Congress Cuts to Affect Peak Season for Military PCS

Military families positioned across the country likely aren’t strangers to permanent change of station orders (PCS). Relocation to a new base can be an overwhelming proposition for anyone, especially if they’ve been in one location for a long time. While there’s no need to panic, new legislation was recently approved and changes to the PCS infrastructure have been made as a result. With Congress applying pressure to the Pentagon to reevaluate its spending, PCS seemed like the low hanging fruit for military constituents to cut back on.

While the idea of longer tours and fewer PCS moves seems positive on the surface, there are a few caveats that soldiers should be aware of. On a macro level, the realignment of PCS structure can have lasting impacts on career development, the selection of leaders and the way units are managed, according to the Army Times. It’s likely that select individuals will be chosen early on and groomed for leadership positions, which often includes many moves to ensure a diversified experience base. Other troops – such as middle managers – could have fewer jobs for longer tours over the course of their careers.

Congress cuts target PCS

Each year, Congress spends nearly $4 billion in PCS moves – a particularly low number in the massive budget of the U.S. Department of Defense. Legislators recently approved policies that cut the 2014 budget by 5 percent, or about $150 million. Specifically, the cuts will focus on PCS funding from one permanent station to the next and will eliminate the budget for moving new recruits into service, the Army Times added. Since the bill was included in the House and Senate’s house appropriations legislation, there’s a good chance the cuts will become active sooner rather than later.

A majority of families who end up moving each year have to pack their bags between May 15 and Aug. 31 – the time known as PCS season. Specifically, 65 percent of PCS moves occur during this season, according to Military.com. Families will likely be affected by the budget reductions, although the manner in which they face change is yet to be determined. Since a new contractor has taken over the moving and storage processes, some troops may have to drive farther distances to pick up or drop off their belongings, as well as vehicles for POV shipping.

Not all troops have to worry about their personal property, though. If families decide to carry out a personally procured move, they can organize the process themselves, allowing them to choose the safest and cheapest option.

uShip provides a trusted online shipping marketplace so PCS moves don’t have to be an issue. uShip not only saves people time and energy, but it also allows them to choose a shipping option that’s under their price roof. That means families can pocket the extra funding they’re allocated that they don’t spend on the move. Visit uShip for Military to learn more.