan on homeschooling your kids or enrolling them in a DoDEA, public or private school, it's a good idea to learn all that you can about the school that your children will attend. Details about all these options are located here.

Moving with Kids
Each child reacts differently to change. Often, their ability to cope with major changes largely depends on their age. Small kids may have difficulty adjusting to their new surroundings whereas older children may get excited about the relocation, dread the idea or harbor a combination mixed feelings. The good news is that there are several strategies that parents can employ to help their kids adjust to an upcoming move. For a list of suggestions and tips please see Helping Kids Cope with a PCS Move.

PCS Entitlements
Before you make a military move, learn about the various PCS entitlements that are available to servicemembers and their dependents. Entitlements such as temporary lodging and allowances, dependent travel, and more are featured here.

Moving with Pets
"PCSing with Pets" which is featured on the Hill AFB Web site, provides excellent guidelines, tips and suggestions for military pet owners. The material includes how-to information, advice and safety tips for transporting your pet via air, bus, train or private vehicle. To help ensure that you've covered all pertinent details a handy checklist is featured at the end of this document.

Changing Your Driver's License
Each state has their own set of motor vehicle laws that pertain to new residents changing their driver's license. Learning about the rules and regulations before you arrive at the DMV can help you avoid any unpleasant surprises such as not having the correct documents or discovering that you'll have to take a driver's test—an exam you never studied for. But don't let all that discourage you.

In an effort to accommodate military personnel and their dependents, numerous states have created a different set of rules and requirements for servicemembers, their spouses, and licensed children. So that you know what to expect before you reach your new state, you can learn all the particulars through this state-by-state listing.

Additional Resource
The wonderful ladies over at the Army Wife Network have put together a comprehensive PCS Guide. This fantastic document contains step-by-step PCS instructions and includes a multitude of resources and other important information for stateside and overseas moves. Although this particular guide was written with Army families in mind, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard families will also benefit from the material as it contains quite a bit of valuable information that pertains to all branches of the U.S. military.

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