Navy announces Letters of Intent to start move process

It’s been well-known in the Navy for the last few years – actual orders are being cut later and later, leaving sailors and their families scrambling to get themselves organized.  There have always been ways to prepare for a move without actual orders, but some stuff requires orders to happen.

The Navy has announced that it will begin issuing Letters of Intent to help families with some of the steps necessary to organize a move.  While it won’t solve all the problems with last-minute orders, it will allow some things to happen without fully-funded orders.

What You Can Do With A Letter of Intent

The following actions can occur using a Letter of Intent instead of orders:

  • operational or sea duty screenings
  • security clearance updates
  • permissive Temporary Duty (TDY) for house-hunting
  • overseas screenings
  • medical screenings
  • dependent entry approval for overseas moves
  • passport and visa applications
  • Permanent Change of Station (PCS) entitlement counseling
  • applications for the movement of household goods

What You Can Not Do Without Actual Funded Orders

There are some things the Navy can’t do, even with a Letter of Intent:

  • issue airplane tickets for transportation
  • advance military and/or travel pay
  • ship household goods
  • ship vehicles
  • place vehicles in storage
  • reimburse for personally procured move (formerly called a Do It Yourself/DITY move)

More importantly, federal law does not require landlords to accept Letters of Intent to break your lease under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.  Your landlord may choose to accept a Letter of Intent, but is not required to do so.

What Moves Won’t Get Letters of Intent?

Certain types of moves won’t receive Letters of Intent.  This is typically because either these moves are already required to receive notice early, or because the fast nature of the orders don’t make Letters of Intent necessary.  These include:

  • Temporary Limited Duty (TLD)
  • Home Port Changes
  • Pre Commission units
  • Expeditionary Combat Readiness Center (ECRC)
  • Afghanistan-Pakistan (AFPAK) Hands
  • pregnancies
  • accessions
  • retirements and separations

Letters of Intent will help some sailors and families in some situations, but they are no replacement for actual funded orders. Instructions for accessing a Letter of Intent are contained in the NAVADMIN 159/17.

By Kate Horrell,

More at