PCS and Other Common Acronyms Related to Military Moves
What on Earth Are They Talking About?
Acronyms are commonly found in almost every aspect of military life. In fact, there are numerous abbreviations that you'll undoubtedly hear or see throughout your Permanent Change of Station (PCS) move.
Featured below is a sampling of some of the most common terms that you're likely to run across. However, if you don't see what you're looking for you can always check this dictionary of military acronyms. And because no move would ever be complete without filling out various documents, you'll find at the bottom of this page a list of DoD forms that you'll most likely hear about.
Military Acronyms Pertaining to Moves
CONUS – Continental United States
Refers to the 48 states on the North American continent. Although Alaska is part of North America, it's considered outside the continental United States (OCONUS), as are Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and other U.S. territories.
DEERS – Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System
You're probably already familiar with DEERS, but if not, it's a worldwide database containing information on servicemembers and their dependents. Enrollment is required to receive your military ID card and any other military related benefits such as TRICARE. In regards to PCSing, after you move you'll need to update your DEERS enrollment.
DFAS – Defense Finance and Accounting Services
The agency that oversees military pay and pay related issues.
DITY – Do-It-Yourself
See PPM below.
DMPO – Defense Military Pay Office
Handles PCS travel related pay and finance issues.
DoDEA – Department of Defense Education Activity
Agency that oversees the school system for military kids.
DPS – Defense Personal Property System
An internet-based computerized program that manages DoD household goods moves. To utilize this program go to Move.mil.
GCC – Government Constructed Costs
The moving fees the government would have to pay when relocating a servicemember and their dependents to a new duty station.
HHG – Household Goods
Furniture and other personal belongings.
MALT – Mileage instead of Transportation
If you choose to drive your privately owned vehicle(s) (POV) from your old duty station to your new location, the government will pay you a set amount for each vehicle.
OCONUS – Outside Continental United States
Regions outside the continental United States such as Germany, Korea, and Japan. Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, and Puerto Rico are also considered OCONUS.
PCS – Permanent Change of Station
Relocating from one duty station to another. Includes stateside and overseas moves.
POV – Privately Owned Vehicle
A vehicle owned by the servicemember or their dependents.
PPM – Personally Procured Move
Formerly referred to as DITY the PPM occurs when a servicemember chooses to hire private movers instead of utilizing the services provided by the military.
RITA – Relocation Income Tax Allowance
Allowance meant to reimburse travelers who paid additional federal, state and local taxes due to a PCS move. This allowance is not automatic. You must apply for it.
TLA – Temporary Lodging Allowance
An allowance for temporary meals and housing when making an OCONUS move. The allowance covers up to 60 days while you await housing. However, it can be extended if necessary.
TLE – Temporary Lodging Expense
Payment to offset temporary lodging and meals while you're at your old duty station or after you've arrived at the new location. TLE is not paid while you're in transit from one duty station to another and is only provided for CONUS PCS moves.
TO – Transportation Office
Coordinates and handles the packing and shipping aspect of your move. The name of this office varies among the branches:
- Army: ITO (Installation Transportation Office)
- Navy and Marine Corps: PPSO (Personal Property Shipping Office)
- Air Force: TMO (Traffic Management Office)
- Coast Guard: HHGSO (Household Goods Shipping Office)
UAB – Unaccompanied Baggage
When you have an OCONUS move some of your necessary personal items will ship by air so that you'll have them when you arrive, versus waiting for the rest of your household goods which will ship separately. These must-have items are considered unaccompanied baggage.
You'll be required to fill out various forms throughout the duration of your PCS move. Technically, the name of the form doesn't really constitute as acronyms, at least not the type you're probably accustomed to seeing. However, if you happen to hear or read about DD Form 1351-2 and you have no clue which form is being referenced, check out the following list for an explanation. If you need an electronic copy of the form just select it from the list below.
DD 1351-2 - Travel Voucher
DD 1351-2C – Travel Voucher Continuation Sheet
DD 1351-3 – Statement of Actual Expense
DD 2278 – Application for DITY Move and Counseling Checklist
DFAS Form 9114 – PCS and TDY En Route Travel Advance Request
DFAS Form 9098 – Claim for Temporary Lodging Expense (TLE)
Updated by Armin Brott, May 2016