A personally procured move (PPM) is just what it sounds like, and generally includes a reimbursement of 95 percent of the cost of a government-procured military move. Most military members are generally familiar with these options already. Whether for a PCS or some kind of temporary duty (TDY/TDA/TDT/TAD/TDI), the government will typically help you with the move itself or else help you cover the costs. But how do you choose?
If it’s your first move of personal property in the military, there’s required counseling you’ll have to go through at your local Transportation Office (TO). But maybe you were feeling awful that day and couldn’t concentrate. Maybe you’ve been through the process once before, but the new online counseling materials weren’t as helpful as you thought they’d be. Long-time members of the military may also know PPMs as a do-it-yourself (DITY) move, and you may have questions about the differences between the old and new systems. In addition to our own two cents, here’s a roundup of tips and advice from reputable online sources.
Cost Comparison for PPMs vs. Military Moves
It used to be far more common for people to choose the old kind of PPM—the do-it-yourself (DITY) move—as a way of saving a few dollars. By scouting out different options and taking advantage of discount offers, service members could frequently take the 95 percent reimbursement and move on their own for less.
What changed? It was the Defense Personal Property System (DPS). This system makes it possible for many members of the military to manage their move, paperwork, counseling, and claims online, but it also increased the cost efficiency for the military by having multiple moving companies bid on military move services. It’s not so much that you stand to lose money by opting for a personally procured move. Rather, the cost tends to be about the same, especially when you take advantage of commonly available discounts.
Time Comparison for PPMs vs. Military Moves
With this in mind, PPMs remain a popular choice among military service members. Not only do you get control over the details of the move and the choice of moving company, but you also tend to get a little bit more time on your permissive TDY to take care of a personally procured move. If you want to do the extra legwork to feel even more confident in the move itself, you’ll be able to. But even more often, service members look to stay efficient with their move, while using the extra time for their personal enjoyment.
Still trying to choose between a military move and a PPM for your family? Here’s a great resource from Military Spouse to help you decide. Already decided on a PPM? Check out this easy step-by-step guide.
Application Forms and Counseling
Like anything else involving the military, no matter whether you choose a PPM or military move, there’s going to be a good amount of paperwork and bureaucracy involved. Nevertheless, the counseling information is important so you can understand your weight allowance and weight tickets, get the forms you need, and generally stay within the rules. For example, beware of trying to use a PPM or a military move beyond the authorized use of moving and storing you and your immediate family’s household goods. You can’t make a deal with a friend to include their belongings as part of your government-sponsored move.
Here’s a roundup of forms and financial services you’ll likely need as part of your move:
DD2278: Application for Do It Yourself Move and Counseling Checklist
DD1299: Application for Shipment and/or Storage of Personal Property
SF1038: Advance of Funds Application and Account
You can also find these and other forms, as well as the financial services you need through the Defense Finance and Accounting Service.