Military members who make Permanent Change of Station (PCS) moves from one duty station to another are authorized many entitlements. Below is a quick glance of the major entitlements authorized in conjunction with moving from one duty assignment to another.
HOUSE HUNTING TRIP PRIOR TO MOVE. Military members are allowed a permissive TDY (Temporary Duty) for up to 10 days in conjunction with a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) move between and within the 50 states & District of Columbia. By "Permissive TDY" that means there is no transportation or per diem paid, but members are not charged for leave.
Military members may request (from their commander) this permissive TDY anytime after they receive their written re-assignment orders. However, because there is no travel entitlement, most military members elect to use this benefit, after signing out of their old base, but before signing into their new base. In other words, they plan to arrive at their new base 10 days early, which then gives them 10 days for house-hunting, which is not charged as leave.
The "house-hunting" entitlement only applies for members who will not be living in the barracks/dormitories after arrival at the new assignment.
TEMPORARY LODGING EXPENSE (TLE). TLE is designed to partially offset lodging and meal expenses when a member and/or dependents need to occupy temporary lodging in CONUS (Continental United States) in connection with a PCS. The member receives reimbursement (for member and family members) for temporary lodging and meal expenses, up to $180 per day.
If the member is moving from from one CONUS base to another, he/she is authorized up to 10 days TLE, either at the losing duty station or at the new duty station (or any combination, up to 10 days total).
If the member is moving from CONUS to overseas, they can only receive up to five days TLE at the losing duty station. If the member is moving from Overseas to CONUS, they can receive up to 10 days TLE at the new CONUS duty station after arrival.
TLE is not paid for lodging made during the actual travel days from one duty station to another (that's an entirely different animal, called "per diem," rather it's for temporary lodging (in the states) at the old duty station, before departure, or at the new duty station, after arrival.
TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCE (TLA). What TLE is to CONUS, TLA is to overseas. Up to 60 days (can be extended) may be paid for temporary lodging expenses and meal expenses after a military member (and his/her family) arrive at a new overseas location, while awaiting housing. Up to 10 days of TLA can be paid for temporary lodging expenses in the overseas location, prior to departure.
DISLOCATION ALLOWANCE. Military members may be entitled to a Dislocation Allowance (DLA) when relocating their household due to a PCS. DLA is intended to partially reimburse relocation expenses not otherwise reimbursed. For more information and current rates, see our DLA Information Page.
The legal authority for Dislocation Allowance is 37 USC 407.
PER DIEM FOR PCS TRAVEL. Military members receive a "per diem" allowance, which is designed to partially reimburse for lodging and meal expenses when traveling from one duty station to another.
When traveling by Privately Owned Conveyance (POC), military members are paid a flat rate of $85.00 per day for each day of authorized travel used. When the member travels cy commercial means, they are paid the established per diem rate, (under "Lodging Plus") for the new Permanent Duty Station (PDS), or the rate for the delay point if the member stops overnight.
Per diem for dependents is 3/4 of the member's applicable rate for each dependent 12 years old or older and 1/2 of the member's rate for each dependent under 12 years.
The legal authority for PCS Per Diem is 37 USC 404.
TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE (POC). When members elect to travel to their new duty station by POC (auto), they are entitled to receive a mileage allowance, in lieu of cost of airline ticket. The reimbursement rate depends on the number of authorized travelers in the vehicle. For complete information, see our PCS/TDY Travel Mileage Rates Information Page.
The legal authority for POC Travel is 37 USC 404(d)
DEPENDENT TRAVEL WITHIN CONUS BY OTHER THAN POC. Within CONUS dependents may be authorized to travel by commercial means (air, rail, bus), unless they elect to travel by POC, from the old PDS to the new PDS. The military member can be reimbursed for this travel, up to what it would have cost the military to purchase an airline ticket.