PCS Moves Put on Hold Until Shutdown Ends


If you were planning to PCS soon you’ve probably already figured out that your move could be in jeopardy — at least temporarily.

According to the Army, at least, moves for any Soldiers whose new orders were issued after Oct. 1  are on hold until the government reopens. The other services have issued similar guidance.

Of course, the military is the military — and there are always exceptions and loopholes. The best way to find out whether your PCS is impacted by this mess is to check with your command.

If your moves looking anything like ours, orders often come at the last possible second — you may even have a report date before you have orders. And since you’re a planner like me, you may have already given your notice in your home and done every single thing you can do without orders before they finally cut them.

But under the current guidance if your orders are dated after Oct. 1 you’re out of luck.  Have to be out of your rental Saturday because a new family is moving in Monday …?

You’re pretty much screwed. And you’ll be out of pocket that hotel money, too, since you’re not authorized TDY.

Awesome, right?

(Again, check with your command to find out if this impacts you).

Fortunately for those living in on-base housing the situation is not quite as dire. Housing offices are obligated to comply with the whim of the military. So if you’re stuck in there for a few more weeks they aren’t going to charge you extra fees or kick you out.

It’s even worse for some families overseas. This servicemember in Hawaii was still in the process of getting her spouse and two kids on the rolls as military dependents and authorized for TDY for their upcoming move to Georgia. But with the government shutdown their dependent paperwork hasn’t been processed. And since their household goods were shipped early this month, they are paying out of pocket for a hotel while they wait.

So we want to know — is the PCS hold impacting you? Are you sitting in a hotel room waiting for the government to reopen so that you can get on with your move? Or are you simply in PCS purgatory — the lovely time when you are waiting to go but can’t quite go yet? Let us know in the comments!


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.
  • Jennifer Paquette

    Yes! I have been in shock since my husband got notice from his AF command last week. He’s in Korea, I’m in Connecticut. He’s been gone since last November. His “reservation” for return is/was November 14. Our PCS to Alabama IS on hold “until further notice.” Just praying that this gets cleared up in time for no delays with his out processing. A few weeks could mean a sad Thanksgiving for our family. I’m just surprised that this isn’t in the news. I can only imagine the HUGE impact this will soon have on our military families in the coming weeks, especially for those overseas. Good Luck Everyone! God Bless

    • Crystal

      My husband and I are in the same boat. He was supposed to return from Korea some time between the 10th and the 21st next month and than we PCS to Germany. I am in MT with family and am to be driving back to VA to pack our things out with TMO next month. I already put notice in to work. So far I’m still planning to go and doing a lot of praying that this doesn’t push us back too far. I don’t really know what else to do. More than anything I just want him home with me. Good luck and I hope everyone gets orders as soon as possible.

      • Jenni

        Hi Crystal, Where in Germany? We just left Ramstein last year. I totally understand where you are and you’re in my prayers.

        • Crystal

          We are supposed to be going to Ramstein as well. We were supposed to be heading out first week of dec but might be closer to Christmas or new year than anticipated.

    • MrsNutmeg

      My husband is in Korea and I’m in Missouri, there was a delay on his orders, then the shutdown put it all on hold… I know it sounds horrible, but it’s good to know I’m not alone.

  • Andrea

    I’m in Japan currently at MCAS Iwakuni… We arrived just over a month ago. However, because of the government shutdown our household goods shipment is “stalled” (not lost, thank god, that already happened with our express shipment) in translation. So until this mess is cleared up, we get to look forward to additional weeks of lovely loaner/doctors office furniture haha. I should be grateful though, some new friends who arrived after my husband and I were in the process of looking for housing and now they are frozen in place and can’t even move forward on saying yes to a place or anything. They are stuck in the TLF until further notice. At least my husband and I are in our own place.

  • Shelquan Pitts-Cole

    I am impacted by the government shut down and pcs move. I have been trying to get on the ball with this moving so I called the pcs office the answering machine states they are closed until the government re opens and when it does reopen it’s going to be backed up for a while so it’s still a lose situation. I truely hope this shut down doesn’t last long. It’s sad that it’s hurting the military and it’s families deeper than what we see. It should be in the news!

    • Amy_Bushatz

      When did you call? I’d try again — most DoD civilian employees were sent back to work Monday.

