Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton
MCB Pendleton Logo
Photo Information

U.S. Marines visit the Distribution Management Office (DMO) to ask questions about their upcoming moves on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, April 16 2019. Transitioning service members go to DMO to receive services such as shipment, receipt, pickup, delivery and storage of all personal property. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Gabino Perez)

Photo by Cpl. Gabino Perez

Don’t stress the PCS. The right way to move to your next duty station

19 Apr 2019 | Cpl. Gabino Perez Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

Change in any aspect can be stressful, especially when it means picking up everything you own and relocating to another state or country. Military families are all too familiar with this. Every year, thousands of Marines around the Corps receive Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders.

Once orders are received, there are several things that a service member must do before leaving. Since Marines tend to stay focused on work, sometimes planning for their upcoming move can be affected. According to the Marine Corps Personal Property Office, when you are within 90-100 days of PCS'ing, your focus should be strictly on moving. This is where the Distribution Management Office (DMO) can assist. Personnel at DMO on Marine Corps Base (MCB) Camp Pendleton take pride in making the PCS process as painless as possible.

“May through August are the busiest months of PCS season. We refer to this as ‘Bee’ season, because we have so many people coming in and out of our office,” said Staff Sgt. Placido Sanchez, staff noncommissioned officer-in-charge, Personal Property Move (PPM), DMO. “You have to get ahead of it to make things easier.”

Executing a move comes with a lot of stress that can be managed by planning accordingly. While at DMO, Marines are encouraged to ask as many questions as they can, ahead of time, to avoid any confusion. The great news is that DMO offers websites, counselors, and classes to address every concern a military member or their family may have.

“We process, assist and give guidance for the service members that are PCS’ing, separating and retiring,” said Sanchez. “There’s also a passenger travel section which assists in booking flights, and freight who handles any cargo.”

Time is the most significant factor when making a move, and with enough of it, everything can be scheduled accordingly.

“Start your PCS process as soon as you receive orders is my recommendation,” said Sgt. Kyle Matt, noncommissioned officer-in-charge, orders section, Installation Personnel Administration Center (IPAC). “We see people wait until it’s too close to their time of transfer and often end up having to extend a service member's new duty station check-in date when things go wrong.”

The first decision that has to be made after receiving orders is how you would like your goods to be transported to your new home. This step ensures that you talk to the correct section at DMO and follow the correct procedures. If you’re a single Marine or have a family and pets, large or small, DMO can accommodate your move.

“The member has two choices. They can have the government move their belongings for them through an approved moving company, or they can do a personally procured move in which the service member may move everything for themselves.” said Sanchez.

 The web resource to help you facilitate a move is This specific site has the answers to most questions and has become easier to navigate and includes constant improvements that help service members’ transition, according to the Marine Corps Personal Property Office.

“We have a system that we use called the Defense Personal Property System that works with and lets you submit all of your information for us to see and review,” said Sanchez.

 With the help of DMO and the website, the Marine Corps can posture itself to make the PCS season a lot less stressful.

 If you are going to make a PCS move, DMO staff encourage you to visit or You can also stop by their office for more information.

More Media

Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton