2013-12-20 / Viewpoint

Moving, Army-style AIT Warrior Spotlight

By Capt. Hannah He
Army Strong Stories

Photo courtesy of the 15th Regimental Signal Brigade Photo courtesy of the 15th Regimental Signal Brigade Right now, my house looks like a hurricane blew through. I’m at the starting point of my first major Army-style move, and my house is only a minor representation of the confusion I’m feeling.

The Army typically offers two options once you have orders to move to a new station: the Army can move everything for you, or you can do a personally procured move, which used to be called a dity, or do it yourself, move. Typically, this process starts three months out or more. I’m special, though, and got my orders 38 days from my early report date. Combine this with wanting to take a month of leave to travel a bit before law school, and my local transportation office highly recommended that I opt for the dity option. It was that, or wait until after classes start to get any of my stuff.

Since my husband is deployed for the nine months, we had already planned on clearing out our house, putting his goods in storage and moving mine to Baltimore. Now that we’re about 36 hours from our planned time to leave, this seems like a much more complicated plan. We’re both throwing things into boxes, slapping on a label (mine are numbered and have a destination, storage or Baltimore; his are usually blank), and throwing things into the garage. From there everything is routed into the portable storage unit I hired to store and carry everything I’m taking with me, or into the truck taking things to the local storage unit for my husband’s goods.

To help me stay focused through all this, I made myself a list of things to remember during this part:

Don’t forget to get the weight tickets for everything! There are specific weight allowances for moving and storing household goods, so it’s important to keep track. This doesn’t include professional goods, such as uniforms, books, Field manuals, and all the gear issued over the years.

Pack a box to keep in the trunk that will go with me the day I start in my new apartment. This holds some food, toilet paper, a shower curtain, cleaning wipes, and those little things you need to get started right away. I also have an air mattress; when I got to my first duty station, I didn’t have time to buy myself a bed for a month. Also, the first night I forgot batteries for my air mattress.

Keep all important documents together and not packed away. Passports, birth certificates, marriage certificates, copies of orders and DA31 forms, should all be easily accessible and safe.

Don’t forget to forward the mail.

A little bit of me can’t wait to settle all the financial paperwork for this. Part of the incentive of dity moves is that one gets paid for the amount that is moved. This is also why the weight receipts are important.

Hopefully this all goes off without a hitch, and I come out in Baltimore with a complete household!

Note: A weekly feature showcasing the newest members of the United States Army, young Soldiers who are attending Advanced Individual Training in their selected military occupational specialty, will be featured in the Signal. These Soldiers have been selected by their chain of command based on achievement and in keeping with what it means to live the Army values.

Say hello to 21-year-old Pfc. Aidan Quinn, a Boston native, assigned to E Co., 551st Signal Battalion, 15th Regimental Signal Brigade. He is currently training for the military occupational specialty 25Q, multichannel transmission systems operator-maintainer, and joined the Army in July of this year. Quinn is following in the footsteps of his grandfather, who served in the Air Force. He is a member of the National Guard and is enrolled in the University of New Hampshire, where he is part of the Reserve Officer Training Corps program. During middle school, Quinn spent a summer in the Ecuador, performing charity work in for a village located in the Amazon jungle. His group helped to build infrastructure and provide assistance to citizens of the small fishing village. Quinn’s short-term goal is to be the honor graduate of his AIT class. His long-term goal is to become a commissioned officer and to continue serving his country.

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