• Summer PCS planning tips offered at town hall

    • email print
  • Katie Peterson | Staff Writer
    Army University and the Fort Leavenworth Garrison hosted a Summer Transition Town Hall for spouses Jan. 17 in Eisenhower Auditorium at the Lewis and Clark Center.
    The town hall briefed spouses on the best transition procedures for those who will go through a permanent change of station move this summer.
    “This is your PCS,” said Mark Salas, Garrison Human Resources director. “It is going to require your energy, your planning (and) your follow through to make this happen satisfactorily.”
    Because Fort Leavenworth is home to the Command and General Staff College, more people are both arriving and leaving post at the same time than at other installations. During peak season — May through July — Fort Leavenworth will manage 3,500 shipments; 560 houses will change occupancy; 1,080 students will leave, with 20 percent going overseas; and 1,116 students will arrive at Fort Leavenworth for the Command and General Staff Officer Course and the School of Advanced Military Studies, with 65 percent living in on-post housing.
    Because of the number of people trying to move at the same time, the spouses were advised to follow a specific step-by-step process to help make things as seamless as possible.
    Step One: Receiving Orders
    The process begins when a soldier receives his or her request for orders.
    “Once you’ve got your RFO, I recommend you sit down with your calendar and start backwards planning from your report date and develop a plan for you and your family,” Salas said. “You want to have a plan, because what we’re trying to avoid is doing amendments or changes to your orders.”
    After plans are made, soldiers who will PCS to outside the contiguous United States, which includes Alaska and Hawaii, need to complete the online levy brief accessible at https://home.army.mil/leavenworth/index.php/my-fort/all-services/reassignments-levy-brief.
    The levy brief allows soldiers to print off several forms needed for transfer including all medical and Exceptional Family Member Program paperwork, a levy certificate and a questionnaire.
    For families staying in the United States, Salas said he and his team will be able to cut the orders right away.
    For more information, contact Salas at 684-1697 or e-mail mark.h.salas.civ@mail.mil.
    Step Two: Medical
    For those who will PCS OCONUS, Munson Army Health Center will contact the soldier to set up an overseas screening and an EFMP coordination meeting for all family members.
    Certain documents are required to complete the overseas screening. Soldiers are required to have a signed Department of the Army Form 5888, Family Member Deployment Screening Sheet; a completed DA Form 7246, EFMP screening questionnaire; off-post medical records and any documents proving that each family member has received a physical within a year of the PCS report date. Each family member must be listed on the DA Form 5888. Every family member listed on the form must be present for the final screening appointment.
    Page 2 of 3 - Sailors, airmen and Marines do not need a signed DA Form 5888. Sailors and Marines require web orders and immunization records.
    For more information, contact John Sprecher, EFMP coordinator, at 684-6250 or e-mail john.j.sprecher.civ@mail.mil.
    Step Three: Transportation
    Once the above steps are completed, visit www.move.mil to register with the Defense Personal Property System.
    “It is a self-counseling system,” said Charis Ford, Fort Leavenworth transportation officer. “I understand it can be difficult, but if you read through everything it is easy. That is where you’re going to select your pack and pick-up dates, and it will ask you a series of questions (about your move).”
    The DPS counseling registration will also ask about whether or not the family is moving any professional gear — which includes instruments, tools, equipment or any other items specific to a person’s profession — uniforms and reference materials not readily supplied at the next duty station.
    “You must declare pro gear at the time of counseling. Currently, it has a default setting of 10 pounds,” Ford said. “If you don’t adjust that 10 pounds, that is not considered to be pro gear and you will not get pro gear in that destination.”
    For those interested in shipping a personal vehicle, visit www.pcsmypov.com for more information.
    If passports are needed for traveling OCONUS, call 684-4078. Ford recommended starting the process early.
    For more information, contact Rita Newbell-Wright, chief of the Transportation Division, at 684-5656 or e-mail rita.a.newbell-wright.civ@mail.mil.
    Step 4: Housing
    Once DPS gives a packing and moving date, soldiers living in on-post housing must visit the Fort Leavenworth Frontier Heritage Communities office to schedule move-out and inspection dates giving at least 30 days’ notice. Orders are required by the final move-out date if they have not yet been received.
    Families will be given a handout with cleaning tips and possible charges for damage. FLFHC will also help families compute any pro-rated rent that will be due by the final move-out date.
    Upon the final move-out date, FLFHC will have any final utility charges, assess the home for cleanliness and damage, and ensure the home is ready for the family to hand over the keys.
    Any final charges can be paid at the FLFHC office.
    For more information, contact Deb Healy, FLFHC director, at (913) 682-6300 or e-mail dhealy@tmo.com. For all necessary documents, visit www.ftleavenworthfamilyhousing.com.
    Page 3 of 3 - Step 5: Finance
    When preparing to PCS, soldiers need to keep three things in mind — advance pay requests, travel advance requests and the Basic Allowance for Housing secretarial waiver.
    For more information, contact William French, Defense Military Pay Office director, at 684-5710 or e-mail william.v.french.civ@mail.mil.
    Step 6: Other tips
    For students preparing to PCS, the process should be done through the Staff Group Adjutant. For more information, students can contact Terrell Bruner at 684-7321 or e-mail terrell.w.bruner2.civ@mail.mil.
    Those who are not CGSC students and are preparing to PCS should go through their unit S1.
    It is important to note that moving out early is an option to avoid the rush and help the process go smoother for incoming students.
    “One of the things we saw last year was people staying, which affected your ability to come in,” Col. Marne Sutten, Garrison commander, told the CGSC spouses. “So, I encourage you if you want to leave early, it is a consideration of the process because your replacements have to wait until you exit the house. I appreciate you not only considering that for your family, but you also do that in consideration of your replacement.”
  • Comment or view comments