Sunday, April 17, 2011

Opening a New Chapter

Greetings from the Pacific Northwest!

My blog posting has been light because I've been traveling back and forth to multiple Navy schools over the past several months.  Now that I have finally reported to my new Permanent Duty Station (PDS), I figured I should update the banner info on my blog.

For those of you (CW) who relied upon my blog to remind you of things like getting your uniform ready for sub ball, doing your taxes, or picking up your Mass Transit Benefit at the Pentagon, please accept my apologies.  I have been delinquent on my public service announcements.  Hopefully you weren't really relying on me to tell you when to submit your taxes. ;-)

Judging by the number of hits on my blog for Google searches like, "what to wear to the submarine ball," you can tell it's that time of year again.  This post is too late to help most people since the Submarine Birthday Ball has already happened in most places.  I attended the Submarine Birthday Ball in Omaha last week, and it was very nicely executed.  Last night was the officer Submarine Birthday Ball in Seattle, and my wonderful wife and I had a great time.  Next Saturday is the enlisted Submarine Birthday Ball in Seattle.


Under the category of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it," I discovered there is a new website for arranging household goods shipments.  The new Defense Personal Property Management (DPS) website isn't as user-friendly as the previous SmartMove website was, and it has been a frustrating process so far.  Here are a few quick lessons learned for anybody else getting ready to execute a PCS transfer and ship household goods:

1.  Start early.  After you register on the DPS website, they say it can take up to 72 hours to complete your registration (just so you can log-on to the website).  It took me 3 tries to get my registration processed through the DPS website and get logged on to where I could start submitting my request for HHG shipment. 

2.  Pack out dates.  Unlike the old SmartMove website that showed you a calendar with what dates were available, the DPS website just asks what date you want to move.  I entered a Monday that I wanted the packers to show up, figuring they would pack Monday and Tuesday then load the truck Wednesday. 


The date you enter on DPS is the date you want your house to be empty, not the date you want them to show up and start packing. So if you enter a Monday date, then the packers will be coming to box your stuff up on Thursday and Friday the week before.

3.  Call and confirm they receive your application.  After submitting the move application online, I received an automated email response saying it was received and that I needed to fax in my orders for them to process my application.  The next day, I faxed in my orders.  The day after that, I called to confirm they received my fax.  The gentleman I spoke with on the phone said, "Well, yes, we received your fax with your orders, but we don't know why you sent them to us because we don't have any application for you."  So much for the electronic submission and the automated confirmation email.  Recommend calling to confirm they receive your application.

That's all for now.  More to follow as we explore and get to know our new home.

Oh, and don't forget to submit your income tax return.


ChaseKB said...

Welcome! We've enjoyed it here the past couple years.

Navy Nats Fan said...

Congratulations on relieving in command - best wishes and good luck on your tour - enjoy it!