By Dr. G. Adam Jakubek*
I am in the process of a PCS from NH Jacksonville to Kings Bay, and noticed that my Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) would drop significantly based on the change in duty station zip codes. The BAH rates vary depending on your duty station zip code, not your address, so you could see a dip in a few hundred dollars if your duty station changes but elect to keep your home in your prior, higher BAH rate zip code.
I’ve had colleagues PCS to close proximity duty stations and elect to not move their family and miss out on keeping their BAH at their old duty station. Some examples I’ve seen where people see a drop in BAH are PCS moves from San Diego to Camp Pendleton, or the Bethesda/National Capital Area to places like Annapolis or Baltimore where rates drop by $200-300/month.
The current order writing system authorizes funding for a household goods shipment by default if your new duty station is farther than 30 miles away from your prior duty station, but you might prefer to make the commute if it means staying in your home, keeping your kids in the same schools, etc.
My current orders have the following statement attached:
‐ MEMBERS WHO RECEIVE PCS ORDERS WHEN THEIR OLD AND NEW PERMANENT DUTY STATIONS ARE WITHIN CLOSE PROXIMITY TO EACH OTHER (BASED ON A REASONABLE COMMUTE DETERMINED BY THE GAINING CO) MAY BE ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE A CLOSE PROXIMITY WAIVER AND RECEIVE BAH BASED ON THEIR OLD PDS LOCATION. SEE NAVADMIN 101/10 FOR WAIVER ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS AND PROCEDURES. GO TO: HTTP://WWW.PUBLIC.NAVY.MIL/BUPERS‐NPC/ REFERENCE/MESSAGES/PAGES/DEFAULT.ASPX.
If you follow the instructions in the NAVADMIN, it is a relatively simple process, but the key is completing the request through your gaining command BEFORE you execute your orders. Your gaining command needs to endorse your request stating that your commute is ‘reasonable’ and you forfeit your household goods shipment, making it a no‐cost PCS move for the government.
Once you receive the signed endorsement letter from your gaining command, you forward that letter directly to your detailer. You’ll get an order modification that drops your household goods shipment funding and states that you’re authorized BAH at your prior duty station rate. Again, make sure you follow up with your detailer prior to checking out of your old command if you haven’t seen your order modification come through in NSIPS. Once you check into your new command PSD or Human Resources department with your modified orders, you’ll be locked into that BAH rate and cannot retroactively request funding for a household goods shipment if you decide to move later on in your tour.
Here are some useful templates to help you with this process:
*The views expressed in this blog are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Navy, Department of Defense or the United States Government.
WASHINGTON (NNS) — Effective immediately, to minimize the disruption to the education of school-aged children and increase family stability, Navy has revised the delayed dependent travel policy for Sailors who are undergoing a permanent change of station (PCS) and have school-aged dependents.
In line with Joint Travel Regulations, when PCS orders have been issued, a Sailor’s dependents may perform PCS travel at a different time. The Sailor may also be authorized a housing allowance based on the location at which the dependents maintained a permanent residence, at the previously approved designated place or the old permanent duty station.
Sailors with school-aged dependents frequently request delayed dependent travel. Under the old policy, approval for requests to delay dependent travel were normally limited to the end of the current school term, which is usually the end of June or December (depending on the member’s detach date). The new policy allows Sailors with school-aged dependents to request delayed dependent travel until the end of the school year.
For questions on this updated policy, contact the Military Pay and Compensation Policy Branch via email at Nxag_n130c@navy.mil.
For more news from Chief of Naval Personnel, visit www.navy.mil/local/cnp/.
The navy released a NAVADMIN about PCS orders. In summary, it says:
- With increased orders lead time (OLT), letters of intent (LOI) are no longer as impactful and less critical for Sailors and their dependents.
- OLT is expected to remain around six months in aggregate for the foreseeable future. Sailors should receive orders with adequate time to complete the required documentation and logistical planning for both continental United States (CONUS) and overseas/remote assignments before beginning the permanent change of station (PCS) process, negating the need for the LOI.
When orders were being released less than 2 months before a PCS, officers were able to get a LOI so they could get on waiting lists for base housing or child development centers. It sounds like we won’t need those for the foreseeable future.
Here’s the link to an interesting article on Military Times:
By Suzanna Brugler, Deputy, NAVSUP GLS Office of Corporate Communications
SAN DIEGO (NNS) — Naval Supply Systems Command Global Logistics Support (NAVSUP GLS) Household Goods (HHG) announced that Navy permanent change of station (PCS) letters of instruction (LOIs) will be issued during the “peak of the peak” moving season July 5.
