Tips for service members during permanent change of station

1 Jun 2005 | Lance Cpl. Matthew K. Hacker

Changing duty stations involves making several decisions and taking many steps, but with the proper knowledge and guidance it can be done without much confusion.

The military usually transitions families during the summer because children are out of school, said to Master Sgt. Roger Villanueva of Pomona, Calif., the traffic chief with TMO, Marine Corps Base.

For those service members changing stations for the first time, there are certain things they need to know before getting started.
First of all, the unit’s administration office will contact the Marine or sailor before they are to come see them.

“When we receive their orders from base personnel, we will call or e-mail them to let them know we have them,” said Cpl. Yajaira Spurr, the PCS clerk with Company A, Headquarters and Support Battalion, Marine Corps Base.

This is the beginning to a process that involves various issues depending on the individual.

A Marine needs must submit an advanced travel pay form at the administration shop if he needs an paycheck in advance to cover travel expenses, he can submit an advanced travel pay form at the battalion, according to Spurr. Then they send it to disbursing and the Marine or sailor will get paid.

“If someone is going to [Inspector & Instructor], recruiting duty, drill instructor school, or any other ‘B’ billet, they have to meet with their career planner in conjunction with their battalion,” said Spurr.

For those PCSing overseas, they will be able to give the clerk a 10-day flight window of when they want to fly out there and have their belongings sent. From there, the battalion will send it to TMO where the exact date will be determined.

They should go to directly to TMO after they visit their battalion and finish everything they need to do there, according to Naomi Lynne Carlyle, the lead transportation assistant with TMO.

The peak months for TMO have begun and continue through the end of August, with more than 200 Marines and sailors permanently changing stations in May, the office will remain busy.

“The Marine or sailor needs to make sure their [administration] office gives them their orders at least a month ahead of time,” said Carlyle. “They need time to get everything together, because moving is not an overnight process, and we get very busy.”

The Traffic Management Office conduct group counseling sessions Monday through Friday at Building 1011 and also have sessions on people conducting government moves and those having their possessions being transported internationally, according to Carlyle.

The check-in time for the group counseling and government moving sessions are 7:30 a.m. and the check-in time for the international moving sessions is 12:30 p.m.

These sessions cover different courses of action, however, Marines should talk to TMO about moving their belongings to a new duty station.

They should have already talked to their families about what day they want their stuff picked up before seeing TMO.

Also, spouses are authorized to fill out their service member’s paperwork as long as they have a power of attorney.

“Also, when people come to do their TMO move they need to have an e-mail address,” said Villanueva. “Because the carrier needs a e-mail address to contact the service member after the transaction.”

There is a lot involved when changing duty stations, according to Villanueva. But, it’s pretty simple as long as they know what to do.

For more information on TMO, or if you are planning to transport a mobile home, please contact TMO at 451-2377.