NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- A major part of life comes from moving.
Whether it is leaving home for the first time or a permanent change of station (PCS) in the military, moving is a difficult and usually stressful facet that everyone in the U.S. Navy has to deal with.
PCS is when a service member is re-assigned to a new duty station. It can be a stressful period for Sailors and their family, especially for those who are transferring for the first time.
"There are several things Sailors should know about PCS'ing," said Personnel Specialist Seaman Anthony Tippett, a Sailor assigned to aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73). "[On] the date of transfer, the chain of command and the member chooses is the date they will PCS, not a day earlier and not a day later. They can change the date if they choose to re-route their transfer information sheet though."
Although peak PCS season is almost over, Sailors change commands year-round and some may even receive orders at the last minute.
"Time is critical because some members may receive orders and have a report no later date the next day," said Tippett. "Sailors will interact with the detailer to see when their orders will come in, but the timeline can differ drastically. We see orders come through for Sailors that detach the next day, and we also see orders for Sailors that detach seven months later."
The transfer evaluation Sailors receive upon departing the command has to be dated for the date of transfer.
"There are several documents involved with transferring, depending on the type of transfer," said Tippett. "Some documents involved include their transfer information sheet, PRR/DD Form 884 which is usually for OCONUS orders, Travel Advance, DD Form 1056 DEA (Dependent Entry Approval), and PG. 2/SGLI."
There are many different types of orders, such as regular PCS orders, temporary duty (TEMDU) travel orders, TEMDU under instruction, OCONUS orders (overseas orders), and LIMDU (limited duty), etc. The most common orders are the regular PCS orders.
"It is critical to read the entirety of the orders, because the Sailor may be missing something or will need to do something on their own, such as a required screening," said Personnel Specialist 3rd Class Jenifer Davis, another Sailor assigned to George Washington.
A PCS move will often cost money, whether it is for transportation, lodging, or anything else. If the Sailor provides proper documentation, the government will reimburse most of the fees and costs for the PCS.
Documents needed include a copy of completed and signed orders, travel itinerary issued by a commercial transportation office, lodging receipts and any other small receipts for expenditures during the PCS.
"For lodging, you can only be reimbursed in your current geographical location and your new permanent duty station's geographical location," said Davis. "The government will also pay to move your household goods and family."
One of the biggest tools Sailors have at their disposal are their chains of command. At least one person in their chains of command will have transferred at one point in their career, which can provide them with insight they may not have thought of.
To learn more about a PCS, visit the personnel office at 2600 Washington Avenue.
For more information, visit www.navy.mil, www.facebook.com/usnavy, or www.twitter.com/usnavy.