Among the many decisions military families make during a PCS, the decision to handle the move as Government coordinated or DITY move is key. AHRN.com examines the difference between the two to help you decide if a DITY move is the right fit for you!
Whether you are facing your first PCS (permanent change of station) orders or your 10th, the many choices to make can be overwhelming. Among the first choices to make is how to transport your household goods. Service members choose between a government procured move or a personally procured move (also called a DITY). It is important to understand the full scope of each option when deciding which is the best option for you!
What is a DITY (Government Procured Move)?
A government procured move is when the transportation of your household goods is arranged by your installation’s Transportation Office, transported by government contracted carriers, and paid for directly by the DOD to the carrier. It is a popular option for military families, especially when there is a multi-day trip involved in getting to the new duty station.
How does a DITY (Government Procured Move) work?
Depending on the installation, your government procured move begins with a briefing through either your transportation office or DOD’s move.mil website. The briefing will give you general information for the PCS process and walk you through your next steps. At this point, it is key to establish an estimated weight of your HHGs (household goods) and identify any prohibited items and any high value items that will need special packing materials. A representative from the contractor selected by the Transportation office to handle your move will do a walk through of your home to help you with the accuracy of your estimated weight and determine how many people and days will be required to pay and load your HHGs. On the scheduled day, between two and five movers will arrive to pack your home into moving boxes and begin disassembling any large furniture. They will also start a HHGs inventory that you will need to keep a close eye on — it should reflect what is included in each box. You will be expected to separate any prohibited items, professional gear and anything you plan to transport yourself. On the day of your “pack out,” your household goods will be loaded onto the moving truck and either shipped straight to your new home or transported to your new installation and placed in short term storage until your new home is ready. Upon arrival, you can schedule delivery of your HHGs. Contracted movers will unload your things and carry away any boxes and packing paper that has been unpacked. During the unloading, you will be asked to inventory and examine your things for damage.
What is a Personally Procured Move?
Service members have the option to arrange transport of their household goods themselves and opting not to use the military contracted carriers. In this case, the service member is responsible for moving HHGs via rental equipment, privately owned vehicle or hiring a commercial carrier. In that case, the service member is reimbursed up to the amount the government would have paid a contractor for their allowed weight.
What are the benefits of a PPM?
It can be assumed that no one will take as great a care with your belongings as you will. Smart PPM movers can watch and cut costs, and so end with a profit. By retaining control of your belongings, you mitigate the chance for damage and lost items. Since you do not have to work with the transportation office for scheduling, you are able to arrange your move on your own schedule.
What are the benefits of a Government Procured Move?
For many service members and their families, the lure of making money on DITY move is outweighed by the labor involved. With a government procured move, much of the “heavy lifting” of your PCS (literally, the packing and moving of your goods) is handled by commercial carriers. It still is not all fun, though, as any damage will have to be claiming – requiring additional paperwork. Scheduling can be difficult, especially during the peak of PCS season at large installations, so you end up arranging your PCS around the pick up and delivery of your HHGs.
Government or PPM: Which is best for you?
Having to choose? Consider the needs of you and your family. If you have young children, a government procured move means that you won’t need to find childcare at both ends of your move while you unload your HHGs. If you plan to turn your PCS trip into a vacation, you might not want to be hauling a moving truck along to the amusement park. If you are single, don’t have kids, or have kids old enough to help, a personally procured move will allow you a great deal of flexibility with the chance of coming out ahead financially.
Something in Between: Partial PPM
If you are driving to your new duty station no matter what move option you choose, a partial PPM is worth considering. A partial PPM can be filed when you transport a portion of your belongings and use a government procured move for the remainder. If you have a vehicle that is capable of towing a trailer, you can rent a trailer to transport more of your belongings. If a partial PPM is a viable option, you will need to notify your installation transportation when you set up the government procured part of your move and discuss any service specific requirements. When you do, your weight allowance will be split between your partial PPM and your government move. Your transportation office will give you a list of items that are not allowed to be transported as part of your PPM, including construction materials (like extra lumber or carpet, nails, anything on the prohibited government move list or anything designed to simply increase your weight). It is vital that you adhere to these guidelines, as violating them is considered fraud and punishable by UCMJ. During your trip, it is key to save all receipts and paperwork (including fuel) in order to be fully paid for the weight you move. Your vehicle will be weighed both empty and full at certified scales; a list of local scales can be found at the transportation office. For service member who are driving any way, a partial PPM offers a way to have access to the essentials while you are waiting for housing and in transition.
Learn more about your next PCS move
We want to know:
Which kind of PCS have you done? Which do you prefer?