Successful PCS’ing requires planning

| May 19, 2017 | 0 Comments

Movers unpack Lt. Kathryn Bailey’s belongings, May 11, on Wheeler Army Airfield. Bailey, a Black Hawk pilot with the 25th CAB, 25th ID, PCSed to Wheeler from Fort Rucker, Alabama.

Story and photos by
Karen A. Iwamoto
Staff Writer
WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD — Whether Soldiers and families are making their first permanent change of station move or have been doing it for years, they’re almost certain to encounter challenges along the way.

“There are just so many moving parts to juggle,” said 1st Lt. Kathryn Bailey, a Black Hawk pilot with the 2nd Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, 25th Infantry Division. “I would say the best advice would be to start early.”

Lt. Kathryn Bailey, goes over a checklist of her household items with her movers, May 11, on WAAF.

Bailey arrived, here, from Fort Rucker, Alabama, about two months ago, but her household items didn’t get here until Thursday, May 11. This was her first PCS, but like any resourceful Soldier, she found a way to meet the challenge: She borrowed some furniture from Island Palm Communities until hers got here.

Island Palm Communities provides free loaner furniture for 30 to 60 days for arriving and departing residents at any of its Army housing communities on Wheeler, Schofield Barracks, Tripler Army Medical Center, Helemano, Aliamanu and Red Hill, said Rachel Hollaway, the IPC community manager at the Patriot Hamilton Community Center on Schofield Barracks.

Movers transport Lt. Kathryn Bailey’s furniture into her home on WAAF.

“We provide the basics: beds, couches, coffee tables, end tables. If they have their own washing machine and dryer and they’ve already shipped it (or it hasn’t arrived yet), we can provide for that as well,” Hollaway said, adding that residents should check in with their designated IPC community center for more information.

In addition to pre-inspections of homes for potential residents, IPC also hosts moving-out workshops at its community centers to educate departing residents about what they need to do move out properly and avoid potential fees.

“Some people don’t realize they have to come to their community center to give notice that they’ll be leaving,” Hollaway said. “The lease agreement does state that they have to give 28 days notice. That can be waived in some cases, but the best advice is to make sure they read their lease agreement and communicate with the community centers’ staff when they receive their orders to leave.”

However, getting moved in or out is only one aspect of a successful PCS. What follows are some reminders that will make transferring to and from Hawaii go smoothly.

Pets are a commitment, and prospective pet owners should be ready to commit their time and resources, on a daily basis. (File photo)


Arriving. Hawaii is a rabies-free state. Cats and dogs entering the state must undergo a 120-day quarantine period unless they qualify for the state’s five-day-or-less quarantine program.

Puppies and kittens under 10 months old do not qualify and will be quarantined for 120 days.

Certain dog breeds are prohibited from U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii installations and IPC housing. These include pit bulls, Chows, Rottweilers and wolf-hybrids.

In line with Hawaii law, dogs and cats on USAG-HI installations must be microchipped and registered with the Veterinary Treatment Center at Schofield Barracks or Fort Shafter.

There are two dog parks on post, one on Wheeler Army Airfield, the other at Helemano Military Reservation. Rules are posted at the parks.

Departing. It is against the law to abandon a dog or cat in Hawaii. The Hawaiian Humane Society accepts pets for a $25-per-pet fee. It also has a list of Oahu’s animal welfare groups that may be able to take in unwanted pets.

Additional Resources. To view USAG-HI’s pet policies, visit, click on the USAG-HI Policies tab and scroll down until you find the links to the Army Installation Microchip Program and the Prohibited Dog Breeds on USAG-HI Installations.

To view the U.S. Army Hawaii memorandum on Pets in Privatized Housing, visit, click on the USARHAW Policies tab and scroll down.

Information on bringing a pet into Hawaii can be found at


Arriving. There are no Department of Defense Schools in Hawaii; all public schools are under the jurisdiction of the Hawaii State Department of Education.

The school year starts on or around Aug. 1. Registration is year-round.

To enroll children in a public school, Soldiers and family members will need, at a minimum, their children’s health records with proof of immunization and physicals, their children’s birth certificates, and transcripts from their children’s previous schools.

Enrollment in kindergarten is mandatory in Hawaii for children who will turn 5 years old by July 31.

Departing. Soldiers and family members with children enrolled in a public school should check in with the School Liaison Office (SLO) or Child Youth and School Services to verify that they don’t have any outstanding obligations, such as overdue textbooks. They will also be asked to fill out a form that will be forwarded to the SLO at their next duty station to make the school transition there go more smoothly.

Additional Resources. For more information on schools in Hawaii, including home schooling and registering children in a private school, the state DOE has compiled a list of FAQs for military families at

Pvt. Andrew Mercado, a cannon crewmember with the 3rd Battalion, 7th Field Artillery Regiment, 25th Division Artillery, 25th Infantry Division, polishes the rims of his car in this 2016 photo. Readying vehicles for a PCS requires planning ahead.


Arriving. Drivers in Hawaii must have motor vehicle insurance. Personal vehicles in Hawaii must pass a vehicle safety inspection and be registered with the county it is in. Drivers who fail to renew their vehicle registration will be assessed a fine.

Active duty military personnel who are not residents of the state must submit a non-resident certificate form with each registration and registration renewal.

Active duty military personnel who are residents of the state or are members of the Hawaii National Guard and Reserve are exempt from the motor vehicle weight taxes for one vehicle registered in their name.

Departing. Those who don’t plan to ship their vehicle(s) to their next post may properly abandon them – for free – by following the guidelines set forth by the City and County of Honolulu, which are detailed at Be aware that if there is a lien on the vehicle, it will have to be properly released first.

The above link also provides information on properly transferring a vehicle’s title, and other options for properly disposing of it.

Additional Resources. For more information on registering your vehicle, visit

Service members may also schedule an appointment online to register their vehicles at the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam branch of the Honolulu Satellite City Hall by visiting


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