Military Travel (PCS) Move Services And Allowances

Military Service Members Enjoy a Number of Benefits When Moving

PCS Moving
Military PCS Moves.


When a member of the U.S. military makes a permanent change-of-station (PCS) move from one duty station to another, they are entitled to a number of services and monetary allowances.

The list of all of those benefits are too numerous to list here, but below you'll find a quick guide to the major entitlements authorized in conjunction with moving from one duty assignment to another.

House Hunting Prior to a Move

A few months before the move to your next duty station, military members are allowed a permissive TDY (temporary duty) for up to 10 days in conjunction with a PCS move within the 50 states and the District of Columbia. You must travel and stay in temporary lodging on your own dime (no transportation or per diem paid), but you will not be charged for up to 10 days leave.

You can select when you prefer to take these 10 extra days of leave. You can choose to travel months in advance of your PCS move and see the local options for living arrangements, or you can take the extra 10 days of house-hunting leave and take your normal leave as you make this transition. However, if you are still living in the barracks, dorms, or on ship, you cannot take house-hunting leave.

Temporary Lodging Expense (TLE)

TLE is an allowance given to partially offset lodging and meal expenses when a member and/or dependents need to occupy temporary lodging in CONUS (continental United States) in connection with a PCS. The member receives reimbursement for temporary lodging and meal expenses.

If the member is moving from one CONUS base to another, he or sshe is authorized up to 10 days TLE, either at the former duty station or at the new duty station (or any combination, up to 10 days total). Typically, the base has temporary quarters in the form of a Navy Lodge or Air Force Inn, but if not the local hotels will have to be used and the full amount of TLE can be authorized.

TLE is not the same as per diem. Per diem is actual pay and reimbursement for lodging made during the actual travel days from one duty station to another. TLE is pay and reimbursement for temporary lodging in CONUS at the old duty station, before departure, or at the new duty station once the service member arrives.

Temporary Lodging Allowance (TLA)

TLA is for OCONUS (outside the continental United States) or overseas PCS moves. Up to 60 days—which can be extended—may be paid for temporary lodging expenses and meal expenses after a military member and family arrive at a new overseas location while awaiting housing. Up to 10 days of TLA can be paid for temporary lodging expenses in the overseas location prior to departure.

Dislocation Allowance

Military members may be entitled to a dislocation allowance (DLA) when relocating their household due to a PCS. DLA is intended to partially reimburse relocation expenses not otherwise reimbursed. DLA amounts vary by rank and dependency status.

Per Diem for PCS Travel

Military members receive a per diem allowance, which is designed to partially reimburse for lodging and meal expenses when traveling from one duty station to another.

When traveling by what is referred to as "privately owned conveyance" (POC), military members are paid a flat rate per day for each day of authorized travel used. When the member travels by commercial means, they are paid the established per diem rate for the new permanent duty station (PDS), or the rate for the delay point if the member stops overnight.

Per diem for dependents is 75% of the member's applicable rate for each dependent 12 years old or older and 50% of the member's rate for each dependent under 12 years.

Travel by POC

When members elect to travel to their new duty station by POC (such as with their own automobile or motorcycle), they are entitled to receive a mileage allowance. The reimbursement rate depends on the number of authorized travelers in the vehicle.

Dependent Travel Within CONUS

Dependents who travel within CONUS may use commercial means, unless they elect to travel by POC. The military member can be reimbursed for this travel up to what it would have cost the military to purchase an airline ticket.

Dependent Travel Outside CONUS

Dependents can travel to overseas assignment locations, either via military aircraft or by commercial means. However, if a service member purchases their own commercial airline tickets for travel to an overseas assignment location, the military may only reimburse if the aircraft is a U.S. flag air carrier. The only time one can be reimbursed for flying on a commercial foreign carrier is if Air Mobility Command does not service that overseas location.

Household Goods Transportation

Military members can ship up to 18,000 pounds of household goods (HHG) from their old duty station to their new duty station. In addition to allowing the military to arrange for movement of household goods, the member can elect to move it themselves, and receive reimbursement if the move is within CONUS.

Limited HHG Transportation Overseas

If the military member's orders state that government furnishings are provided at the overseas location, the member's household good weight shipping allowance is limited to 2,500 pounds or 25 percent of HHG weight allowance, plus non-available items. Additional items (up to the weight allowance) can be placed in non-temporary storage.

Non-Temporary Storage 

Military members can elect to have the military store all or part of their household goods on a permanent basis during the assignment, up to the maximum weight allowance.

Additional Consumables Allowance

This is a separate allowance for annual shipment of up to 1,250 pounds per year of consumable items. This weight is in addition to the household goods weight limit.

Mobile Home Transportation

When moved by a commercial transporter, reimbursement includes carrier charges, road fares, tolls, permits, and charges for the pilot car. If towed by POC, reimbursement is for actual costs. Reimbursement is limited to what it would have cost the government to transport a member's maximum HHG weight allowance.

Transportation of POVs

Military members can ship POVs in conjunction with many overseas assignments (and, of course, can ship them back to the CONUS, upon completion of the assignment). The military services can apply restrictions on this entitlement. For example, for assignments to Korea, military members must be "command sponsored" (allowed to be accompanied by family members), or must be in the grade of E-7 or above, in order to ship a vehicle.

Members may also be authorized shipment for a replacement POV during any four-year period while assigned overseas.

The military also authorizes mileage reimbursement when driving the vehicle to the authorized port for shipment, and when picking up the vehicle from the authorized receiving port.

There is only limited authority for POV shipment within CONUS. Shipment within the CONUS is authorized only when medically unable to drive, there is a homeport change, or the individual does not have enough time to drive.

POV Storage

A member is authorized storage of a POV either when ordered to an overseas assignment to which POV transportation isn't permitted or the member is sent TDY on a contingency operation for more than 30 days.

Six months prior to making your PCS move, look into all the different services and allowances you are entitled. Do your homework, as you will need to reference the Department of Defense webpages and your personnel support on your local base to set up the move to your new base.