Retired Maj. Sokhom Chhim prepares his car for shipping while Terri Chhim and their mini golden doodle Noodles sit to the side of the garage April 20 in Normandy Village. The Chhims, who have lived on Fort Leavenworth for six years, are in the process of moving to Arizona. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp

Charlotte Richter/Staff Writer

This time of year, many service members begin processing forms and other necessary steps to move to their next duty stations during the annual “permanent-change-of-station season.”

Despite the large local population PCSing, Fort Leavenworth is considered a small installation, and thus the number of staff members processing PCS forms is relatively small.

At the installation level, Knowledge Management Analyst Joy Chalmers, Garrison Plans, Analysis and Integration Office, said command teams make decisions based on guidance from an Installation Management Command team designated to manage the moving process with Army-wide data. She said the role of leaders during the PCS process is accommodation.

Chalmers said Fort Leavenworth is unlike other installations because of the fast turnover of a large population.

Retired Maj. Sokhom Chhim pauses from getting his car ready for trailering to hug his 4-year-old neighbor Kenneth Ichinose, who stopped by on his way to school, April 20 in Normandy Village. The Chhim family, who have lived on Fort Leavenworth for six years, are in the process of moving to Arizona. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp

“It’s been people first for a long time here on the installation. But at the at the unit level, (leaders) have to make sure that they’re taking care of their service members and taking care of their family members because PCSing in and out of Fort Leavenworth is unlike any other PCS experience across the Army,” Chalmers said.

Chalmers said transportation systems and the housing office are expected to be better staffed than during the COVID-19 conditions experienced in the past two years. She said because of recent increases in gas prices, however, changes in shipment timelines are likely to change based on the needs of transportation service providers.

Chalmers said each step in the PCS process is dependent on the previous step. The process is more efficient when service members take as much initiative as possible.

“Even if you’ve got a two-week deadline, trying to take care of it the next day if you can, because the sooner you can get your levy form packets together, the sooner you can get orders, the sooner you can schedule that transportation, and then you can be out with a smooth move,” Chalmers said.

She said those moving should also maintain a positive attitude, build some flexibility into their schedules, and stay engaged with the information shared by senior leaders.

Chalmers said service members and families should use Military OneSource for moving resources. She also suggested that community members reach out to Army Community Service for support during the moving process, including service members and their families who have moved previously.

“(ACS) provides some excellent resources and classes and one-on-one consultation for making the moving process easy,” Chalmers said.

Upcoming ACS classes include lessons on stress and emotional management and the physical aspects of moving such as the “Master Any Move” class at 1 p.m. April 27, May 4, 11 and 18 at the Resiliency Center.

For more information about the PCS process, call Chalmers at 913-684-1758 or ACS at 913-684-2800.

For information on upcoming ACS classes, visit https://leavenworth.armymwr.com/calendar. For more resources, visit https://www.militaryonesource.mil/movinghousing/moving/pcs-and-military-moves/.

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