Peak moving season runs from the beginning of May until Aug. 15. “Peak of the peak” moving season lands during late June to early July.
“Budget challenges and PCS funding shortfalls have resulted in significantly compressed orders lead time. Our senior leadership fully understands the impact that this compressed lead time has had on our Sailors and their families as the uncertainty associated with waiting for official orders impacts all aspects of an impending move,” said Paul Brown, director of NAVSUP GLS warfighter family support.
In an effort to mitigate the impact of short notice release of orders, the Navy is expanding the issuance of LOIs in order to enable greater flexibility and to provide greater certainty to an already stressful situation associated with a PCS move.
Currently, Sailors receiving orders to an Overseas or Remote Continental U.S. (CONUS) location are issued LOIs to complete the required overseas screening for the member and their family, to initiate the passport application process, and start any required security clearance investigations. These LOIs are released via message traffic.
Starting in July 2017, Naval Personnel Command (NPC) will begin issuing separate LOIs for most PCS orders not covered by the existing LOIs associated with overseas and remote CONUS assignment.
Sailors will be able to complete operational sea duty screening, update security clearances, take permissive temporary duty (TDY) for residence hunting, begin the entitlement counseling and application processes for the movement of HHG and make reservations for travel with the LOI.
There are some limitations to what can be accomplished with an LOI. An LOI cannot be used to obligate or expend government funds. For example, an LOI cannot be used to receive advance military or travel pay, to charge airline tickets, to secure a pickup date to ship HHG or personally owned vehicles (POV), to place HHG or POVs in storage or to authorize the reimbursement for a personally procured move (PPM).
Upon receipt of the LOI, service members should access the Defense Personal Property System (DPS) and use “NAVYLOI” as the PCS order number when inputting their HHG requirements into the system. The LOI and supporting documents such as a signed DD 1299 (application for shipment and/or storage of personal property) and DD 1797 (personal property counseling checklist) must be digitally scanned and uploaded into DPS.
The LOI shall not be used for actual movement of personnel, dependents, HHG or POVs. It is incumbent on commands to establish successful message traffic receipt and delivery to ensure receipt of LOIs for incoming members.
Depending on the funding environment and the lead time of PCS orders, this may not occur until shortly before the planned move. It is important to note that a moving company cannot be assigned, nor a pickup date guaranteed, until official PCS orders have been released by NPC.
Early application submission of Service members’ HHG requirements into DPS will provide better communication and planning information to industry in order to best serve Navy personnel.
Service members may email questions to email@example.com or call 1-855-HHG-MOVE (444-6683) for assistance. NAVSUP GLS will collaborate with other services to support Navy members who utilize non-Navy Personal Property offices.
Service members are encouraged to visit https://www.navsup.navy.mil/household/ for the schedule of HHG entitlement webinars and other valuable information. This website or the local personal property office will provide families with detailed instructions on completing the online household goods move application in DPS, accessible through www.move.mil.
Commands are requested to proactively encourage members to begin the HHG move application process as early as possible. Additionally, upon receipt of a LOI, service members may request permissive TDY for residence hunting in accordance with MILPERSMAN 1320-210.
The following orders will not receive LOIs: temporary limited duty (TLD), home port changes, pre-commission units, Expeditionary Combat Readiness Center (ECRC), Afghanistan-Pakistan (AFPAK) Hands, pregnancies, accessions, retirements and separations.
Members who move their HHG or POV without funded PCS orders in hand will not be reimbursed for expenses incurred prior to receipt of orders.
As a recap, to get started creating your application in DPS without orders, follow the below guidelines:
– Access DPS online by going to www.move.mil;
– Select “Yes” when asked if you have hard copy orders;
– Use “NAVYLOI” for the Order Number;
– Use the current date as the Order Date;
– Upload LOI into DPS as the Orders;
– Upload signed DD Form 1299;
– Upload signed DD Form 1797;
– Submit application in DPS.
Service members may contact the DPS System Response Center, or help desk, over the phone at 800-462-2176, 24 hours a day, seven days a week for DPS web site related issues. For all others concerns, service members should email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-855-HHG-MOVE (444-6683) for assistance.
