PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --
For many military members, the summer season doesn’t just mean warmer weather and sun tans, it’s also the time where thousands of service members receive Permanent Change of Station orders.
Feelings of excitement are often associated with receiving orders, as the allure of a new home and a new location is exciting to many. However, the checklist items, pack out dates, transportation logistics and stress that comes with a PCS can often be overwhelming.
According to the Traffic Management Office, there are tips and tricks service members can use to make their transition to their new home less stressful. However, before even beginning the process of one’s move, TMO said there is an important step to accomplish many people overlook.
“We cannot even start the move process without a valid copy of the member’s PCS orders,” said Jessica Fairchild, a transportation assistant for the 45th Space Wing Travel Management Office. “Without orders, we literally cannot do our job to assist the member travelling.
In addition to having orders, Fairchild said the following tips are based upon her experience with customers, and should prevent your PCS into becoming a horror story;
- First, take a video of your property prior to the carrier coming to pack. A good audio and video description is invaluable if your property should be destroyed or lost. Once you take a video/digital recording with your camera, download it to a computer or a CD/DVD. This will verify the condition prior to shipment.
- Valuables or important papers should be kept with you and not shipped. If they must be shipped, they must absolutely be listed on the pickup inventory and you must be able to substantiate what you owned and its pre-shipment value.
- It is your move and you are in charge of it. Protect yourself by ensuring that the quantity, quality and condition of your property is accurately recorded and noted on the inventories, before the shipment leaves your control.
- You must be available between 0800-1700 for the day(s) of your pack and pickup, or you may be responsible for attempted pickup charges. If you cannot be there, make sure your spouse or agent knows what to do and arrange for help if necessary.
- Property must be easily accessible to the packers, and make sure the packers write adequate descriptions of the contents on the boxes themselves, and on the pickup inventory. Carefully read the inventory list before you sign it, and you should be provided a copy of the inventory.
Fairchild and the Patrick AFB Traffic Management Office said by following just a few of these tips, or by asking fellow Airmen who have moved before, your next PCS should be a lot less painful. Above all else, if you do not know what to do at any time, Fairchild said to just give TMO a visit or phone call.
If you have recently received PCS orders or have questions regarding a move, call the Patrick AFB TMO at (321) 494-5090 or customer service at (321) 494-4964.