You Got Orders, Now What?

Receiving Military relocation orders can be incredibly stressful. There is a seemingly endless list of tasks that can make even the seasoned PCSer’s head spin. That’s why PCS Pay-it-Forward® has put together these 4 simple steps to a stress-free PCS.

Step 1: Preliminary  Information Gathering on Your New Duty Station 

While Google is a wonderful tool to learn about the areas surrounding your new military base the information can be a bit generic for the average relocating mil family. Join your new base’s PCS Pay-it-Forward’s Facebook community to get the details directly from military families who are already stationed there! Over 20,000 military families regularly share off-market or little known housing opportunities in these groups as well as candid neighborhood and base feedback. Click HERE to locate your base’s support groups.

Step 2: Set Up A Meeting With Your Base Transportation Office

As soon as you have received official orders you will want to meet with your Base Transportation Office. Make sure to schedule your appointment as early as possible to gather information about the moving options available to you and start making the preliminary arrangements for your move. No military branch is the same when it comes to your base transportation office. Depending on your branch you should search the following to schedule:

Air Force: Traffic Management Office

Army: Installation Transportation Office

Navy and Marine Corps: Personal Property Shipping Office

Coast Guard: Household Goods Shipping Office


Step #: Get Your House Ready

If you live in government quarters, then you need to notify the housing office of your projected move date. Also, confirm what cleaning requirements they have for when you leave. 

If you live off base in a rental property inform your landlord that you will be moving. Most leases have a military clause built in to allow for unexpected moves caused by the military, but giving your landlord more time to prepare for your departure is considerate. Perhaps even offer to share the rental in your local PCS Pay-it-Forward Facebook group to help your landlord secure another tenant and provide a military family with the opportunity to lock in the home first! 

If you own a home you’ll want to weigh the options between selling or renting with a local market expert. If you need a local military-friendly Realtor referral you can email [email protected] for a list of available military spouse and veteran agents in your area. 


Step 4: Make An Appointment With Your Finance Officer At Your Current Installation

Moving can be expensive and the government does work to provide additional monies to help with your PCS move, but sometimes their resources fall short in covering the total cost. In addition, you need to prepare yourself that these funds often will not arrive until after you have moved. Meeting with a finance officer can help you prepare and plan for the expenses ahead and help you reduce the stress of your PCS!


Congratulations! These 4 simple steps will surely set you up for success with your upcoming move! If you want a comprehensive outline of your PCS move? Check out the PCS Pay-it-Forward Ultimate Moving Guide for weekly checklists, paperwork overview, and packing hacks.

When you get orders what is the first thing you do?



  1. Lloyd Bronson

    My friend from college was recently called to be relocated, and it is stressing him out. I’m glad that your article mentions how it is important to inform your landlord as soon as possible about your departure. I’ll be sure to send your article to him to assist him.

  2. rachel frampton

    I’ve been asked to move to Chicago by the military government. Therefore, I’ve been starting to look for a new place where my family and I can settle temporarily. I’ll keep in mind to schedule an appointment with the base transportation office so I’ll know what moving options do have.

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  4. Vivian Black

    You made a great point about making sure to get your house ready so that you will be able to move smoothly. My husband is in the military and recently got reassigned and we need to get a military relocation real estate agent to help us with our move. We will keep these tips in mind as we search for a professional that can help us best.

    • Lauren Taylor

      What base are you getting relocated too? We have ambassadors positioned all over the country to help 🙂

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