MCAS Cherry Point News


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Government contracted movement specialists pack furniture aboard Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point June 6. The summer months are the peak of business for moving companies, causing backups in business and long wait periods. Marines and Sailors receiving new orders can find themselves without help preparing their possessions and family without proper planning.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Scott L. Tomaszycki

Marines, Sailors may experience delays with changing duty stations

23 Jun 2011 | Lance Cpl. Scott L. Tomaszycki

Marines experience a permanent change of duty station every two to three years with new orders. When a Marine has new orders to PCS or ending his active-duty service, part of his check-out process is to contact the Distribution Management Office in order to take his personal belongings with him. DMO works hard to ensure Marines can get there with their possessions and family moved out on time.

During the summer months, DMO will be experiencing three week delays due to high demand for services and encourages all Marines and Sailors to plan accordingly.

“The carriers are saturated, meaning that they can take no more shipments,” said Gunnery Sgt. Shaun R. Carlson, the distribution chief of the Distribution Management Office. “They’re saturated through the 4th of July holiday and it’s starting to back up through the month of July. Marines definitely need backup plans and need to be flexible with their schedules.”

Flexibility with moving schedules is key because DMO will do their best to make the move happen on the specified dates, but sometimes that is impossible. If the moving companies have to move the dates back, the new dates can interfere with previously arranged plans.

Carlson said there are some ways to ease the strain of moving despite difficulties with DMO. One, Marines and Sailors should visit the DMO office immediately after receiving orders, so they can get accommodations scheduled as soon as possible. Also, it may be easier to do a personally procured move, informally known as a “ditty move,” or set up the arrangements without DMO. If a Marine or Sailor takes this option, they can use the weight scales located on Access Road near the recycling center after making an appointment with DMO.

If precautions are not taken, Marines can find themselves without help when they are in need.

Sgt. Matthew Ardoin, a Marine currently getting out of the Marine Corps, and moving away, scheduled with DMO for the movers to come June 30 to pack and move his possessions out of his house. He made arrangements to rent his house out to a family that is expected to move in July 1. The day after these arrangements were made, the movers called and said they would not be able to do his job until July 5 - 6, creating a stressful situation for all parties.

Ardoin attempted to find a moving company by himself without the aid of DMO, but he couldn’t afford the arrangements. Also, there was a risk of losing the lease deal. If he didn’t lose the lease, then he could have to find a place to stay for five days for himself and his family.

“Complacency can play a role in the situation,” said Ardoin. “I’ve moved twice since I’ve been in the fleet without a problem. When they told me they couldn’t help, that was one more thing on my plate now that I’m ending my active duty service. I have to find a new house, find movers, work out GI Bill and college issues, vacate my old house for the renters and this is adding to the headache.”

Carlson said that DMO has to compete for moving trucks and their companies with the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and the civilian sector, creating a workload that overwhelms the companies helping people move. Conditions may get worse before they are expected to improve in September at the end of the moving season.

Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point