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PCS changes on the way

Improved process coming, here is a list of them

The Department of Defense contracting with a single move manager is one of the PCS changes slated to be implemented in 2024. Photo credit: U.S. Army

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PCSing can be a pain in the neck, change is coming.

The regulations around military moves stem from two sources - Congress and the Pentagon. In charge of putting all of the rules in place and caring for the PSC system is the U.S. Transportation Command (TRANSCOM) at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois.

In light of one military family's 2017 experience with a moving company that made national headlines and spurred the Department of Defense to improve the process.

"We're trying to put these rules in place to protect service members," said Brig. Gen. Joel Safranek, TRANSCOM's director of Defense Personal Property Management. "But the reality is until we do more of a significant change, which we hope to get with the Global Household Goods Contract (GHC) ... we need to make the significant changes that are needed with the current system."


One change is that the Department of Defense will contract with a single move manager to integrate all the functions presently done by hundreds of commercial moving companies to pack and ship personal property worldwide.

"It's that single move manager that's going to be your primary point of contact for scheduling and managing your move," explained Safranek. "The local transportation office will remain your primary Department of Defense contact for insuring the quality of that contracted move."

Another change is how service members can learn more about a PCS. used to be the information hub to learn about policy changes; now, Military OneSource is the new source of information.

"The reason we did that is so we can have sort of a one-stop shop for any relocation needs," said Kristen Barnat, a spokesperson for TRANSCOM and a military spouse.

"I think having everything kind of standard ... clears up questions. It makes it much easier for us to communicate what's going on and sending people to the right information and not having to worry about having to get really granular into specifics and sending them to multiple different websites or multiple different sources to find the information they need."

Another significant outlook is the time frame for filing household goods claims. Service members used to have 75 days to submit a notification; now they have 180 days to do so.

"You get six months to let the moving company know that you plan to file a claim and what you're going to be filing a claim about," continued Barnat.

Another small but very important change is in the protection of personnel's private information by eliminating the need to use social security numbers during the moving process.

"We're not a hundred percent of the way there, but we've had some success over the last year working with customs and border protection so that social security numbers aren't needed for their processes," added Safranek.

Another major change has been TRANSCOM's working with the various branches of services for a goal of not moving more than 9,000 military families per week to allow the moving industry to create a better plan for the expected work.

"Our message to industry has remained consistent throughout. It has been that, hey, only accept shipments that you can handle safely and with a competent crew," stressed Safranek.

While PCSing will remain a somewhat stressful experience, change is on the way. For more information, visit

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