The U.S. Army is addressing service members’ PCS (permanent change of station) issues this summer with a newly created crisis action team, or CAT, that meets daily.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, military families are facing challenges created by national shortages of moving trucks and drivers. From April 1 through Sept. 30, a period Army leaders call the “summer surge,” more than 54,000 people will move from one duty station to another.
In response, leaders with the U.S. Army Materiel Command and its major subordinate command, U.S. Army Installation Management Command, have created a PCS Moves CAT. Similar action was taken two years ago when Army leaders tackled on-base housing problems.
“People are the Army’s number one priority, and the Army will do everything in its power to facilitate PCS moves for our families,” said Lt. Gen. Doug Gabram, IMCOM commanding general.
On July 19, Maj. Gen. Omar J. Jones IV, IMCOM deputy commanding general, began directing the IMCOM daily meetings, which will integrate directly with the AMC PCS Moves CAT and other commands around the Army to focus support toward garrison commanders. In turn, it is garrison commanders who integrate all Army services on their installation to help smooth the way for successful PCS moves to and from their location.
The teams are tasked with providing continuous and accurate PCS status data points throughout the Army, and delivering proactive responses to PCS issues to ensure problems are rapidly identified and solved.
“Moving is a stressful time for any family. The Army is working to alleviate as much of the uncertainty as possible by providing tools and advice to make PCS moves more convenient, predictable and user friendly,” Gabram said.
“As we work this concept of reporting, we will learn and get better,” he said. “We have put the spotlights on the gaps in the seams, and now we’re in attack mode.”
Earlier this year, the Army upgraded its PCS policies and launched new digital products to help make moving easier for Soldiers and Families.
Changes include paying 100% of personally procured moves, providing orders 120 days in advance, and making it easier to make a claim. The Army also is holding moving companies accountable and requiring background checks and in-person inspectors.
Soldiers and Families can download free apps to assist with the PCS process: Digital Garrison, Army PCS Move, and PCS My POV.
A hotline was established to provide further assistance: 833-MIL-MOVE (833-645-6683).