While you may not choose where you are stationed, those in the US armed forces know that moving is an inevitable part of military life. Making the most of it and having a guide can help ease the transition, even if it’s your tenth time. No matter where you PCS next, much of the process is the same; though some aspects are specific to your next base and require additional steps or research.
Military life has many unique challenges so we encourage people not to wait to take action when they get new PCS orders. Early preparation and organization minimize a great deal of unnecessary stress and potential problems.
As VA Home Loan specialists, we frequently work with people who are PCSing to Fort Campbell. This guide is to help you (hopefully) experience a smooth and seamless transition.
Step 1 really should be to start a PCS binder. Within it you can collect all of the following paperwork/documents:
- Medical records (this includes veterinary documents too)
- Family records
- School records
- Moving documents (including housing and shipping documents)
Don’t rely on digital only though – you’ll want to keep physical copies of all paperwork found in your binder. This seemingly extra step is critical in the event that something is accidentally lost or permanently destroyed during your PCS transition.
Understand Your Entitlements
We suggest that your next step is to visit Move.mil to learn more about your entitlements. Understand the qualifications for extra financial assistance and as well as the process to determine if you qualify for it or not. Hint- this depends on ranking and if you have dependents or not.
Military Move vs. DIY Move
Not sure yet about what type of move will you have? Step 3 then is to weigh the pros and cons of a Military Move vs. DIY Move. Just keep in mind that the more people you involve, the tighter your own organization needs to be during the process. Don’t get stuck with unnecessary delays due to improper planning.
Military – One huge tip is to schedule movers during a time when you will be present too. This allows you to politely let the movers know you are keeping a close eye on the process – and them. Also, keep a record of valuables as another precautionary step to protect you from items that are stolen or accidentally damaged.
DIY – Not everyone likes to purge their items. However, now is your opportunity to toss or give away anything you don’t truly love or truly need for PCSing to Fort Campbell. Edit as much as possible in order to pack more efficiently. There’s another reason to DIY your move – it can keep you on track with your timeline AND guarantee that no one else handles your belongings.
Keep all copies of documentation and receipts related to the move. Store them in your PCSing binder or take photos to store digitally. You will want these records for reimbursement and typical PCS expense allotment that applies.
Your Current Home
If you are currently renting, find out what happens when you break a lease agreement. If you own your home now it’s time to decide whether to sell or rent it. You can spend time looking into the current home values and market trends in your area to help you decide. You may also have a strong personal preference that outweighs the market data.
Learn About Fort Campbell
It would be great if you could visit Fort Campbell to get a feel for it and its surrounding areas before you move, that’s not always how it works with a PCS. So, here are few things to know about the Fort Campbell military base:
Fort Campbell is one the border of both Tennessee and Kentucky and supports the 4th largest military population in the army. It has a lot to offer with modern facilities that include splash pads, parks, Starbucks and great housing options.
A major perk of PCSing to Fort Campbell is the wildlife that surrounds it. There’s the Land Between the Lakes national recreation area, Mammoth Cave, and the Cumberland River. This makes it an ideal base for those who love spending time outdoors, exploring nature. Fort Campbell is also about an hour outside of Nashville, which means all the amenities of a major city are just a quick car ride away.
Find A New Home
After researching Fort Campbell and its surrounding areas, you can decide where you want to live and if renting or buying a home is the best fit for you. Many people choose to live in Clarksville or Hopkinsville, but some may even be willing to commute from Nashville.
Want to live on the base? Contact the housing office at Fort Campbell to find out the waitlist timeline. Available housing options may take time to open up and you’ll need another option for renting in the meantime.
Prefer to buy a home? Be sure to look into the VA Home Loan program and find out if this exclusive benefit program is right for you. This simple and streamlined the process of home ownership has helped thousands realize the American dream of homeownership. You can also search for available listings on Military By Owner.
If you think you’d like to learn more about VA Home Loans and how to qualify, contact one of our VA Home Loan specialists today!