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How Budget Cuts Will Impact Your PCS

Beware – if you’re gearing up for a PCS in the next few months, getting all those nagging details squared away with the transportation office could take longer than usual, DoD moving officials tell us.

That’s because base transportation offices will be even more understaffed than usual thanks to the employee furloughs required by the budget cuts.

Officials with the Defense Personal Property Program (DP3), which oversees all PCS moves across the DoD and Coast Guard, said the best thing families can do is plan as far ahead as possible and exercise a little patience. They said the slowdown won’t impact whether you can move or not – just the timing for getting it done.

“Worst case scenario we are anticipating it might just take a longer time to get information or get those moves booked,” said John Johnson, a deputy chief of staff at DP3. “Anything you can do to prepare ahead of time would be important so you can save some time.”

That means hitting up the transportation office as soon as you have orders in hand, attending the required briefings as early as possible and not procrastinating on anything move related. Know that lines might be longer and workers might be slower – so plan accordingly.

And it won’t just be military families waiting longer for information, Johnson said. The companies contracted to do the actual moves will have to wait for communication and bookings, too.

But just because the slowdown at the transportation office won’t keep you from moving doesn’t necessarily mean your planned PCS is safe. For example, budget cuts have impacted the number of slots available at schools across the services while the drawdown is changing the needs of the military. One family out of Fort Campbell recently took their house off the market when, thanks to sequestration, a hold was put on their planned early Jun move to the Defense Language School in Monterey, Calif.

Worried that your PCS may be canceled entirely? It may be time to ask your spouse to talk to his command to get a feeling for just what may be coming down the road.

Because where any PCS is concerned – during sequestration or not – the best thing to do is to make no assumptions and take nothing for granted.

About Amy Bushatz

Amy is the managing editor of Military.com’s spouse and family blog SpouseBuzz.com. A journalist by trade, Amy also covers spouse and family news for Military.com where she is an Associate Editor. An Army wife and mother of two, Amy has been featured as a subject matter expert on NPR and in the New York Times. Follow her on twitter @amybushatz.