Marine Corps PCS

Moving in the Marines

Making a permanent change of station (PCS) in the Marine Corps can entail many tasks. Whether it’s your first or fifth PCS, there’s quite a bit to think about and do. To help you get started, we’ve compiled some important information about moving options, government travel charge cards (GTCC), entitlements, housing availability and other details specific to the Marine Corps.

Recommended reading: How to Complete a Military Move. Information about PCS moving and how the process works with U-Pack®.

Marine uniform of man making a Marine Corps PCS move.


What to do after receiving orders

After receiving official orders, log in to (or create an account with) the Defense Personal Property System. Here, you can complete your mandatory self-counseling (Marines PCSing for the first time must also complete counseling at a local Defense Management Office), submit your primary and alternate move dates (must be done at least 90 days in advance of moving) and get access to a variety of resources.

Next, you’ll want to visit your installation’s Information and Referral (I&R) office for a welcome aboard briefing. This briefing may include details about your orders, entitlements, new station, spouse employment opportunities, and CONUS (Contiguous United States) and OCONUS (Outside Continental United States) moving specifics.

It’s also a good idea to visit your local Personal Property Shipping Office (PPSO) for help deciding how to move.

Differences in government moves and DITY moves for the Marine Corps

With any PCS, there are two primary ways to move: A government move or a personally procured move (PPM). While the process generally works the same for all branches, there are a few specific things to note:

Government move details

As of January 1, 2016, the Marine Corps now requires all Marines completing a government move to use a Government Travel Charge Card to pay for all moving-related expenses (e.g., fuel, lodging, airfare, meals and rental cars).

The credit limit applied to the GTCC is based on an estimate of the Marine’s and his/her dependents’ total entitlement. The card is available for use 10 days before departure and it remains active until 15 days after checking in with your new command. To receive reimbursement, you must pay for all expenses with the GTCC. Leftover funds can be used for security deposits, carpet cleaning, appliances, etc., at your new home. Keep in mind that you’ll have to pay for any costs that exceed the limit. Talk with your PPSO for additional information.

PPM info

Marines completing a PPM can request an Advance Operating Allowance (AOA) of up to 60 percent of the total expected cost. This doesn’t include those who are using a personal vehicle to complete the move.

Entitlements to ask about

The government offers a variety of benefits to help offset the costs of moving, lodging, meals and more for military members and their dependents. It’s best to talk with the I&R office or with your PPSO to ask about the benefits you can apply for. These entitlements include:

  • Per Diem
  • Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH)
  • Dislocation Allowance (DLA)
  • Temporary Lodging Expense (TLE)
  • Moving-In Housing Allowance (MIHA)

Marine Corps housing options

Shortly after receiving PCS orders, begin searching for housing. If you want to live on base, you’ll have to present some forms (like DD Form 1746 and your official orders) to the PPSO. You’ll then be placed on an advanced housing wait list, but won’t be put into the rotation of receiving a house until you check in for duty. If housing is available once you check in, you’ll be placed in a home. If there are no vacant accommodations, you’ll stay on the waiting list and will have to find alternative temporary arrangements (paid for by the Marine Corps). Talk with your PPSO for additional information.

PCS with U-Pack!

Does a PPM sound like the ideal way to PCS? If so, let U-Pack help! Here’s how our service works: You pack and load your items, and then we deliver it to your new station. We also provide the weight tickets you need for compensation. It’s a simple and convenient way to move. Get a free online quote or call 844-362-5303844-594-3077 to see how much your Marine Corps move will cost.

If you have any questions, leave a comment below and we’ll answer shortly. Thank you for your service!