U.S. Marine Corps Capt. A.J. Bormann, a public affairs officer with Headquarters and Support Battalion, Marine Corps Installation East, assists his son as he shoots a Nerf gun at a mock shooting range during the unit's Kids Boot Camp at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina on April 24, 2014.

What military kids say about PCS moves

The summer months bring vacations and time off from school for kids. But military kids often have other things happening over the summer months such as saying goodbye to friends or moving across the country (or world) during a military move. Social media is full of memes and images talking about how military brats will say goodbye to so many people in their lifetime and how resilient they are. Those of us who get to raise military kids know exactly how true this is, especially the resiliency part. PCS season is hard for the whole family, but how often do we hear from the kids involved?

Sweet, sweet foldin' money

Personal finance tips while awaiting PCS

In mid-March, the DoD put all permanent change of station (PCS) and temporary duty moves on hold due to the Coronavirus pandemic, leaving hundreds of thousands of military families in various stages of preparation for the annual PCS season in limbo until further notice. If you’re facing a delayed PCS, you’re likely also facing some personal finance questions related to your move. The good news is, there are many resources and tips available for families facing these unprecedented circumstances and the military community is always ready to support one another.

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What to do when you're waiting for PCS orders

Waiting on orders is frustrating. You know you are a ‘mover’ this year, but that’s all you know. You may not know where you’re going, or when. When your spouse attends a school, everyone is a mover. It’s not a question of “if” you will move this year, but “when.” This year, with the DoD delays because of Coronavirus, there is an even greater sense of uncertainty and insecurity. It’s difficult to prepare for a move when you don’t know where you are going. But there are things you can do now while you’re waiting to help your upcoming PCS go more smoothly.

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Now that your PCS is on hold, here’s what you can do to be prepared when they finally say go

Are you one of the thousands of military families that are stuck in PCS limbo? The recent DoD stop order on military travel has affected many military families waiting to move or preparing for an upcoming PCS. Now that the stop order has been extended indefinitely, with constant reevaluation every 15 days, families may not know more than two weeks in advance when they will finally be allowed to move. If you have ever PCS’d before, you know that 15 days is not enough time to prepare for and execute a PCS move.

A family waits for an appointment at Naval Hospital Pensacola's Pediatrics Clinic in 2012

Ways to keep the family sane during this staycation

Right now, military families are playing a terrible game of “hurry up and wait.” In an ordinary year, this would be the peak of PCS season. Military kids would be celebrating their final weeks at one school before transferring to another one over the summer. Families would be planning summer “vacations” to visit their relatives and do sight seeing during cross-country PCS moves. But of course, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this is no ordinary year.