New deal for moving service members

2 Apr 2010 | Pfc. Justin M. Boling

The Department of Defense has developed a new semi-automated system for service members moving personal property.

The Defense Personal Property System will soon replace the other systems used this year. It allows service members to have control and more visibility of the movement of their possessions, according to Warrant Officer John Jarvis, the distribution management officer with Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron.

“This allows Marines with rigid schedules to move to their new duty station at their own leisure,” said Juanita White, the H&HS distribution manager.

 The old Transportation Operational Personal Property System involved the moving service member having to go to the Traffic Management Office, and be counseled on the first steps of a move. The Traffic Management Office would then handle the carrier and movement scheduling, according to Sgt. Edward Phillips, the H&HS household goods outbound noncommissioned officer-in-charge.

Individuals trying to move their own property or Dity move, still must use TOPS policies, commented Master Sgt. David Ingram, the H&HS distribution manager chief. Service members trying to move without the help of a carrier still have to go to TMO for counseling.

According to White, DPS does not cover the use of storage. Service members needing this service will also have to use TOPS. 

Dual military marriages still have to utilize TOPS to move, Ingram added. The DPS has not developed a way to divide entitlements.

“As of right now, people can decide which system to use,” Jarvis said, “however, the new system will be the standard across the board.”

The big difference between the old and new system is the new system allows service members to take care of it all on their own, added Ingram. The old system was not available online, so now movers have the ability to follow and track their items. The DPS is also self-counseling and can help the moving party make sense of it and provide tools that can assist in planning.

 According to Phillips, the weight estimator provided by the Web site is helpful, because it warns service members if the estimated weight is over a set limit the government will pay to move. The Traffic Management office still weighs the mover’s property before the final move. After the service member uses this tool, they can come to TMO for further guidance.

“We still suggest that first time movers bring their DPS password and pin number to access the office,” Phillip stated. “We can help the moving service member through the more confusing areas of the system.”

The DPS relies on the use of a private email account to maintain communication between the service member and carrier.

According to White, having a reliable private email account is necessary to receive a DPS password and pin number along with other important messages during the move.

Service members have the responsibility to inspect their own property; they have to report and file any damages to personal possessions. However with DPS, full replacement value is standard, not the government depreciated value of damaged property.

The customer, at the end of the move, has the power to rate the moving service, Ingram added, and depending on the surveys, those companies could be eliminated from future use by the DoD.

“The TMO offices involved with the shipment and distribution of goods are also rated and feedback will be used for evaluation purposes,” Jarvis said.

According to Jarvis, DPS is moving towards standardization across the DoD. Leaving the success of the program up to the service member.

For more information on moving your personal property, contact Sgt. Edward Phillips at 228-7234. For information about DPS and how to sign up, visit