  • Christopher Jenkins

    I was in a very crucial school for my next up and coming promotion and was told to pack my bags and head back to my Unit. My situation was diffrent since I had already cleared my last unit andenriut to the next one. No one wants to take ownership of me in providing a leave form to cover me till I can depart. Transportation is basically shut down and I can’t get my household goods picked up for a month which eats up all my leave in one fail swoop. It will take me 13-15 days to travel to my final destination if all goes well.

  • S. Burney

    I was approved for my Humanitarian back home, Im supposed to report Oct 24th, but now my orders are on hold! I would think because of the circumstances involving a Humanitarian, I would be able to get my orders. This is frustrating, i have a feeling im going to break my RLT suspense or worse when it comes to my family’s situation. This is unexceptable! Get it together people!

  • ChelleChelle

    We are Navy at a Marine base. I called our TMO office and they said everyone came back to work this week and that as far as they knew, they were doing all PSC moves as long as they were cut before a certain date.

    • ChelleChelle

      PCS* lol

  • Christopher

    This shutdown is crazy! I am supposed to report to Korea next month but everything has been halted due to the government shutdown. I was told I was going to receive my PCS orders last week but that completely changed when a budget could not be agreed on. Prior to this I had already sold most of the belongings in my house, my wife has quit her job, we’ve moved most of our remaining belongings into storage and we are scheduled to move out of our house in a couple weeks! This has really complicated things and has taken a heavy toll on my wife and I. I know others have it worse and my sympathy goes out to them. However, the government needs to reopen and all those furloughed people need their jobs back! COME ON AMERICA!!!!!

  • Jess

    We are living in Germany and are scheduled to report to our next duty station by November 30th. Only our orders won’t come until after the shutdown ends. Hopefully that will be soon. Our landlord has sold our house and the new owners expect us out by mid-late November. At this point, we are just focusing on today and praying the situation is resolved before we are homeless in Germany! We know others have it worse off than we do, but that doesn’t make the situation we have been put in right.

  • Anne B

    Much like a lot of y’all, we received a report date and my husband went to 8 weeks of training for our new assignment and came home just I. Time or the shut down and now our orders can’t be generated until after the shutdown ends. And of course TMO won’t talk to us w/o orders in hand. Our report date is 11/30!! We close on a house at our new duty station 11/22 and are selling our current house. Just praying that we can still close on our house down there on time and we’ll just suck it up and DITY since we for sure won’t have the 4-6 week notice that TMO requires for doing the move. Thankful that we have our house here until we move…although I wouldn’t mind if it sold already!! One less “to-do”!! Paying for everyone else out there in a similar situation!! Thinking I might have to bring it to at least local news stations attention!! We live in a predominantly military community, so it’s affecting a lot of our community!!

  • Katie

    Yes! We’ve been waiting to move to FL due to our sons recent diagnosis of autism. We live in Mountain Home and there is virtually no ABA therapists out here so we enrolled in the EFMP. After two long months of waiting to hear where and when we are going to be restationed, we finally find out we are going to FL and scheduled to leave October 15th. However we didn’t get our orders issued yet (probably missed it by a day) so now we are in limbo as to when we are going. The worst part is that I am 35 weeks pregnant, so if we don’t leave VERY soon, we’ll have to wait til after the baby. It’s so frustrating not knowing where we are going to be living when the baby is born and even worse that my sons therapy is being delayed even longer, when studies show early intervention is key. I hope the government figures something out ASAP!!

  • Veronica Greer

    I am a little worries too. I received my orders but their dated October 2, 2013. I start pcs leave on December 1 and report to unit in Hawaii on jan 9. Just hope this all ends!

  • mozzi160

    we are supposed to pcs from England to south Dakota in 4 weeks, we have a no later than date for sd but no orders, I gave up my job a week ago to get things in order, sold my car, gave a leave date for my kid in school, our itinerary says what flight we will be on with 2 dogs ect. its so stressful now I have no job to go to and everything is up in the air, I don’t know how long our orders will take to come thro after the government re opens as there will be such a back log of people waiting. This should deffinately be on the news, this is affecting obamas military more than he realizes, how can they focus on doing a good job when they are under so much stress, we are living in limbo.