NAVSUP GLS provides global logistics for a global Navy. The organization is made up of approximately 6,300 military and civilian logistics professionals operating from 105 locations worldwide, providing an extensive array of integrated global logistics and contracting services to Navy, Marine Corps, joint operational units and allied forces across all warfare enterprises.
From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs
WASHINGTON (NNS) — The Navy announced Friday in NAVADMIN 159/17 that beginning July 5, most Sailors will receive a Letter of Intent (LOI) that will help them coordinate a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) household good shipment much earlier, as well as complete other necessary screenings.
These mitigation efforts and innovative process changes will now allow most Sailors to complete operational (sea duty) screenings, update security clearances, take permissive Temporary Duty (TDY) to find a residence, and begin the entitlement counseling and application processes for the movement of Household Goods (HHG) before receiving funded orders.
“We understand the impact that compressed PCS lead times have had on Sailors and their families preparing to move,” said Chief of Naval Personnel Vice Adm. Robert Burke. “That is why we have been working hard to develop and implement solutions within our control that minimize the impact to our Sailors. Our focus and priority remains on manning the Fleet, and taking care of Sailors and their families.”
Previously, only Sailors receiving orders to an overseas duty location were issued LOIs to start the process of completing overseas and medical screenings, dependent entry approval, passport applications and security clearance requests. Now, most Sailors will receive an LOI.
“While we are working hard to ultimately provide Sailors six months of orders lead time, these are tangible changes that will help Sailors prepare for their upcoming move several months in advance,” said Burke. “We believe these changes will enable greater flexibility and help alleviate some of the challenges of the already stressful situation associated with a PCS move.”
Upon receipt of an LOI, Sailors should access the Defense Personal Property System (DPS), accessible through http://www.move.mil. If not in receipt of funded PCS orders, “NAVYLOI” should be entered as the PCS order number to begin the process of shipping their HHG. When funding is received and PCS orders are issued, NPC will provide the HHG offices with a copy of the Sailor’s PCS orders for upload into DPS and send the moving request to industry. Additionally, Personnel Support Detachments can make reservations for travel with the LOI.
However, because an LOI does not contain a line of accounting, it cannot be used to issue tickets, receive advanced military and/or travel pay, ship HHGs and Privately Owned Vehicles (POV) or place them in storage, or used to reimburse for a personally procured move.
While most Sailors will receive an LOI for their PCS orders, the following types of orders are not eligible to receive one: Temporary Limited Duty (TLD), Home Port Changes, Pre Commission units, Expeditionary Combat Readiness Center (ECRC), Afghanistan-Pakistan (AFPAK) Hands, pregnancies, accessions, retirements and separations. These types of orders have defined release timelines well in advance, making an LOI unnecessary.
Service members are encouraged to visit https://www.navsup.navy.mil/household/ for the schedule of Household Goods Entitlement Webinars and other valuable information. This website or the local Personal Property Office will provide families with detailed instructions on completing the online household goods move application. Commands are requested to proactively encourage members to begin the HHG move application process as early as possible.
Commander Navy Installations Command (CNIC) provides the following reminders to facilitate other aspects of PCS move planning:
Those Sailors applying for Navy family housing can be placed on the housing waitlist according to the date of detachment from the Sailor’s prior permanent duty station based on their PCS orders, provided that a housing application is submitted within 30 days of the reporting date. Advance applications will be accepted. However, placement on the list will not occur until the Sailor reports to the gaining Command. This ensures Navy family housing waitlists are independent of orders receipt date.
Housing also provides a tool that allows Sailors and their families to engage with Housing Service Center staff at one or more Navy installations worldwide earlier in the PCS process. The Housing Early Assistance Tool (HEAT) can be accessed at http://www.cnic.navy.mil/HEAT, even before PCS orders are issued. No CAC is required to access the website.
Additionally, MilitaryChildCare.com provides a single online gateway for families to access military-operated or military-subsidized child care options worldwide across all Services. Due to the standardized request process and waitlist management tools, the DoD site offers a more streamlined approach for finding and requesting care and providing Anticipated Placement Time (APT) estimates. This allows families to submit requests for care at programs with an APT that most closely fulfills their needs. Since APT estimates may change, families are advised to review all their options on a regular basis and submit requests for all DoD child care operations that may meet their requirements.
For more information on PCS orders lead times and LOI issuance, read NAVADMIN 159/17.
Sailors can also contact the Navy Personnel Customer Service Center at: (866) U-Ask-NPC (827-5672), or via email at: UASKNPC@NAVY.MIL.