PCS and Other Common Acronyms Related to Military Moves

A Variety of Military Acronyms Are Important to Know


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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 Department of Defense forms that you'll most likely hear about.

Military Acronyms Pertaining to Moves

CONUS – Continental United States
This term 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 and U.S. territories such as Puerto Rico.

DEERS – Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System
You're probably already familiar with DEERS, but if not, it's a worldwide database containing information on service members 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
This agency oversees military pay and pay-related issues.

DITY – Do-It-Yourself
See PPM below.

DMPO – Defense Military Pay Office
DMPO handles PCS travel related pay and finance issues.

DoDEA – Department of Defense Education Activity
This is the agency that oversees the school system for military kids.

DPS – Defense Personal Property System
This internet-based computerized program manages DoD household goods moves. To utilize this program, go to Move.mil.

GCC – Government Constructed Costs
This refers to the moving fees the government would have to pay when relocating a service member and their dependents to a new duty station.

HHG – Household Goods
Furniture and other personal belongings fall under this term.

MALT – Monetary Allowance in Lieu 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
OCONUS refers to any region outside of the continental 48 states of the United States. Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, and Puerto Rico are also considered OCONUS even though they are part of the United States.

PCS – Permanent Change of Station
PCS refers to the process of relocating from one duty station to another. It includes stateside and overseas moves.

POV – Privately Owned Vehicle
This is a vehicle owned by the service member or their dependents.

PPM – Personally Procured Move
Formerly referred to as DITY, the PPM occurs when a service member chooses to hire private movers instead of utilizing the services provided by the military.

RITA – Relocation Income Tax Allowance
This is an 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
A TLA is 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
TLE is a 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
This 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. 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:

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)