By Norman Shifflett | Garrison Public Affairs Office
FORT CARSON, Colo. — The stop movement order that was put in place back in March 2020, preventing Soldiers from permanent change of station (PCS) moves, is slowly being lifted. However, to make it a smooth move, Soldiers need to know a few things when it comes to their orders, clearing papers, household goods pickups and finance.
Soldiers should start the process at the online levy briefing, which provides easy access to information and documents that are needed to complete a Soldier’s PCS move and can be found at https://www.carson.army.mil/dhr/DHR/MPD/PPB/Briefings/Levy.html.
Soldiers with orders should ensure the report dates on their PCS orders are correct. If not, the Soldier should submit a request for a deferment through their units’ human resource specialist to change the report date. Once the orders have been corrected and the Soldier has an approved leave form, they can request their clearing papers.
Ten business days from the Soldiers leave-departure date, the clearing packet will be emailed to them with briefing sheets and instructions on how to clear Fort Carson while in the COVID-19 environment. Many installation agencies on the clearing checklist can be pre-cleared, making the process easier.
Even though the Consolidated Assignment Processing Section (CAPS) is operating at reduced manning, they are still publishing orders and issuing clearing papers and passports.
“We are still cutting orders, and if we get the notification that the report date has changed we will cut the amendment, and we are sending it right out,” said Pete Garza, manager, CAPS. “Out-processing is running smoother than it ever has, because (we now) have a condensed list of what is required to out-process.”
When Soldiers are ready for scheduling a household-goods pickup with the Joint Personal Property Shipping Office (JPPSO), they have two options.
The first option is upon receipt of retirement, separation or PCS orders, Soldiers can call 526-3755 to obtain a Defense Personal Property System (DPS) group briefing at the Mountain Post Soldier Center, building 1525.
The second option is to email email@example.com to obtain DPS self-counseling instructions. Both options require the Soldiers to visit https://www.move.mil to create a new user ID and password to access DPS.
When choosing the self-counseling option, it is important that the DOD Form 1299, DD Form 1797 and a copy of the Soldier’s PCS orders be uploaded into DPS. Failing to submit the required documents will delay pick-up date.
JPPSO staff said Soldiers should understand that orders are not required to schedule an appointment; however, they should bring a copy to the assigned briefing with the DPS user ID and password.
Troops should not schedule a “final out” date for their home or apartment until they receive an email confirmation from the DPS with their pack and pickup dates.
Next, Soldiers should educate themselves on what they are entitled to financially, and how to request those entitlements. Soldiers should refer to the online levy brief, and can find information on how to start the entitlement request process.
Because of COVID-19, the finance office is accepting documents electronically at firstname.lastname@example.org, which speeds up the process.
Soldiers must turn in a copy of their PCS orders and an approved leave form to finance. This puts them into a PCS status, which affects entitlements such as Basic Allowance for Housing for single Soldiers while moving between stations and per diem.
“Our rule of thumb is that we process everything based on receipt,” said Dr. Jay Miles, deputy director of finance. “Once we receive the documents, we have three business days to get the information into the computer and get it accomplished.”
The PCS status begins a 90-day countdown. If a Soldier does not report to their next duty station within the 90 days, their pay will be stopped.
Due to the stop movement, Soldiers who were in a PCS status but were not allowed to go anywhere, need to fill out a COVID-19 DD Form 1610. This form puts those Soldiers into a special temporary duty status so they receive per diem and are not charged leave.
When it comes to advances in pay, Soldiers who have a government travel card are authorized to use it for per diem and mileage. Soldiers are authorized to request Dislocation Allowance (DLA) to help cover the cost of moving.
Soldiers who are conducting a PCS move and live in the barracks of their losing unit who will also be moving into the barracks at their gaining unit are not authorized DLA.
For a PCS move, the Soldier should attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible about the process.
“It is the Soldier’s PCS, they should really take it upon themselves to keep track of what installations are open and what they need to move,” said Garza. “We want Soldiers to be more proactive.”