5 Best Practices For Your Military PCS Move Overseas

5 Best Practices For Your Military PCS Move Overseas in Fort Worth, TX

A Permanent Change of Station (PCS) is a common aspect of military life, with families often relocating every few years. When the move is overseas, the challenges magnify due to cultural differences, logistical complexities, and the emotional impact on families. Despite the upheaval that such a move can create, you don’t have to face it with uncertainty or added stress. Understanding the challenges you face will help for a smooth transition. With a little bit of planning and preparation, your PCS move can be a smooth and pleasant transition to an exciting new experience.

1.      Early Planning and Research

The key to a successful overseas PCS move is early planning. As soon as you receive your orders, start managing your time and create a moving timeline. This proactive approach allows for a less stressful transition. This is also a good time to start saving money and converting some to your new local currency.

Familiarize yourself with your destination’s culture, language, and military community facilities. Utilize resources such as base relocation offices or online forums for military families to gather valuable information.

Numerous invaluable resources for military families are accessible on the internet. Visit Move.mil, the Department of Defense’s official moving website, to identify your transportation office, access a variety of housing and lodging options, and learn about the shipping and storage guidelines specific to each military branch. For financial assistance, Hands On Banking offers essential money management tools and a detailed PCS financial checklist. To understand healthcare options abroad, particularly under TRICARE Prime Overseas, explore their offerings for you and your family. Additionally, if your new assignment is in Germany, Belgium, or Korea, the Overseas Yes! network can be an excellent starting point for your research about your new location.

2.      Understanding Entitlements and Benefits

Financial Aspects

Learn about the financial entitlements available for overseas PCS, including allowances for housing, cost of living adjustments, and travel expenses. This knowledge will help in budgeting for the move.

Track Expenses

To ensure full reimbursement for your military relocation, it’s important to stay organized and keep all receipts. You should keep track and monitor the following:

  • Per diem allowances covering lodging, meals, and incidental expenses.
  • Travel costs, including fares for reasonable taxi or uber services.
  • Expenses related to the transportation of dependents.
  • A mileage allowance if you are driving your vehicle to the shipping port.

Healthcare and Family Clearance

Military spouses and children planning to join a service member on an overseas PCS must include obtaining the required clearances in their family relocation checklist. This involves undergoing an OCONUS physical to verify the medical readiness of each family member for the move. The procedure for the whole family entails:

  • Obtain a doctor’s approval and their signature on all necessary medical documents.
  • Provide a record of each individual’s vaccinations. If this record is unavailable a blood test at the doctor’s office can confirm immunizations.
  • Submit all the completed paperwork for evaluation and wait for any additional directions.

3.      Efficient Packing and Household Goods Management

Sorting and Organizing

Before the move, categorize items for shipping, storage, or sale. Decluttering not only simplifies the move but also helps in adapting to a new environment. Take time to decide what you want to bring with you, what you can afford to sell or donate, and what you want to put into storage. Long-term storage facilities like Firefighting’s Finest provides can help you preserve keepsakes, furniture, clothing, books and other collectibles safely until you return.

Professional Movers

Did you know that Firefighting’s Finest moving services are part of the benefits that military families are entitled to? From active-duty to veterans or even disabled veterans, we are ready to assist you. Our commitment as military movers stems not just from our personal ties to the services but also because our business is fully equipped to manage official government relocations. With our adherence to all guidelines, rules, and regulations, you and your family can trust in our team to deliver an exceptional moving experience. We have moved numerous military families in their relocations and understand that it’s a stressful time. That’s why we’re dedicated to simplifying and easing the entire moving process for you.

4.      Navigating Legal and Administrative Requirements


Prepare essential documents such as passports, visas, and military orders well in advance. With your passport, make sure to get both your personal passport and your no-fee government passport. If you have already received your Outside of Continental United States (OCONUS) order, print more copies of it than you think you will need. Militaryspouse.com recommends at least 30 copies.

Customs and Regulations

To avoid legal issues, it’s a good idea to begin to get informed about the customs regulations and prohibited items in your destination country.

5.      Emotional and Social Preparation

When you experience any major relocation, it’s important to address the emotional aspects of moving, especially for children. Helping the family adapt through social activities in the new location can ease the transition. Before you go, start to explore online social networks of families where you will be stationed, and start to engage. Building a support network within the military community and the local area will ease the transition and help smooth integration into a new community.

Additional Resources

For further information, consider these resources:

  • Military OneSource: www.militaryonesource.mil
  • Defense Personal Property System (DPS): www.move.mil
  • Overseas PCS Support Groups on social media platforms.
  • Books such as “The Military Moving Bible” offer comprehensive guidance.
  • Local base support services and family readiness groups.

If you need assistance with your military PCS move overseas, call Firefighting’s Finest Moving & Storage. Our off-duty firefighters provide efficient, safe, and professional commercial and home moving services. Guided by integrity, we’re the reliable moving partner you can trust. Founded in 2001 by two off-duty firefighters, we’ve grown to serve not only the Dallas/Fort Worth area, but also Houston and Austin as well. A locally-owned-and-operated business, we exceed all state and federal requirements for a moving company and can handle all your moving needs. Call 844-715-6625 or visit our website for an estimate.