Smooth Sailing: Essential Resources to Support Military Families During a PCS Move

Embarking on a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) can be an exciting yet challenging experience for military families. The prospect of starting a new chapter, exploring new places, and meeting new friends can be both thrilling and daunting, not to mention the logistical aspects of the move which can be overwhelming. In this blog post, we’re sharing a collection of essential resources to support military families throughout their PCS journey; ensuring a smoother transition for both service members and their loved ones.

Military OneSource:

Always a valuable go-to resource for military families, Military OneSource provides comprehensive information and support for all aspects of PCS moves:

  • First things first, you may already know many of the military acronyms, but going through a PCS expands your whole vocabulary! Learn more about common PCS terms.
  • Access the official Department of Defense online guides and tools to schedule your personal property shipment via the Personal Property Resources page from Military OneSource. You’ll also find answers to FAQs about entitlements, weight allowances, claims, guidance on shipping your vehicle, and more.
  • Try the Plan My Move tool to create custom checklists for your move! This is a great place to start when you’re feeling overwhelmed with the amount of tasks to complete. You can view your personalized checklist by topic or by timeline.
  • Quickly find information about your new duty station by visiting the MilitaryINSTALLATIONS section of MilitaryOneSource. This page provides information on military bases worldwide, and includes contact info for housing, schools, medical facilities, local amenities, and support services. Gain insights into your new community, understand what to expect upon arrival, and explore resources that can help you settle into your new surroundings.

PCSing with Kids:

  • For families with school-aged children, check out the MilitaryOneSource Changing Schools Guide for practical information on enrollment, placement and attendance, as well as other helpful information you’ll need to successfully help your children navigate these transitions.
  • The Military Child Education Coalition offers videos, printables, and webinars to help parents and military children thrive throughout transitions.
  • Sesame Street for Military Families provides a wealth of interactive tools, videos, and printable materials to help children understand and cope with the moving process. Sesame Street characters like Elmo and Rosita guide children through relatable stories, addressing common concerns and emotions associated with relocating. Parents can find practical advice, strategies, and tips to help their little ones adjust to a new home, school, and community.
  • Find more military kid resources on our Military Kids page!

EFMP Families:

  • For military families with special needs, the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) provides vital support during the PCS process. EFMP assists in identifying and ensuring necessary medical, educational, and community support services are available at your new duty station. Reach out to your EFMP coordinator early in the relocation process to help facilitate a seamless transition for family members with special needs. Listen to this podcast and find valuable resources to help you plan a PCS move with EFMP.

Social Media Groups and Online Communities:

Harness the power of social media to connect with other military families who have experienced PCS moves. Join online communities and Facebook groups specific to your new duty station, where you can find helpful advice, recommendations, and a sense of camaraderie. These platforms are excellent sources of firsthand information, insider tips, and emotional support during your relocation journey. And don’t forget to follow along with Cohen Veterans Network on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as we share tips and advice from our military families and therapists to help support you through this process.

While military PCS moves may present unique challenges, armed with the right resources and support, military families can navigate these transitions with confidence. Remember, you are not alone—reach out, connect, and make use of the abundant resources available to ensure a successful and smooth PCS move for your family!