PCSing Overseas Checklist

PCSing Overseas Checklist


Moving is a fact of life for military families. Every 2-4 years, military families transfer to a new duty station. Some moves are across the country, while others are around the world. Sometimes the family gets to come too, and sometimes the service member has to move alone. Whatever the circumstances, moving can be stressful and there are a lot of details to consider.

That’s why the military offers to reimburse or cover the cost of professional moving services. They don’t want you bogged down in the details either.

Here are some tips for ensuring a smooth transfer to your next duty station:

Reach out to your local transportation office

Your transportation office will be able to provide you with valuable guidance about what you can and cannot bring, as well as the process you must follow.


The U.S. Military offers a centralized website for PCS orders, to guide you through their process. You should visit this website and set up your Defense Property System (DPS) account, where you can schedule your move.

Find out what your household good weight limit is

The weight limit you are assigned will be tied to your rank and if you are bringing dependents. For example, for ranks up to E-4, a service member with a family has a maximum weight allowance of 8000 lbs. for moving household goods overseas, plus 2000 lbs. for work gear for the service member and up to 500 lbs. for work gear for the spouse.

If you don’t need it, leave it

Again, since you can only bring so much weight, you may need to set some priorities for what you take and what you leave behind. Some valuables are best left in storage for the time that you will be gone, and some items just aren’t worth what it would take to move them. Take a realistic look at your household goods and only bring what you need.

Military OneSource offers a Plan My Move tool to provide you with information and valuable guidance about your move.

If you love it, take a picture of it

Take photos of any special or valuable items that you are shipping. Taking photos of these items documents the condition of valuables before they are packed and shipped. This will be important if anything happens to your items and you need to file a claim.

Set aside your hand-carried items

Some items just can’t be left to chance. Irreplaceable items such as documents, heirlooms, family photos, and jewelry should be packed to travel with you. You should also carry with you the items you need for the first week, such as medications or the things your kids can’t live without.

Coordinate with your shipper

As soon as you receive your Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders, reach out to Three Men and a Truck to get started. We can help you manage every step of the process, offering valuable advice about what to pack and how, handling the logistics of the transfer, and ensuring that all of your paperwork is in order. International or domestic, Three Men and a Truck have the expertise and connections to get you moved from door to door safely and efficiently.


Written by Chris Townsend

Chris Townsend

Chris Townsend is a moving professional and relocation expert that has more than 10 years of experience in the moving industry. With a background that includes working in virtually every aspect of the company, he has distinguished himself as an integral part of our operations with expertise in all things related to moving.

If you have any questions about moving, our services, or anything else you think he may be able to help with, you can contact Chris by emailing him at Chris@threemenandatruck.net

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