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    The second most stressful event for military families

    U.S. Transportation Command enhances family relocation

    Photo By Oz Suguitan | A moving contractor loads a moving truck with a service member's household goods...... read more read more



    Story by Staff Sgt. Oz Suguitan 

    U.S. Transportation Command

    SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. — It's no question a deployment is the single most stressful activity a military family can encounter, but what's the second? U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Matthew M. Caruso, senior enlisted leader for U.S. Transportation Command, asked this question.

    "To go do their job in a combat zone, conduct humanitarian assistance or disaster relief… that's number one," Caruso said of the most common stressors facing service members. "We've found through our interactions with family members that moving is right up there with deployments in causing stress."

    An active-duty military member may move their home and families several times during their career. After three to five years in a location, it's not uncommon for a permanent change of station move, where members pack up their belongings and families and move to a new home near their new assignment.

    That's why USTRANSCOM and its components, with a mission to move families and their household possessions, identified opportunities to improve the moving process and increase the satisfaction of members during their move.

    "The goal of the improvement effort is to drive down the amount of poor experiences family members, service members and government civilian employees go through when they move," said Caruso.

    The comprehensive moving effort managed by the command, called the Defense Personal Property Program, has been undergoing steady improvements since enhancements started in mid-2017. Although more than 90 percent of the more than 400,000 moves were completed to members' satisfaction, the command is working to get that number higher.

    Unclear and changing move dates have been a stress point for those PCSing, said Caruso.

    "It's the unknown," said Caruso about the stresses of moving. "It's asking: 'When can I ship my household goods? What do I have to sell? Can I take my car? Can I take my pets? Where are my kids going to go to school, or should I take my kids out of school?' There are so many things. You can't plan any of that until you know when you're moving."

    One way USTRANSCOM is attempting to innovate and make the experience better is in searching for a way to schedule a move date earlier in the process. A typical transfer assignment may flow down to the service member about 120 days before their required move. But planning for the move -- scheduling the move date -- may be difficult because of the current need for hard-copy orders.

    "Nobody likes to wait until the last minute, but in this case they have to," said Caruso of getting advanced scheduling. "You have to wait for those orders to schedule a move date. We're working on orders integration."

    This and other efforts within DP3 are intended to deliver a consistent moving experience for those using the system, said Caruso.

    "We work with industry, transportation service providers, software companies, web designers and the DOD to make DP3 the best it's ever been," said Caruso.

    He envisions future program versions allowing members to schedule move dates as soon as they are notified of an assignment.

    "We tell a member: here are your orders, pick up your stuff and send it to the other side of the world, grab your family and your pets and relocate," explained Caruso. "If you can schedule it on day one and know with certainty that you're moving on that date… think about how much smoother life will go. It would be amazing."

    For more news about U.S. Transportation Command, visit www.ustranscom.mil.



    Date Taken: 05.10.2018
    Date Posted: 05.10.2018 17:33
    Story ID: 276613

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