Steps to take and resources to consult when you receive PCS orders

When you receive Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders, you're bound to have mixed feelings. You're likely to be excited about the upcoming change and the chance to meet new people and see new places. But you're also likely to feel stressed about the logistics of the move and about helping family members -- especially children and teenagers -- with the transition. Fortunately, there are steps you can take and resources available to help you make plans, stay organized, help your children -- and keep a step ahead while you move.

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First steps and resources

Gaining a sense of control over your move can help ease the stress. Whether this is your first move or your fifteenth, it's a good idea to:

Branch-specific resources

As you begin to plan, be sure to contact your service branch's resource for helping with PCS moves:

U.S. Army

The Army Community Service Center, at each installation, offers a Relocation Readiness program that provides comprehensive help with relocation issues -- including preparing to move, the move itself, and handling stress.

Helping your children and teenagers

No matter what age your children are, there are steps you can take to help them with the transition. Keep in mind that from the very beginning -- when you first get PCS orders -- it's important to:

Helping younger children

Helping teenagers

Relocating can be especially stressful for teenagers, whose emotional states are often in some sort of turmoil even without the knowledge of a coming move. It's important to make sure your teenager is included in the decisions she can be included in from the start. It's also important to make sure your teenager understands the details of the move. "Helping Your Teenager Cope with Relocation," available on the Military OneSource Web site, offers strategies for parents relocating with teenagers.

If your child has special needs

If your child has special needs, you will have some extra steps to take as you get ready to move. Be sure to:

Taking care of yourself

In order to navigate the adventure (and the boxes) ahead, you need to take all the steps you can to take care of yourself. Be sure to:


Relocation / PCS Topics of Interest: