Sailors Encouraged to Take Advance Travel Pay During PCS Moves

From Navy Personnel Command Public Affairs

The summer season is a very busy time for permanent change of station (PCS) moves for Sailors and their families. While uprooting and moving somewhere different can be challenging, the Navy is overhauling the PCS experience to reduce the stress for Sailors and their families. One of these improvements is streamlining the existing travel advance process.

Sailors can make a PCS move without any out-of-pocket expenditures by simply taking advantage of the travel entitlements available to them in advance of their move. “Travel advances are available for Sailors to request before transferring with one purpose -- to alleviate out-of-pocket expenses for Sailors and their families,” said Capt. John Popham, Navy Pay and Personnel Support Center (NPPSC) commanding officer.

“The opportunity to receive an advance is underused,” Popham said, adding, “Not everyone authorized to request an advance will do it. Our intent is to reduce the barriers to get an advance; by making the process faster and more user-friendly, we expect to increase use of this entitlement.”

In streamlining the advance process, NPPSC is building on several recent improvements to the travel claim process, systems and forms. Coming soon is the consolidation of numerous forms into one single form to support the travel planning process; eventually we will automate the entire end-to-end process.

“Giving them the money up front relieves a lot of stress on the Sailor and the family, because there is no need to go into debt in anticipation of the Navy paying expenses, because the money is already in the Sailor’s hands,” Popham said.

By definition, travel advances are designed to assist service members with PCS travel expenses. This includes funding assistance for mileage, meals, and lodging. Sailors will still have to reconcile their expenditures by filing a complete travel claim once they check in at their new duty stations, but we are also focusing on improving the travel claim process to make it easier for you and your Command Pay and Personnel Administrator (CPPA).

If you’re about to make a PCS move, it’s recommended that you talk with your CPPA to help decide if a travel advance is the right thing for you. This is especially true if you’re going overseas or moving to a location with a higher-than-average cost of living.

“We are working hard to reduce the administrative burden associated with pay so that Sailors can focus on the mission and their life/work balance,” Popham said. “This is only one of many ways that we are transforming the pay-and-personnel system to bring a dramatically higher quality of customer service to Sailors and their families.”