The Army’s Relocation Assistance Program (RAP), available through ACS, helps you settle into your new home as quickly and easily as possible. Many programs and services are available. One of the first services offered was the lending closet program, which provided for the temporary loan of basic household equipment for families to use until their own furnishings arrived. Other services include relocation guidance or counseling, education, and outreach services.
The Lending Closet
The lending closet program provides basic items you need upon arrival or before departure. Dishes, pots, pans, silverware, toasters, irons, and ironing boards are just a few of the items available on loan at most installations. This important service helps you and your family adjust more quickly by providing basic household needs.
The lending closet program provides basic housekeeping items on temporary loan for a varied period of time (usually thirty to sixty days) to all incoming personnel. An extension may be available if the household shipment has not arrived within the designated time period. For outgoing families, items may be borrowed after the household shipment has been picked up. However, all items need to be returned prior to departure from the installation. The following list is a sample of the items that may be available through the lending closet:
- Coffee makers. …� Highchairs.
- Irons and ironing boards.
- Miscellaneous kitchen items.
- Plates. …� Playpens.
- Pots and pans.
Guidance counseling (through RAP) helps to ensure that soldiers and families are prepared to cope with stressors and problems they may encounter throughout all of their permanent change of station (PCS) moves. RAP tries to accomplish this by providing you with the right information at the right time, counseling people on the emotional impact of moves, and educating the public to manage and plan for military relocation.
The US Army established the Total Army Sponsorship Program to assist soldiers, civilian employees, and family members during the relocation process. Program participants are provided with accurate and timely information and other support needed to minimize problems associated with relocating to a new duty station. The program is available to the active Army, the Army National Guard, the United States Army Reserve, and to civilian employees whose assignment to a position within the Department of the Army requires a PCS.
You can never be too financially ready for your move. The government ships your household goods and gives you travel funds and even a dislocation allowance, but it may not be enough to cover all your expenses. While advance pay may seem like a great solution, remember that you must pay back this advance within 12 months, and the temporary hardship of relocating may impact your family for a long time. Moving expenses you can expect include rent, advance rent, deposits, vehicle licenses and registration, car rental, transportation from the car shipping port (stateside), temporary lodging, and meals. Plan ahead!
You can find additional information at your local ACS office, the Army Community Services website at www.armycommunityservice.org, or the website of your installation or the one you are moving to. You can also find detailed information about your next duty station through the Standard Installation Topic Exchange Service (SITES) website at www.dmdc.osd.mil/sites.
The Army, through your local transportation office, arranges to move your household goods and other property when you transfer to a new duty station or upon leaving the service. In some situations, you may also choose to move your property yourself in a do-it-yourself (DITY) move. But you must be proactive and plan your move with your local transportation office in a timely manner. If not, you could be paying out-of-pocket for unforeseen costs or shipment problems.
Find detailed information about transportation requirements in the Joint Federal Travel Regulations (JFTR) on the Military Traffic Management Command website at mtmc.army.mil. There you will find information dealing with any situation that you may have regarding transportation. However, the regulation is very detailed and may require you to contact your local transportation office for clarification.
Your installation transportation office (ITO) is very important to you and your family after receiving orders to move. The ITO coordinates transportation, reimbursement, or a payment in lieu of transportation. This affects members and families located in the Continental United States (CONUS) and Outside the Continental United States (OCONUS). But your active and early involvement with the assistance from your ITO is necessary to have a smooth move. Don’t arrange any travel or shipment of your property before you have proper authorization-orders-or it could be costly for you.