PCS Season: Scheduling Your Shipments from Okinawa to the USA

Below, you'll find my personal experience and findings throughout the PCS-ing process. If you've had a different experience please feel free to leave a comment below.

Now that we have Maylee squared away and ready to fly, it's time to schedule our shipments. We have the luxury of time, which many people don't get and for that I am grateful. Actually, it's a blessing and a curse... let me explain.

When we first got orders, 6 months in advance, I was super excited! "Yay, we know where we're going!!" I soon realized that it can be a curse because you have all of this time to think, rethink, and change your mind about so many things. I know that there's probably no one that loves having a short amount of time to move, but at least you can't second guess your decisions all of the time.

Anyway, above is something I was sent AFTER I went through the whole process of scheduling our Household Goods and Unaccompanied (or Express) shipments. I was all, "Uhh, this would have been nice to have before I started navigating through the system." 

Basically, you need to create a profile on Move.mil and, at that point, fill out all of the online "self counseling" paperwork. Once you have that done, print it all out and take it into your DMO office. With that paperwork, you'll also need to bring in 14 copies of your orders (yes, 14!), POA if you're the spouse, flight information, and 3 maps (if you live off-base). 

Rumors were flying around that spouses with home businesses did not "rate" pro-gear anymore. However, when I was filling out the online paperwork, I read that we were eligible for 500 lbs of it. When I took everything into the DMO office, I asked the gentlemen helping me and it was an easy form to fill out. 

I recommend getting this form before trying to turn everything in because it's about a 24 hour turnaround on approvals since they have to send it to HQ Marine Corps in the states. It was a very simple approval that came via email and now I can ship all of my business gear for Crafts and Carafes back to the states with me! 

After everything was turned in, we quickly started getting email confirmations. Our paperwork was being processed and, overall, it wasn't that hard. Thank goodness!

Most recently, we have been assigned a Transportation Service Provider (TSP) and they will be in charge of scheduling our pre-move survey and our pack-out dates. As for now, those dates still reflect the dates that we requested... fingers crossed that they remain the same! 

They also attached this handy "It's Your Move" guide to the email they sent (the link is also on the purple and white pamphlet). Man, if only these things were included in the Smooth Move class. Seriously, why do we get the information after we've passed the step where we need it the most?!

We, clearly, haven't made it as far as packing out or needing to file claims, but I included the information here to help me - and you - in the long run. This makes it much less likely that I'll lose it and have to do all the leg work myself.

Overall, there has been major progress made and we're scooting right along. The last month has been full of purging and separating as we gear up for a multifamily rummage sale at our house this week!

I'm crossing my fingers and saying a few prayers that it's successful and all of our stuff finds a new home! If you're in Okinawa and looking for an "American-style" garage sale (with hot dogs and lemonade!!!), head over on Thursday or Friday. Please note that the majority of the families are only setting up on Thursday.

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