Soldier to Soldier Hawaii

PCSing to Hawaii: A must Read

PCSing to Hawaii: A Comprehensive Guide to Your Military Move

## Introduction 

Planning a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) to Hawaii is an exciting yet daunting prospect for military service members and their families. The beautiful islands of Hawaii offer unique benefits and experiences, but the move requires careful preparation and understanding of the relocation process. In this comprehensive guide, we will provide you with all the essential information and tips to ensure a smooth and successful PCS to Hawaii.

Section 1: Understanding Your PCS Orders

1.1 Receiving and Reviewing Your PCS Orders

When you receive your PCS orders to Hawaii, it’s essential to review them carefully. Take note of your duty station, reporting date, and any special instructions provided. Contact your sponsor, who will be assigned to assist you throughout the relocation process. They can provide valuable insights and answer any questions you may have about your new base and the surrounding area.

1.2 Connecting with Military Members and Support Groups

To gain a better understanding of what to expect during your move to Hawaii, connect with military members who have previously made the same transition. Your sponsor can help facilitate these connections, and you can also join social media groups specifically dedicated to PCSing to Hawaii. These groups provide a platform for asking questions, sharing experiences, and receiving valuable advice from those who have already navigated the process.

Section 2: Managing Your Household Goods (HHG) Move

2.1 Evaluating Your Household Goods

Before your move, carefully assess your household goods to determine what items you will bring with you to Hawaii. Keep in mind that living spaces in Hawaii are generally smaller than on the mainland, so you may need to downsize and prioritize essential items. Create an inventory of your belongings, taking photographs and noting the condition of each item. This will be helpful for insurance purposes and filing any necessary claims in case of loss or damages during the move.

2.2 Scheduling Your HHG Move

To initiate the process of moving your household goods, you will need to work with the Defense Personal Property System (DPS). Familiarize yourself with the DPS application and follow the instructions provided to schedule your move. It is recommended to start the process early and allow sufficient time for the logistics of shipping your belongings to Hawaii.

2.3 Understanding Insurance Coverage

During the move, your household goods are covered by a limited insurance policy provided by the moving company. However, it may be prudent to consider additional insurance coverage for high-value items or sentimental belongings. Consult with your insurance provider or the moving company to explore options for supplemental coverage and ensure peace of mind during the move.

Section 3: Relocating with Pets to Hawaii

3.1 Familiarizing Yourself with Hawaii’s Pet Import Requirements

If you are planning to bring your pets to Hawaii, it is crucial to understand and comply with the state’s strict pet import requirements. Hawaii is a rabies-free state, and the quarantine laws are in place to protect both residents and pets from potential health risks. Familiarize yourself with the specific regulations and timelines for vaccinations, testing, and documentation required for your pets.

3.2 Preparing Your Pets for the Move

To ensure a smooth transition for your pets, begin preparations well in advance of your move. Schedule appointments with your veterinarian to ensure your pets are up to date on vaccinations and obtain the necessary documentation. Consider using the services of a reputable pet relocation specialist who can guide you through the process and help you meet all the requirements for bringing your pets to Hawaii.

Section 4: Temporary Housing and Lodging

4.1 Understanding Temporary Lodging Allowance (TLA)

Upon your arrival in Hawaii, you may be eligible for Temporary Lodging Allowance (TLA). TLA provides financial assistance to cover the cost of temporary lodging while you search for more permanent housing. Familiarize yourself with the TLA policies and procedures specific to your branch of service and installation.

4.2 Exploring Temporary Housing Options

When looking for temporary housing in Hawaii, consider both on-base and off-base options. On-base lodging facilities, such as guesthouses or barracks, may be available for temporary stays. Off-base, you can explore hotels, vacation rentals, or short-term leases. Research the local housing market and consult with your housing office for guidance on available options and recommended areas to consider.

Section 5: Understanding Financial Benefits and Allowances

5.1 Cost of Living Allowance (COLA)

Due to the higher cost of living in Hawaii, service members relocating to the islands are eligible for a Cost of Living Allowance (COLA). COLA is calculated based on various factors such as rank, time in service, and number of dependents. It is designed to help offset the increased expenses associated with living in Hawaii.

5.2 Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH)

In addition to COLA, service members stationed in Hawaii receive a Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) to assist with housing-related expenses. The BAH is determined by the zip code of your duty station and is intended to cover a portion of your monthly rent or mortgage payment.

5.3 Other Financial Benefits and Entitlements

During your PCS to Hawaii, you may be eligible for various other financial benefits and entitlements. These can include travel allowances, reimbursement for transportation costs, and tax benefits. Familiarize yourself with the specific policies and regulations governing these benefits and ensure that you take full advantage of what is available to you.

Section 6: Navigating the Healthcare System

6.1 Access to Military Healthcare Facilities

In Hawaii, the majority of military healthcare services are consolidated at Tripler Army Medical Center. It is essential to familiarize yourself with the healthcare facilities available to you and your family. Understand the process for scheduling appointments, accessing emergency care, and obtaining necessary prescriptions.

6.2 Tricare Coverage and Providers

Ensure that your Tricare coverage is up to date and that you understand the network of healthcare providers available to you in Hawaii. Take note of any changes in coverage or providers that may occur during your move. Contact Tricare representatives or visit the Tricare website for information on healthcare options in Hawaii.

Section 7: Settling into Your New Home and Community

7.1 Finding Housing Off-Base

If you choose to live off-base in Hawaii, familiarize yourself with the local real estate market and rental options. Consider working with a real estate agent experienced in military relocations to help you navigate the process. Conduct thorough research and visit potential neighborhoods to determine the best fit for you and your family.

7.2 Getting Involved in the Community

One of the best ways to acclimate to your new surroundings is to get involved in the local community. Attend base-sponsored events, join clubs or organizations, and participate in community activities. Engaging with your new community will help you build connections, make friends, and create a sense of belonging in your new home.

Section 8: Exploring the Beauty and Recreation of Hawaii

8.1 Enjoying Outdoor Activities

Hawaii offers a wealth of outdoor activities and recreational opportunities. Take advantage of the stunning beaches, hiking trails, water sports, and other outdoor adventures available on the islands. Embrace the unique natural beauty of Hawaii and make the most of your time in paradise.

8.2 Discovering Local Attractions and Culture

Immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of Hawaii by exploring local attractions, historical sites, and cultural events. Visit museums, attend traditional festivals, and learn about the unique traditions and customs of the Hawaiian people. Take the opportunity to expand your horizons and deepen your appreciation for the island’s rich heritage.


PCSing to Hawaii is a significant undertaking, but with proper planning and preparation, it can be an exciting and rewarding experience. Use this comprehensive guide as a roadmap to navigate the intricacies of your military move to the beautiful islands of Hawaii. Embrace the unique benefits and opportunities that await you, and make the most of your time in this tropical paradise. Aloha and welcome to your new home!

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