How to Make a PCS Binder

black paper clamps scattered on pink surface

What do all PCS moves have in common? There is more than one right answer…but I think we can all agree they are STRESSFUL. There’s nothing quite like waiting for months to receive hard orders to suddenly be told by your detailer, “so I know you had verbals to Bangor, but you’re actually needed in Guam…you have six weeks to get there.” Alright, that’s an extreme example, but it’s happened!

Regardless of the timeline, there are so many moving parts to track and navigate. How on Earth are you going to keep your head from spinning right off? Enter, the PCS Binder!!!

A PCS binder is an organizational tool that will help ensure you have all the information and documents you need in one place as you prepare for and execute your move. No, you absolutely do not need to have a Type-A personality to make an effective, organized binder.

If you’re starting from scratch, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of what may be helpful to include in your binder. It seems like a lot (because it is), but trust us – you’ll be so happy to have everything in one place to quickly reference during crunch time. Keep in mind that not every one of these categories is going to be relevant to you and your family.

Materials You’ll Need:

Sections to Include:

    • Birth certificates + copies
    • Copy of driver’s license
    • Copy of military ID & dependent ID(s)
    • Passports + copies
    • Social security cards + copies
    • Marriage license + copies

    • DEERS/TriCare info
    • Medical & vaccination records (in some cases these are digital – include info in your binder of where to access)
    • EFM (Exceptional Family Member) program info

    • Homeowners/renter’s insurance
    • Large appliance info/warranties
    • Mortgage/lease agreement
    • Housing clearance paperwork

    • Expense list & receipts (keep records for reimbursements)
    • Packing schedule/shipping lists
    • High-value items list
    • Reservation info (ie hotels, rental car, etc)
    • Travel vouchers

    • Hard orders + copies
    • Power of attorney(s)
    • Wills & life insurance policy

    • Budget spreadsheet
    • Tax return documents
    • Bank account info

    • Car insurance policy
    • Maintenance history
    • Registration
    • Title/lease agreement
    • Shipping documents

    • Bank
    • Doctor/Dentist/Pharmacies
    • Duty station offices
    • Friends/FRG
    • Insurance companies (TriCare, USAA)
    • Phone company, internet company
    • Emergency contacts

    • School transcripts/records
    • Any additional info specific to your kids’ education plan

  • PETS
    • Health certificate
    • Registration
    • Vaccination history
    • Vet records
    • Vet records specific to traveling overseas (if OCONUS)

    • Plane reservations/airport info
    • Driving route
    • Hotels/plan for lodging along the way
    • Sightseeing locations/pit stops

    • Keep a communication log in the back of your binder to reference when you need to remember specific conversations that have occurred with various people while planning your move.

Ta-Da! You have a beautiful PCS binder ready to follow you wherever the Navy sends you…and then wherever they send you after that…and after that, and so on! For more PCS resources, click here.

Leave a Reply