For Major Donald Fredenrich, moving was a more daunting concept than anything he had faced in his 19 years in the service. “After being on the same post for years, I was reassigned when my base was closed in a budget move,” he said. “When you are in one place for so long, you tend to accumulate a lot of stuff.” Most concerning to Fredenrich was his collection of vintage firearms. “I don’t trust those things to anyone,” he said, “and I had nightmares of them being damaged, destroyed or vanishing en route to the new house.”
Fredenrich is not alone in his fears. Moving is only behind death and divorce in a recent ranking of stressful life events, and that stress is often compounded for those in military service, as military moves often involve the troublesome combination of difficult items (like Fredenrich’s firearm collection) and government red tape. For those in just this situation, it is important to remember that a military move does not necessarily mean using military movers. There are many programs that will partially of wholly subsidize military moves.
One such program is a military dity (Do IT Yourself) move. In such a move, the service member may receive a GCC (Government Constructed Cost), which is a figure the government uses which is essentially the amount the government would have had to pay to move that service member’s belongings in a government move. In the world of military moves, this option does have some limitations. This GCC cannot exceed the authorized weight allowance, and any loss or damage to property is automatically considered to be the result of improper packing or handling, relieving the government of any liability.
That said, there are many benefits. A DITY move may be done in conjunction with other programs. For example, you can ship some of your belongings under a Government Bill of Lading (GBL) and ship the rest under the DITY program. There are resources for navigating all of these options, including the Military Family Center, which offers a Relocation Assistance Program (RAP). The RAP provides moving information to military families, including details on the military moving allowance, a listing of authorized military moving companies, and helpful military moving checklists that can help to keep you organized.
There are four different kinds of Military DITY moves. In a “rental equipment” move, the service member rents a truck and handles the move. In a “you load and they drive” move, the member fills a truck or a pod for a company to transport. A third option is the “privately owned vehicle” move, where the service member uses his own vehicle or a borrowed vehicle to perform the move. A lesser used fourth option is the “mobile home shipment” move, which contains an allowance for moving heavy appliances and furniture from a mobile home.