Poll: Fewer PCSes Coming Soon?


The military could have a smaller budget for military moves next year – and that could very well mean you’ll be staying at that duty station a little bit longer.

The budget reduction of 5 percent or $150 million is included in the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act, according to this Army Times story.

That means about 12,500 fewer servicemembers may PCS next year, assuming each military move costs about $12,000 as the story suggests and the budget savings is found only through limiting the number of moves.

While that’s not a considerable dent in the about 300,000 troops and families the article notes move each year, it sure would seem like a big deal if you’re among the people who find they’re staying put – or who are hoping to do so.

While I’m all about “bloom where you are planted,” I’m one of those people who likes moving. I think it’s good for my husband’s career (a whole other topic which the Time’s article does a great job examining). I like seeing new places. I like meeting new people. About every two years – orders or not — I start cleaning out paperwork, purging belongings and reorganizing boxes. My subconscious is ready to pack up and go.

But not everyone is quite as into it.

Seeing the positive sides of staying at one duty station, or “homesteading” is kind of a no-brainer.  One of the major deterrents to spouse employment is frequent moves. There is no question that kids do better when they stay in one place. Making and keeping friends would be much easier for all of us if we didn’t keep having to say good bye to them.

But the downsides are there, too. Sure, spouse employment would be easier if you stayed put – IF you were stationed in a place that had any jobs in your field. Sticking around 29 Palms forever, for example, frankly doesn’t sound good for any spouse’s career.

And, as the Time’s article says, if your servicemember intends to stay military for more than 20 years, his career pretty much depends on gaining a variety of experience at a variety of duty stations.

Liking the idea of not moving anymore is one thing. Liking the idea of staying where you are right this second is another.

The budget cut, which the article says is extremely likely to become law, could combine those two scenarios.

So what do you think? Are you hoping the budget cut means you get to log one more year where you are? Or are you bracing for the worst?

Take our poll and tell us what you think – and then scroll down for the results.

Fill out my online form.

About the Author

Amy Bushatz
Amy is the editor in chief of Military.com’s spouse and family blog SpouseBuzz.com. A journalist by trade, Amy also covers spouse and family news for Military.com where she is the managing editor of spouse and family content. An Army wife and mother of two, Amy has been featured as a subject matter expert on CNN.com, NPR, Fox News, NBC, CBS, ABC and BBC as well as in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post. Follow her on twitter @amybushatz.
  • sabrinacking

    If you had asked me before being stationed at Drum, I’d have said: leave us alone. Let us stay in one place. But having been here…Amy I pray hourly to God to get me the heck out of here.

    • JF
      • sabrinacking

        My complaint about Drum is: no jobs and there has been a hiring freeze on post since we got here a year ago, the weather, 2+ year waiting list for senior enlisted quarters, and what I experience as a very racist antimilitary area. Though I will say we recently moved from Watertown to Great Bend and this side of post is much more military friendly. We spent four years at Polk and loved it. I’d give my eye teeth to live in the DC metro where I could find work.

    • sabrinacking

      I think you’ll find people deploying more frequently than every other year at multiple duty stations. At JBLM my husband did 3 year long tours with 6 months being the longest duration between them. He’d just get back, they assign him to a new SBCT… he’d deploy again. Mine did 5 year long deployments from 2002 to 2011.

    • Jenny J.

      Drum is hardly the worst duty station. We are stationed in the DC metro area currently and would go back to Fort Drum in a heartbeat. This is probably the least family friendly post ever, very little time off (4 days, including holidays off since we arrived in October), high cost of living, traffic, rude people, no sense of community at all. Obviously the winters are cold (has anyone actually seen where NY is on a map?) but they are a ton of outdoor, family friendly activities and a lot actually put on by Drum. The only real downside to being there was the every other year deployments. And, they honestly try to compensate with plenty of four days, leave and DONSAs.

      • guest

        I’ll third the DC thing, no three or four day weekends, more weekend work calls then when he was in command even, don’t even think about trying to get into the PX or commissary unless you want to be run over by retirees (literally I’ve almost been hit crossing the street like 4 times in 3 months and smashed with carts more times than I can count). People have no concern for anyone but themselves here. Housing is high yes, but BAH covers it at least. Granted we live in a place half the size of our last home but at least the BAH covers it.

        The ONLY plus we’ve seen so far is the beasty raise my company gave me when we moved as an incentive not to jump ship for one of the contractors out here.

  • Tevera
  • Jennifer J.
  • the first mel

    Now that I have a 15 yr old and a 12 yr old, I am glad we have been able to stay in our current location. We have been here 4 1/2 years now and my husband is with his 3rd unit. It’s a small community and I enjoy it. I love my house and yard and I am thankful that we will be able to spend my husband’s last 2 years in the military right where we are at now.

    • the first mel

      correction: he has been attached to 3 different units while we have been in our current home

  • Amy – I LOVE that the majority of people that answered the poll question WANT to PCS! We had the option to stay in San Diego – we ALMOST bought a house…then I panicked. The thought of being here forreevvveerrr made me queasy. It was never our plan, I am not done moving around, I have so much more to see – Im not ready to turn down the potential orders to Japan! Maybe I just don’t want to grow up yet? One more move…just onnnneee more….and then maybe we’ll be done…maybe.

    • Amy_Bushatz

      People keep saying “you’ll feel more settled in your 30s.” What? That sounds boring.

  • Cristina

    I think the worst place is Fort Rucker!!! We live off post and I work of post. There is no Southern Hospitality at all. I only see the wives at the ball and we don’t even speak to each other. We have been stationed in other post and everyone is so kind to each other… I pray that we can move soon ..

  • Daph

    There have been homestead bases for some time. My parents essentially did that at NAS Lemoore, CA. People are amazed that as a Navy brat I have three younger siblings who are 5, 6, and 14 years younger than me and we all graduated from the same High School.
    My husband is Air Force and we knew a LOT of people at Minot who chose to stay, we loved it there but were both okay with a move. Now we are in Alabama and honestly, we just asked for an extra year on his control tour because of the birth of our first grandchild but after that, I want OUT of this state! I lived here for 14 years of my adulthood and now been back here for 4 and staying for another 1, I’m more than ready to get out of here. I’m hoping the fact that he is on a controlled tour means they will NOT change his code and keep us here past our Jan 2015 get the heck outta dodge transfer bucket.

  • Guest

    The only positive I see is the stability for children and the option to finally have a career not a job if you want one. That would fix two of the major problems I am tired of dealing with.

  • HoneyBadgerGRRR

    If they canceled PCS moves and we had to stay at NOB, I don’t know what I’d do. The people and culture are so different here than where I am from and the winters to me are ridiculous. I’d stay here because my husband is here, but we’d start spending a lot more money on travel just so I could get out of here periodically and keep my sanity. This is the most behind the times backwards place I have ever been in the US. The cost of living is ridiculous, and there’s nothing here to justify the cost! You could lose a compact car in the potholes on the road, and the cities don’t even provide safe water or sewer service within many parts of their cities they consider “rural.” Ugh. TERRIBLE. GET ME OUT OF HERE!!!!

  • Kim

    We have been stationed at Davis-Monthan AFB (Tucson, AZ) for almost 4 years and I am ready to get out of here. I constantly ask my husband if he’s received any orders yet. If I wasn’t working full-time I think I would lose my sanity.