Moving to Another State If Your Husband or Wife is Serving in the Military

Is your husband or wife serving in the military? During the spring and summer months, many members in the military are required to move since they receive Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders. This can very rapidly create a frantic situation. Moving isn’t always expensive and there are an array of alternatives for members in the army to make the transition to their new home a smooth ride, according to a report created by the US Department of Defense. We shall now delve into the peculiarities of moving to another state if your husband or wife is serving in the military. Furthermore, we will be providing you some great moving tips from military families.

Once you get a PCS order, the first step is to get in touch with your installation relocation office to find out the allowances you’ll be receiving, and contact several agencies that can make the process of transition a turkey shoot. You can also collect a lot of handy information from the office which can help you to build the right strategy for the move.

Peculiarities of an interstate move for the military

One of the biggest relocation challenges is to manage the expenses of your move. But being in the military has certain advantages which are not available to civilians. Let’s take a look at these.

Allowances for military personnel while making a move

  1. Dislocation Allowance (DLA)

DLA has been designed to help you with miscellaneous costs of moving. In general, this amount is given once for each PCS move. It’s used to partially reimburse your relocating expenses while on a PCS. You can find more information on DCS on the Defense Finance and Accounting Service Page.


The DLA is available for 48 contiguous States and the District of Columbia (CONUS) and Outside Continental United States (OCONUS).

The value of DLA is based on the Basic Allowance for Housing or BAH.

The DLA is unavailable in case of the following conditions:

  • When assigned to government quarters in the absence of family members at your new station.
  • When you are transferred to a new station but an interstate move of your household belongings has not been authorized.
  • When retiring or separating from your family.
  • When home to the initial duty station.


  1. Monetary Allowance in Lieu of Transportation

The MALT is the money you receive when you move with your family to the new location and is paid on a per mile basis for the distance travelled to the new location. The figure is calculated based on the Official Military Table of Distances and is somewhere around $2.4 per mile. It does not depend on how many members are in a vehicle or how many vehicles you use for the transition.




  1. Per Diem Allowance

This allowance has been designed to reimburse you and your family for the expenses linked to lodging and meals during the transit.



This figure is based on three determinants-the ages of the people travelling, the present CONUS standard for each diem and the number of days you need to travel to reach your new station. The number of days you travel is based on the benchmark 350 miles/day if you happen to travel in Personally Owned Vehicle or POV. To find the number of days/diem, divide the Official Government Mileage between the two stations by 350. If the remainder on dividing is 51 miles or above, you’ll be given an extra travel day.

  1. Temporary Lodging Allowance

The TLA furnishes the expenses incurred for temporary meals and housing while you wait for permanent lodging.



The TLA is calculated based on a number of factors like your pay scale, the number of members in your family, actual cost of quarters, the local rate per diem and the facility to cook. A single service member can get 65% of either incidental expenses or meal costs based on the local per day rate. One member in the family along with the service member are entitled to get 100% of the local per day rate. Family members under the age of 12 get an additional 25% each while those above 12, get 35% each.

  1. Temporary Lodging Expense

If your wife or husband is serving the military, the TLE can be another benefit while moving. It has been designed to partially reimburse for the expenses on meals besides lodging when temporary housing is required.


Meant for CONUS only

The TLE is also calculated the same way as the TLA, with the highest TLE rate being $290/day. You can claim it for up to 10 days for moves from one CONUS to the other. In the case of CONUS to OCONUS move, you can claim it up to 5 days at the most.

To know of additional benefits while moving if your husband or wife is in the army, click here.

Some effective tips for moving if your husband or wife is serving the military          

  • Start planning

If you are an army veteran, you must be familiar with the word “orders”. So when you get your orders to move to a new station, you start planning and fretting about the move months before hand. This is a true to a certain extent since if you are not well-prepared in advance, most of your moving chores will not be accomplished. However, this does not mean that you go on a crazy trip and get obsessed about the move. Wait for the actual arrival of the orders.

  • Declutter your house

Putting your house on a diet before the move is an intelligent way to reduce moving costs. Your house tends to gain weight during the relocation phase. So, a move is the best time to ask: How much stuff do I require to unpack? Following this, work on a decluttering strategy like studying every item in the house and abandoning a handful of unwanted goods each day. Throw away broken or used up stuff. You can also collect things which you don’t require and sell them on sites like Craiglist, eBay and Etsy.

  • Clean your items

One of the best things about a move is that it gives you an excuse to a brand new beginning. It feels great to start over again with things that are clean. Start washing your pillow covers, slipcovers and curtains a month before the move. You can also take the help of cleaners to get the job done. Create a space in your house to store the cleaned items before the movers arrive.

  • Purchase giant ziplocks

Packers have a tendency to grab every small item and put them haphazardly in boxes. Once you arrive to your new destination, you need to resort every good and unpack it. You can save a lot of time and energy by dumping the small and sorted items into huge ziplocks. These include things like toy bins, pencils, markers, kitchen utensils, spices and silverware.

  • Do not purchase liquids before the move

Once the mover arrives, you can easily find a huge stack of liquid items in your kitchen. Chemicals and liquids are immobile as far as relocation is concerned. However, it hurts to see hundreds of dollars being wasted away since most of the times, liquids are usually not moved to your new house. Months before leaving your old home, don’t purchase a costly shampoo, a new bottle of vanilla or a whole lot of fabric softener. Instead, make do with whatever you have. It would be a good idea to use powder form of detergents during this period.

  • Don’t move unused boxes to your new location

Professionals in the field of moving state that if you haven’t used an item in the last two years, you’ll probably not require it anymore. Sine military families relocate every 2.5 years, it indicates that if you have not used a particular item in your old home, you’ll not need it in your new station. This is particularly applicable in case of brown cardboard boxes that you never bothered about. So let them go.

If your husband or wife is in the military, you’ll be moving most of the time since it happens to be part of your duty and lifestyle. Taking some time to know the benefits given by the government to you and honing your moving skills will surely make things easier.

Moving if your Husband or Wife is Serving in the Military

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