News: JBLM enters peak moving season
Story by Sgt. Sarah Enos
JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. - One thing service members can count on during their military career is relocating to a different duty station.
Arthur S. Dearen, director, Joint Personal Property Shipping Office Northwest, said a key concern for many troops during a move is shipping their household items from one place to another.
Staff at the JPPSO NW encourages service members and their families to play an active role in their move by contacting their office or registering on the Move.mil website as soon as permanent change of station orders are received.
Dearen said the peak moving season began April 15 and runs through the end of September. Because of the high volume of military moves during the summer months, desired moving dates may not be available.
“We see anywhere from 200 to 300 people a day,” Dearen said. “It is my desire to try to get service members household goods picked up or delivered within three days of them contacting us, but unfortunately that doesn’t always work.”
Because this is a busy time of year, the JPPSO borrows troops to assist with its large workload of booking shipments, answering phone inquiries, paying vendors and counseling on entitlements for moving household goods.
As with many service members, Army Staff Sgt. Daniel West, a pharmacy specialist, 62nd Medical Brigade, enjoys guiding people with their move and took it upon himself to update a step-by-step booklet to help them complete their household goods move online using the Defense Personal Property System (DPS).
“I wanted to make it easy for everybody,” West said. “It previously took troops an hour to complete self-counseling. Now they can do it in 20 minutes.”
JPPSO has three self-service kiosks in their waiting room along with group briefings for counselors to assist service members with navigating DPS and providing detailed information on shipping household goods.
“If you go onto DPS, it’s not going to explain your entitlements,” West said. “It can be hard to understand, so if they have questions about their move we are here to answer them.”
Service members have the option to arrange a household goods shipment through JPPSO, do a personally procured move in which the government will pay up to 95 percent of what it would have cost to ship those same items, or split the shipment and opt for both.
“We have people who just want to do a PPM or the old acronym called a DITY (Do it Yourself) move,” Dearen said. “It allows the service member to throw some of their stuff in the car so to speak and drive to their next duty station and get paid.”
Whether troops are making a permanent change of station move, expiration term of service move or retirement move this summer, they can count on JPPSO NW for assistance.
“There’s always some panic with moving,” West said. “I remind Families that it’s alright; we can help you through it.”
Additional information about the moving process can be found at www.move.mil, www.lewis-mcchord.army.mil/jppso or by calling JPPSO at 1-800-521-9959. If you are in the local area, it is strongly encouraged to stop by JPPSO Northwest at Building 2150, next to Waller Hall due to the high volume of telephone calls during the peak season.