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PCS better this season

Helpful tips for the coming moving season

Updates to the Army PCS Move App will help to make this PCS season a low-hassle experience. Photo credit: Army G-4

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As soldiers, civilians and families gear up for the upcoming PCS season, the Army has streamlined processes and policies to enable a safe, convenient, predictable, and user-friendly move. Improvements to make this year's moves easier include updates to the Army PCS Move App, increased reimbursements for personally procured moves (PPMs), more quality-assurance inspectors and a longer window to submit claims.

Since preparation and planning are imperative for a successful move, the Army PCS Move App, which can be downloaded for free in Google Play and the Apple Store, offers information on financial management, entitlements, types of moves, planning, scheduling and the claims process. In addition, it provides practical advice, links and interactive functions to make the PCS move a low-hassle experience.

The newest "live chat" function connects soldiers with a live customer service representative at the click of a button. The chat function creates a communication log between the caller and the agent, which can be downloaded for record keeping.

The Army's new policy on reimbursements and allowances reimburses personally procured moves up to 100% of what it would cost the government to use an industry provider, permanently changing the Joint Travel Regulation. And to enable better forecasting and scheduling, the Army now requires PCS orders to be provided 120 days before report dates.

Upon receipt of orders, soldiers should immediately create an account or log on to the Defense Personal Property System, upload their orders and complete all shipment applications for the move. The next step is to visit the transportation office for counseling, which will assist soldiers, civilians and families with state-side and overseas moves. By contacting the transportation office quickly, customers will have a better chance of scheduling a convenient move, receive confirmation of booking a moving company in advance, and receive approval to conduct a PPM.

The end of May through the Fourth of July is considered the peak of the summer moving season, so soldiers, civilians and families need to consider the timing of their PCS moves.

Since each move has unique needs and requirements, Military OneSource offers strategies for smooth moves, relocation assistance and personalized support. Their 24/7 hotline (833-MIL-MOVE) provides customer-support representatives who can provide assistance and answer questions. The Army also released three household goods claims videos, located on the Army PCS Move App, to provide answers to frequently asked questions.

During relocation time, soldiers can claim per diem allowance for meals and incidentals for up to seven days without receipts, taking some of the hassle out of the moving process.

After a shipment is delivered, soldiers should complete the customer satisfaction survey via the Defense Personal Property System. The survey results will help keep the moving companies accountable by assessing their performance.

The deadline for claim notification is now 180 days after delivery - up from 120 days - which gives soldiers, civilians and families ample time to identify and report lost or damaged goods.

PCS season can be stressful, but with proper planning, the interactive Army PCS Move App, changes to entitlements, and improved quality assurance, the Army is taking care of its most valuable asset - soldiers, civilians and their families.

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