Relocation is an expected part of life as a Marine but that doesn’t mean it is an easy part especially when families are involved. Individual soldiers who receive Permanent Change of Station (PSC) orders typically have all of the resources they need to settle affairs and make the move. But when entire families need to pick up and head to their next home, it will take some pre-planning and considerations for a successful Marine family move.
The transition for the spouse and children of a relocated Marine is not always easy. While there is often a certain level of excitement about the change, there is also a lot of disruption that can make the move emotionally draining and physically challenging. Here are some tips for families of Marines who are about to undergo their first change of location as a family:
Identify Your Resources
The United States Marines have many resources available to families during relocation but it is important for families to first identify what is there for them. The enlisted Marine will be provided with the necessary paperwork regarding the move and families should utilize what is available to them. The Marine relocation office will be your first stop for information. Be sure to visit with the staff early for easier preparation.
During any kind of move, life will get hectic and things will get lost. Create a space just for your relocation materials. You will need to stay organized and it is best to have a folder prepared for all of your important paperwork including orders, passports, birth certificates, and other relevant documents so you have easy access when you need them. Keep everything in a filing cabinet or other container so all move-related items are in the same location.
Prioritize Your To-Dos
Create a master to-do list for each member of the family that will help start the moving process off on the right foot. List the things you need to do and then relist them in a priority order. For example, a month prior to the move you should have a list of what needs to be done all the way through to the date of the move.
Confirm Marine Protocol
When you are preparing your home for a move, you need to also set up an appointment with the Transportation Office. This appointment will get you set up for the physical move and you will need to know what to expect. If you are a spouse of a deployed Marine, you will need to have a power of attorney document that will allow you to set up the traveling specifics while your spouse is not available.
It is good practice to learn what you can about your next location prior to the move so you have some idea of what to expect. Many Marine relocation centers will offer a package of welcome information. This can help the transition ahead especially for children. Explore the new community through online resources including the local Chamber of Commerce office. You can find information about the new schools children will be attending at the new location.
The more you do in anticipation of the move, the smoother the transition is likely to be for everyone. Relocating is often a necessary part of the Marine life but the transitions may not get easier for family members involved. Use the support services available through the US Marines and find time to enjoy your new life.
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