On Your Way to a Smooth Move: DoD Roundtable

It is that time! PCS season is upon us and many military families are negotiating orders and beginning the process of planning for a move. With that in mind, I had a great chance to listen to and speak with Barbara Thompson, Director, Office of Family Policy/Children & Youth, Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense.

We all know that a PCS can be an amazing adventure but also an incredible stressor on families. I have an example for you; in the late 80’s my family moved from Ft. Walton Beach, Florida to Keflavik, Iceland. Can you say, “Change of scenery”? In the end the move to Iceland was an amazing adventure, but you don’t know that when you prepare and first arrive at your next duty station. We took advantage of the tools available to us at the time. They don’t compare to what is available now. An important and valid point to keep in mind when moving with children is what the Director of Office of Family Policy/Children and Youth mentioned, “The less stress the parents manifest, the less the kids go through.” This is probably one of the most important points to keep in mind.

The discussion with Barbara Thompson was brief, yet informative. She was very clear when explaining the benefits of technology but also the importance of visiting. She explained it well by saying, “We need high-tech but also high-touch.”  Technology is important but also a face to talk with and maybe even a hug.  The PCS process is stressful. I can tell you after 12 different schools and 2 overseas stations that I can appreciate the how important information and support is.

To add more information to the mix, consider reading this National Military Family Association article about how sequestration will affect PCS orders:

“Fact: What will happen to Permanent Change of Station (PCS) moves is unclear. Funds for dislocation allowances tied to PCS moves will be available, but transportation offices will be short-staffed because of civilian furloughs. When we asked if funds to cover the transportation of household goods and families would be affected by sequestration, we were told each Service will decide soon on the extent of PCS moves this summer.”
Sequestration Facts Without the Fiction: How Military Families Will Be Affected

Arm yourself with information before your next PCS.  Empower yourself.  Educate yourself.  Use services like ‘Plan my Move’ from the DoD, print our Moving Checklist and put it in your PCS Binder, call your local Family Service Center and make an appointment to speak with a counselor.  All of these steps will start you on your way to a smooth move.

– Dan from

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