With Veterans Day recently behind us, it’s important to consider the men and women of the military who sacrifice significant parts of their lives for our great nation. If you happen to be a new member of the U.S. military and recently received notice of an upcoming move, you may be feeling overwhelmed and at a loss on how to approach this unique task.
We spoke to a seasoned veteran of the U.S. Navy to learn about the tried and true tips he utilized when moving his family across the country for military purposes. Check out what Petty Officer First Class, Louie A. of the United States Navy had to say about how he approached packing and moving in the military.
1. Military Moving Expenses
If you’re wondering how to figure out which of your military moving expenses are covered, breathe easy. When the military requests that you and your family move, they will cover 100% of your moving expenses. This includes moving supplies, movers, flights, housing, etc. While your moving expenses should be reflective of the number of members in your household, there is no specific ceiling to adhere to when it comes to how much the military will cover. As long as it makes sense for the size of your family and moving distance, it is 100% covered by the government.
Also, don’t stress yourself over finding your own moving company. The military utilizes their own contracted moving services who will be at your service on moving day!
2. Packing for a Military Move
While the military’s own moving company will handle all the loading, transport and unloading for you, you will need to pack your own belongings before the big day. Packing for a military move does not deviate much from a standard move, though there are certain action items to highlight.
Labeling all your boxes is vital when packing for a military move. Labeling is essential for moving in general, and since movers hired by the military are contracted for a specific period of time, it’s extremely important that you know where each box should go in your new space. Make sure to know which boxes contain your must-have items, such as your child’s favorite blanket, or basic toiletries. Additionally, most branches of the military do not allow the move of contraband, alcohol, or weapons. If you have pets or vehicles, make sure to inform and make the necessary arrangements with your commanding officers. Typically, the military will cover moving up to two vehicles, and pay for the transport of your pet(s) as well.
3. Military housing
While the military provides and pays for all the housing needs in your new city or country such as furniture and appliances, they do allow the option of purchasing or renting your own home. This is not covered under military housing, but you are eligible to receive special benefits and discounts as a member of the U.S. military – the amount varies according to rank and seniority.
Many military families opt to purchase their own home if they’re stationed in a city for a significant period of time. Most banks and mortgage companies offer low-interest loans for members of the military, especially for those members in active duty. If you go with this option, rest assure that you will receive much financial assistance from all fronts.
4. Discussing a Military Move with Your Family
Unless your branch is under extenuating circumstances, most military moves come with sufficient notice so you and your family have adequate time to prepare. The most important thing that Officer Louie mentioned is to be extra communicative about the upcoming move with all members of your family. Understand that even though moving for the military may not be unexpected for you, your family may be dealing with feelings of anxiety, confusion, and sadness regarding leaving their hometown. Make sure to take great care when explaining and answering all your family’s questions and concerns.
As you will be provided several months to prepare for a military move, include your family in all the moving related discussions and decisions, and ensure that they know they are considered and encouraged to take an active role in what’s happening. Including your family in researching new schools, learning about your new neighborhood or even picking out home decor can help ease the anxiety related to moving.
5. Local vs. International Military Move
Although moving internationally or within the United States doesn’t deviate from each other all that much, there are a few key differences to keep in mind. Prepare for longer time-frames when it comes to receiving your things, and make sure to take your essentials with you on the flight.
Also, keep in mind that moving internationally may come with a significant culture or language barrier, so allow more time to research your new surroundings, local language, and culture. This can be instrumental in helping your family properly adjust to their international home. It is important to prepare for challenges like having to pick up your vehicle from a remote location or having to secure a rental or home purchase (if you decide to go that route) well before moving day. Officer Louie recommends living in military provided housing for at least a year before purchasing your own home during an international move.
Serving in the military is a highly respectable and selfless commitment that comes with its own share of challenges. That’s why it’s important to take care of yourself and your family while navigating a military lifestyle. Whether you’re completing a solo move or moving with your family, these tried and true tips can make all the difference in your own military moving experience.
Whether you’re moving for the military or moving in general, preparing a moving timeline is key! Check out CableMover’s customizable moving guide that you can