It’s that time of year…when the military families around the world await that magical notification – the report of orders. Some families are expecting them. Some families are not. Either way, when the military tells you to move, the service member has no choice but to go. Arm yourself with the knowledge you need to prepare for your move – know your joint travel regulations.
The Joint Travel Regulations (or JTR) are updated annually to reflect the policy changes in regards to the travel and transportations allowances (i.e.: reimbursement) when it comes to temporary duty (TDY) and permanent changes of station (PCS). While these regulations’ core remain the same, some key issues are discussed every year within the military spouse groups. It often feels like they are the first military family ever to move from their duty station when dealing with the moving office on the military base. Do yourself a favor – download the Joint Travel Regulations every year you PCS. Highlight key passages (specific sections discussed today are listed below) and know what applies to you. Just don’t try to print it, it’s huge!
Here are key notes to know and remember:
Reimbursement for Personally Procured Move (PPM), formerly known as Do-It-Yourself (DITY) moves
Section 051502 in Chapter 5 of the Joint Travel Regulations covers personally procured HHG transportation – aka PPM or DITY. The amendment made to the 2021 JTR is that the actual cost of the shipment is covered 100% of the maximum weight allowance. When you find your own movers, or move yourself, the government will reimburse up to 100% of your weight allowance utilizing the Monetary Allowance Method is used to determine the amount the Government would cover for a move if Government-procured moving transportation was provided. Check the entitlements page of move.mil to determine your moving allowance when getting quotes from moving companies or when purchasing supplies and renting trucks to make your own move.
Pro-Gear Weight Entitlements
Whether you are doing your own move or having Government-procured movers move you, there are pro-gear entitlements. These pro-gear weights are not included in the household goods weights and are not counted against the full weight allowance. This means if your total weight of household goods allowance is 10,000 pounds, the pro-gear is allowance of 2,000 pounds per service member is allowed separate from this.
The service member may claim up to 2,000 pounds of pro-gear. The spouse may claim up to 500 pounds of work-related pro-gear. The pro-gear must be separated from the household goods and marked as such on the moving inventory. This can be accomplished by telling the movers what pro-gear is and asking them to mark the weight on the inventory. Technically, the pro-gear is supposed to be weighed separately from household goods, but historically the moving company has guessed the weights and removed that weight from the total inventory.
Pro Gear is referred to as Professional Books, Papers, and Equipment (PB&E) in Chapter 5 of the JTR, specifically 054309. If you have questions about what counts as pro-gear, refer to your service’s travel office as each service uses the JTR as a baseline and provides specifications for what is covered. For example, furniture and printers are not typically allowances as pro-gear.
Shipping a vehicle for CONUS moves
Part E in Chapter 5 outlines shipment of a privately-owned vehicle, or POV, in the Continental United States (CONUS). Eligibility for shipment of a POV at government expense is authorized when orders are received for change in a ship’s home port or the service member is physically unable to drive or have sufficient time to drive to report to the new duty station.
The most common use of a POV shipment is by the service member during a move or PCS. A service member with eligible dependents (who are on the orders) can ship a POC for a CONUS PCS if all of the following conditions are met:
- The dependent is eligible for transportation at the Government expense and is relocating with the Service member – aka – the dependent is on the military orders to move.
- The Service member or the eligible dependent owns more than one POV that must be relocated.
- The Service member and all the eligible dependents travel at one time in one POV
To recap – if the Service member has eligible dependents on the orders, the Service member and/or dependent has more than one vehicle, and the eligible dependents on military orders are all traveling in one vehicle, you meet the conditions to ship a vehicle.
The reimbursement is based on the government calculated rate. The reimbursement is not for the entire cost of shipping the POV, and instead is the difference in the monetary allowance in lieu of transportation (MALT). This is a JTR travel entitlement that is handled through your service branch’s administrative office, not DMO. The reimbursement provided by the government is based on the monetary allowance provided by the government for driving two POVs to the new duty station. Refer to Table 5-63 within the Joint Travel Regulations for the breakdown.
If your authorization to ship a POV is provided, no allowances will be provided for commercial travel at government expense for the service member or dependent, government-provided transportation, reimbursement for TDY or MALT to drop off or pick up POV, Government-expensed POV storage, or transportation of a POV within CONUS if the service member was stationed overseas unless it was stored at the Government expense due to inability to transport POV outside of CONUS.
These are just three of the reimbursements and allowances provided by the JTR. The latter is typically well-known by your service branch’s transportation office. The former two points are not always known, so ensure that they are aware of the appropriate allowances and written in your orders. If your administrative office or moving office is unaware of these allowances, print off the specific pages and ask nicely to talk to someone in charge regarding them. You may be able to share the changes with the office and provide a smooth move for not only your family but others as well.