Once a notice of a new assignment gets kicked out, there are a few things that will need to get done before getting the “Official PCS Orders”. This is where a good PCS checklist will come in handy!
The military member will know this as “Out-processing”. This means that the service member will be given a list of tasks to do in order to get the official PCS orders. This list will have certain tasks that the military member and their family need to get done before they can officially leave their current base.
Aside from the out-processing list, I’ve also added some extra (and important) tasks that need to be done as well.
Before the PCS Checklist
I want to make sure you know about some resources available to you, that you might not know about or use.
Most bases have “family readiness centers” (or AFRC if you are on an Air Force base) that can provide help to answer any questions you may have about an upcoming PCS.
In addition to the AFRC, another great resource for information is the military community. There are a TON of military pages on Facebook that you can search for and ask all the questions to your heart’s content.
That being said, I want to share with you another helpful resource; the PCS checklist. I’ve created this PCS checklist to take the guess work out of what needs to get done for your next PCS.
Grab a pen, piece of paper, and lets gets started!
1) Get your no-fee passports/tourist passports NOW (for OCONUS)
I wish I would’ve known this tip when we were notified about our new assignment as “newbies”
At that time, I thought that we needed to wait for our “official orders” to get our no-fee passports, but I’m here to tell you that you DO NOT NEED TO WAIT AND YOU SHOULD NOT WAIT!
The no-fee passport is a military issued passport that is needed in order to get into and stay in the country that you’re PCSing to. You also need this passport number to get your “official orders”, and getting your official orders is the goal here!
After you apply and receive your no-fee passport and the military member submitted the proper paperwork for the orders, you will then want to apply for your tourist passport. The tourist passport is needed if you want to travel outside the country that you’ll be stationed at, and believe me, you will want to travel!
Oh, in case you were wondering.. OCONUS stands for Outside Continental United States AKA being stationed overseas.
2) Pet documentation/FAVN/Quarantine
This one’s for the people that have fur babies. Make sure to contact your vet on base and make an appointment so they can start the quarentine process for you as soon as possible, time is so crucial for this step!The whole process includes shots, blood tests, quarantine, and scheduling to name a few.
Here’s a post that breaks down everything you need to know about PCSing with dogs.
3) Medical/Dental Clearance
The good news for this step is that spouses can make the medical and dental appointments for themselves and all other dependants. The military member will have their own medical/dental appointment that will be separate from the family, so no need to worry about making one for them.
Forms needed (we’re an Air Force family so I would double check which forms you need if your family is in a different branch):
- AF form 1466 – Request for family member’s medical & educational clearance for travel
- DD form 2792 – Family member medical summary
- AF IMT 1466D – Dental health summary
4) Book flights
Make sure that your military member talks to TMO (Travel management office) to schedule your flight out. If you are traveling with dogs, make sure TMO books them a spot on the Rotator (military flight) or commercial flight that you are on.
If you are traveling on a commercial flight with your pup, call the airline to double check that they have space for your dog.
5) Book hotel/TLF (temporary lodging facility)
Here’s another one that gets misconceptions that you need orders for,YOU DO NOT NEED ORDERS TO BOOK TLF OR HOTELS!
I would suggest booking a hotel and TLF ASAP! Especially if you have dogs and especially if you are PCSing during PCS peak season (May-Aug).
6) School forms
If you have any children in school, you’ll need to have some forms signed by their school. You’ll also need to let the school know that your family is PCSing. They will provide you with your child’s school records/transcripts.
- DD form 2792-1 – Special education/early intervention summary
- Sealed envelope – containing student records
7) Create a PCS binder
And thats the gist of it!
Let’s make PCSing easier with FREE printables! Just click here to tell me where to send them.