You've heard it before: First thing you do when you get your orders is to see the Traffic Management Office (TMO). Your tickets, when you give notice to your landlord and several other things hang on getting your TMO funding in place.
There is something new, however. DoD service members, civilians and their families have two options to manage moves. First, they can visit their local installation transportation office or personal property shipping office to start the move process. Or, they can use the Defense Personal Property System, known as DPS, which can be accessed through move.mil. This website is the portal for DPS and is the one-stop shop where members can completely manage their move process.
"It's basically a virtual TMO," said Staff Sgt. Jennifer Miller, 75th LRS/LGRDS. "It includes regulations, directories, who to contact, weight scales and how-to videos."
This means that once a member gets his or her orders a visit to the website and an email of their orders to firstname.lastname@example.org could be all that is needed to begin the process. Just make sure the email of the orders is accompanied by a description of what they are, your name and really good contact information.
With short notice orders Miller recommends copies of orders be submitted to the Hill TMO right away.
"If they do the self counsel (option via the website) they have to submit a copy to us of their orders and a 1299 and once they push 'submit' there is a little block (of wording) that they select that they know they have to provide the correct documentation to TMO," said Miller. "I've had people do the self counsel and then were supposed to be here today but they never provided us with the proper documentation."
Your orders are essential in order to secure funds for your move and get things in motion. The TMO cannot move forward without it.
With the large number of people moving during the early and late summer periods, Miller advises visiting the TMO or the move.mil website the sooner the better.
"It is first-come, first-served," said Miller. This is due to the limited number of carriers signed up by the Joint Personal Property Shipping Office in Colorado (JPPSO-COS) available to serve Hill Air Force Base and the surrounding area.
"JPPSO at Colorado Springs serves a large area," said Miller. She explained the span included such states as California, Washington, Idaho, New Mexico and Utah.
So, it is in the best interests of the customer to come in early. Back-up shipping dates are essential as are good contact phone numbers and emails. If a customer provides a work email and phone number, it can bog the whole process down because once a member leaves the base, those became inactive.
Through the use of the move.mil website, however, contact information can be changed at any time during the process. The move.mil website can be visited without CAC access, say from a parent's home computer or a personal laptop.
Miller recommends however, that if a customer does this that they shut off the pop-up ad blocker. The DPS uses pop-up pages and this will stop the necessary pages from opening up when the site is reached and a customer tries to access any pages step-by-step.
"The three week window still applies," said Miller. That means three weeks are requested to accommodate packing date requests in order to make sure carriers can be secured.
"We still suggest the customer has adequate cushioning time in case something happens and that they have back-up dates," she said.
In the event the member cannot be there for the day of their pick up they can designate a friend or family member as a releasing agent, Miller added.
Anyone who is a first-time mover, or is retiring or separating from the military, should still visit the TMO for the briefing process. "There are extra entitlements that the DPS (website) can't tell them about," she said. Anyone who is hesitant about the process is urged to come in for the regular briefings through an appointment.
Do It Yourself (DITY) moves have not changed and remain the same, said Miller.
Anyone with questions about move.mil or needing assistance may come in anytime when the office is open but without an appointment will have to be flexible about wait periods. Anyone with an appointment will likely be assisted first.
To contact the TMO and set up an appointment with a counselor call (801) 775-2849 or (801-775-3828. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Elaine Sanchez, American Forces Press Service, contributed information to this article.