You have PCS orders in hand, you’ve made a plan and all that’s left is to clear the installation – a process that can take days. Make a quick exit with these 6 tips for strategic out process.
1. Paperwork In order
Make sure that your paperwork is correct – if the RFO (request for orders) comes down like it’s supposed to, your unit is tracking when you’re leaving, and leave forms are in and correct. The easiest way to avoid speed bumps on the road out of town is to square the mandatory things away ahead of time.
2. Records To Hand Carry
In most PCS guides, it is recommended that you “hand carry” certain documents. That means you take them with you yourself instead of sending them off with the moving company. Before you clear DENTAC and MEDDAC, request full paper copies of your dental and medical records. Also get paper copies of records from any off-post specialists you may have been referred to. Take a look through the records you get to make sure they are complete. Although we are moving to a more integrated system, it doesn’t always work the way its supposed to. Having those paper records can save you time and a headache or two.
3. The Brief
We all know the military likes to have mandatory meetings… and out processing is no exception. Installations usually offer an (often mandatory) out-processing brief to outline the necessary procedures. As soon as you receive your orders, determine whether your duty station has a required timeline for the brief. Some installations mandate that if be no more than 14 days prior to your departure. Also, find out if you will need to make an appointment to attend the brief. During the height of the PCS season, those spots may be hard to come by.
4. Give Yourself Plenty Of Time
Don’t assume that you can breeze through out processing. Offices may be closed, something can come up or it may simply take longer than you anticipate to get to everywhere. Plan on JUST out processing during that time. You’ll drive yourself crazy if you try to out process, be there for the packers and clear your apartment or home all at the same time. Pace yourself and build in a cushion in case things don’t go as planned.
Typical offices that need to be cleared include the Central Issue Facility, Finance, Housing (even if you live off the installation), Transportation, Furnishings Management Office, Provost Marshall (did you take care of those speeding tickets?), the library, Child and Youth Services, DENTAC, MEDDAC, and Single Soldiers Quarters.
5. Ask Housing For Options
Final clearing requires being out of housing to start your PCS leave. If for some reason you need or want to stay in your on post home for some portion of your leave, ask your housing office about exceptions. Many housing offices simply require a signed statement that you are still responsible for cleaning and clearing in order to sign your clearing papers and start your leave.
6. Plan Ahead for Lodging
If you plan to stay in the affordable lodging offered on many installations while you are out processing, make those reservations as early as possible. They can go fast! Make sure you check pet policies if you have pets PCSing with you. Polices vary from installation to installation.
With a little forethought and planning, you can be on the road to your next destination in no time at all!
We want to know:
What is the toughest part of out processing for you?