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Doing A Military Move

Military Move After Retirement

As a member of the military, you will likely be moving around quite a lot. Some families who are in the military system report moving up to 20 times in their life. And as you will probably be relocating a lot more than your civilian friends, you will probably become a sort of an expert on the issue. But if you still feel like you could learn more about it, or just wish to check your knowledge, we are here with a list that helps bring out some lesser known details when it comes to the military move. Let’s see how you do:


They imply you are the one who does all the heavy lifting, and the whole move is your responsibility. DITY stands for a do-it-yourself move, which in recent years came to be known as a Personally Procured Move. This will require your full attention, many days and nights spent planning and organizing, as the initial guide for PPMs for the Army alone spans along 14 pages of demands, requests and general guidelines. The Department of Defense (DoD) will reimburse up to 95% of what it would have cost the government to move the property. There will be four ways you can approach the PPM:

  • Rental Equipment. You rent a truck or trailer and receive an advance operating allowance based on mileage authorized and estimated weight of the shipment. There is no advance on separation orders. You’re responsible for packing, loading, driving, unloading, and unpacking the shipment. Storage at the destination is at your expense, with reimbursement.
  • You Load/They Drive. You pack and load a commercial moving van/truck, the commercial moving company drives to the destination, and you unload and unpack the van or truck. The commercial firm must provide you with an ICC number, and State or Federal Regulation numbers. You must request the company to provide weight tickets.
  • Privately Owned Vehicle (POV) PPM. No advance operating allowance on a POV PPM is authorized. You may use your own or a borrowed vehicle. If you borrow the vehicle, you must have written permission from the vehicle owner for all POV PPMs. Current vehicle registration is also required. The POV must be a “cargo” type vehicle, not a vehicle that is designed for passenger transport.
  • Move in Connection with Government Arranged Mobile Home Shipment. Household goods can be authorized for shipment at government expense, but must be removed from a mobile home to satisfy safety requirement under the PPM program. Such items can include heavy appliances and furniture, air conditioners, awnings, etc.

 PCS or Permanent Change of Station:

When you are ordered on PCS, you are also authorized to ship your household goods, or HHG, at government expense. As we have already mentioned, the government authorizes you a weight limit based on your rank and family status. Depending on your service branch, the name of the government office that handles your relocation varies:

  • The Department of Defense: Joint Personal Property Shipping Office
  • Air Force: Traffic Management Office
  • Army: Installation Transportation Office
  • Navy and Marine Corps: Personal Property Shipping Office
  • Coast Guard: Household Goods Shipping Office

 Retirement Moves and Separation from Service:

Members separating from the service have 180 days from the effective date of discharge to move personal property at government expense. If unsure of where they want to move, local storage of up to 180 days may be requested. Members separating from the service on a Voluntary Separation with Incentive (VSI) have the same entitlements as retirees. Members retiring from the service have one year to complete their final move. If members have not made their home of selection, they are entitled to storage for one year at “origin” from date of retirement. If members have less than 18 years of service as of November 1, 1981, their goods may be shipped anywhere within the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii.


If you need more information about military moving, don’t hesitate to contact State to State Movers anytime you want. We’ll be more than glad to help you as much as we can.