What Is My Military Move Weight Allowance?

The military move weight allowance is designed to help service members transition smoothly during a Permanent Change of Station (PCS). Today we’ll learn about weight restrictions for military moves, how those restrictions are determined, and the implications of exceeding the weight allowance.

Understanding Military Move Weight Allowance

The weight allowance in the military context refers to the maximum weight of household goods that the military will transport without cost to the service member. This limit varies based on two primary factors:

  1. Rank of the Service Member: Higher-ranking officers typically have a larger weight allowance. This difference is based on the assumption that higher ranks may have larger families or more accumulated belongings.
  2. Dependents: Service members with dependents generally receive a higher weight allowance, reflecting the need to move additional household items.

Determining the Weight Allowance

The weight allowance is structured as follows:

  • Enlisted Personnel: Junior enlisted personnel without dependents might have an allowance of approximately 8,000 pounds. This allowance gradually increases with rank and the addition of dependents.
  • Officers: Senior officers might be entitled to a weight allowance of 18,000 pounds or more, especially if they have dependents.

It’s important to note that these figures are approximate and can vary based on the specific branch of the military and current regulations.

Special Provisions

  • Overseas Moves: Assignments to overseas locations may have higher weight allowances due to the additional challenges and costs associated with international moves.
  • Unaccompanied Tours: In situations where service members do not move with their dependents, the weight allowance might be reduced.

Consequences of Exceeding the Weight Allowance

If your shipment goes over the weight allowance, it can result in significant expenses. This is because when the allocated weight limit is exceeded, you will becomes financially responsible for the extra weight, with charges usually applied per pound over the limit. To prevent these additional costs, it’s important to meticulously plan your moves. Start by decluttering. Try to find things you can part with, whether by throwing things away, selling items that you can easily replace upon your arrival, or donating items. This will help you stay within the weight limit.

Exclusions from the Weight Count

Certain items, such as professional gear (known as “pro-gear”), may not count towards the weight allowance. This can include work-related equipment, books, and papers. The rules for what constitutes pro-gear can vary and should be verified with the appropriate military transport office.

Practical Advice for Military Moves

  • Inventory Management: Before a PCS, conducting a thorough inventory and potentially a pre-move weigh-in can help in staying within the weight limit.
  • Understanding Regulations: Service members should familiarize themselves with the latest guidelines from their respective military branch regarding weight allowances and PCS moves.

Make Sure to Do Your Research

The information provided here is based on general guidelines and may vary depending on specific circumstances and military branch regulations. It’s important that you do your own research and find out the most current information from your respective military transport offices or command for the most accurate and up-to-date policies. For more detailed research and reading, check out the following resources:

  1. Military OneSource: This is a comprehensive resource for military members covering a wide range of topics, including PCS entitlements and moving personal property. It provides detailed information on weight allowances based on rank and offers tools such as a weight estimator and moving guides​​​​​​​​.
  2. The Soldiers Project: Offers a detailed explanation of the PCS weight allowance, including a calculator to estimate the weight allowance based on rank and dependents. This site provides updated information for 2023 and includes a breakdown of weight allowances for different ranks in the military​​.
  3. Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS): Provides information on Personally Procured Moves (PPM), formerly known as Do-It-Yourself (DITY) Moves. The site details the requirements for PPM, including weight allowances based on rank and type of move, operating expenses, and incentive pay for authorized expenses​​.
  4. PCS Weight Estimator Tool: Accessible through the U.S. Transportation Command website, this tool helps military personnel and their families comply with weight restrictions and calculate moving allowances. It provides a straightforward method to estimate household goods’ weight for an upcoming move​​.

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