What the PCS?

I might be jumping the gun here, but I would consider myself a relatively seasoned military spouse. I’ve been supporting my husband in his military career for six years now. (He’s been in longer than that.) I’ve supported him through a lat-move, a  deployment, several training ops, promotions, a strenuous B-billet, bought a house while he was deployed, was a FRO assistant, had several children at the military hospital, learned the jargon, etc.

BUT (this is a big “but”) . . .

I’ve never gone through a PCS before.



I know. It’s crazy. To make it even crazier, neither has my husband. In all of his 9 years, he hasn’t PCS’ed before.

I suddenly don’t feel very seasoned anymore.

Overwhelmed is the word.

Not only have we never done a PCS, but we’ve never lived on the West Coast or done a cross-country move. We have about 3 weeks to get everything figured out, get our house sold or rented (which we are doing “by owner” and is also a first for us), and start the move. I’m slightly losing my mind. I know I’m forgetting something. I must be. We’ve never done this as just a couple, let alone with 4 young, very energetic children. (Okay, Evelyn isn’t exactly at the energetic point yet. But, she is a nursing infant. Enough said.)

Yes, we’ve known about our move for months now. But, when we found out, I was still going through deep depression, and I was dealing with a very difficult pregnancy. On top of that, my husband’s B-billet kept him away from home a lot, so he wasn’t able to help much at all. Needless to say, we feel like we’re having to pick up slack and do it quickly.

It might sound like I’m complaining, but I’m really not. I’m excited about the new adventure. But, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t ready for it to be all done and over with. I am so ready to be at our new duty station and start the next step of our adventure!

Oh, and we’ll be living on base, which is also another first for us.

Shhh! I know you want to gasp again.

I guess after all this, I really will be able to consider myself a seasoned military wife! Yay?

I mean . . . *cough* . . . YAY!

For those of you who have PCS’ed or lived on base before, any advice or encouragement would be greatly welcomed!


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  • MeandMySoldierMan

    Oh man, I wish I could give you a big hug in person right now! We’ve done 4 PCSs in 6 years, and if there’s anything I’ve learned it’s:
    1) You WILL get there
    2) You WILL lose your mind at some point, but you’ll get it back eventually 🙂
    3) You WILL lose or break things, but most everything can be replaced (and what can’t, carry as close to your body as possible)
    4) You WILL get there!! – it bears repeating!

    It’s an awful way to start a new adventure, but I can honestly say that every single time, the hassle has been worth it. Just keep swimming! You can do this!

    • Thank you for the encouragment, JG! We survived! Yay!

  • Bailey

    Andy’s in the middle of preparing for his PCS and he’s trying to tell me how long it will take to get everything ready. I’m just like “Throw your stuff in the truck and tell them to peace out. Then get yourself up in Kentucky!”

    PS I so wish I were going to Cali with you!!

    • I so wish you were too!!!

  • I’ve moved as the child, but I unfortunately don’t remember a ton of it. My mom moved quite a few times with my dad, who is still active duty and retiring. I could ask her if she has any advice, but she’s more of a “just wing it” kind of person. We’ve lived on and off base, but never in CA.

    • We pretty much just winged it, and it went well! 🙂

  • Justina

    I don’t know anything about PCSing but YAY you’re coming to California! 🙂 I always love reading when people move to CA. I know you’re into photography so if you need any suggestions for photos let me know. Actually, 29 only has one spot and it’s Joshua Tree unless you make the drive to Vegas. I hope you love it out here as much as I do! CA is pretty much sunny year round and you’ll rarely have to check the weather.

    • I’m actually learning to love it! I have found some pretty great photography spots right here in 29. 🙂

      • Justina

        There’s this part of Yucaipa that has a bunch of different farms. If you Google Riley’s Apple Farm I think it should pop up. They have mini apple cider donuts, apple picking, apple dumplings, and BBQ. There’s also a restaurant that’s called Hogs Head that is super old school. The pie is delish! And there’s another restaurant in Yucaipa that’s called Angus Mcclurdys. They gave tri tip burgers! Glad you’re learning to love it. It’s not as bad as some people say.

  • Praying for you! All of our PCS’s have gone pretty smoothly. John takes care of all of the official stuff, and I just make sure the house is ready to go. Since you’re living on base, you don’t even need to go through the stress of trying to find a house! Honestly, just go with it! If you’re a planner like me, lots of lists help. And having a PCS binder with all of your important stuff (orders, marriage certs, birth certs, etc..) helps!

    • Thank you, Alejandra! Things went relatively smoothly, and I’m so thankful for that!

  • We’ve had four PCS moves in the past four years, haha. I’d happily trade. Make an inventory of your stuff (especially any existing damage). There are also several websites designed for military to rent or sell their homes. If you haven’t, list your house there. Good luck!

    • The movers made an inventory for us, and we meticulously watched. I’m nervous about what might not be there when we open the boxes. I really pray and hope everything is there! We finally have a renter for our house. Yay!

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  • Get yourself on that base housing list now! At Campbell I heard that the wait list was sometimes 6 months. We’ve never lived on post but that’s the biggest thing I’ve heard from post dwellers. Good luck!

    • I wish I could say it was that easy. For this particular base, you can’t even get on the list until he checks in to his new unit. Then, the wait starts. We got on the list as soon as we arrived and have a little over a month wait. *sigh*