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Can your mover “handle the truth” about your military or government relocation?

Father in military uniform and daughter holding cardboard boxes.

If you are in the military, this might be a familiar scene. 

Jason and his family have been stationed at a base for two years — and now it’s time to move again. Not only will his family be uprooting and leaving the place they’ve started to call home (again), they’re also on a tight timeline. 

This time, Jason’s family needs to get their household packed and ready to move — and they only have two weeks.

Relocating as a military family can be stressful enough without the additional burden of a very limited time frame and specialized regulations.

“There’s no time to fuss about it,” Jason tells his stressed-out wife and kids. “Let’s just break out the moving boxes and get started.”

The challenges of military moves

Military personnel and their families tend to move frequently as part of the job. 

Government and military moves are typically paid for by the government or military — rather than by the service member or government employee.

But do you want to know the truth? 

(You read that in Jack Nicholson’s voice, didn’t you?) These moves can still be stressful, hectic, and subject to specific regulations and guidelines.

Government and military moves are full-service (packing, wrapping, disassembly, loading, transit, unloading, reassembly, and unpacking — whew! That’s a mouthful!). They include temporary warehouse storage (usually 90 days) and delivery out of storage.

And depending on the requirements, these moves can be domestic or international.

Military and government moves come with unique requirements and regulations. Make sure your moving company is well-versed and experienced in handling these types of moves!

Appleton’s moving and storage companies (Scobey and Central) have the experience and knowledge to handle your military or government move — making the process easier and alleviating some of the stress.

Let’s take a look at some of the things that make government moves unique.


Government and military moves may have abbreviated timelines and schedules that must be met because service members and government employees may be required to report to their new duty stations at specific times.

It’s not uncommon to have to pack up your entire household and be ready for a move within a few weeks — or even days!

Regulations and Restrictions

Government and military moves may be subject to unique requirements:

  • Weight restrictions 
  • Restrictions regarding the handling and transport of hazardous materials
  • Security clearance
  • Specific inventory lists and documentation
  • Insurance requirements
  • Quality control standards to ensure the safe transportation of goods and materials

Typically, the military or government agency provides a detailed list of items that the moving company is responsible for packing, loading, and transporting. 

For the move to go smoothly, a moving company needs experience working with these specifications and processes.

Appleton Moving Company (through our companies Scobey and Central) is an approved carrier for government and military moves. Our team members are trained to handle the unique specifics and regulations of military moves.

Security Clearance

Government and military moves may also require additional security clearance for the moving company and its employees.

As part of a move, a company (like Appleton) may be handling sensitive or classified information or materials. The clearance process involves an extensive background check (including a review of the individual’s criminal history, credit history, and personal relationships). There are security standards required of storage facilities and protocols surrounding communication.

If this sounds like a lot — it is!

But all this is to ensure that individuals with access to sensitive information or materials are trustworthy and don’t pose a security risk.

In military and government moves, Appleton handles cargo with care, integrity, and attention to detail — because that’s how we handle every move.

And we’ve gone through the necessary processes and training to comply with these standards.

Whose move is it?

When you’re facing a government or military move, you might have questions about the specifics of moving. Let’s talk about some FAQs.

Can I choose my moving company?

Well, sometimes. And sort of.

Like we mentioned, you can request one of our companies (Scobey or Central), and we are often awarded military moves.

However, the government has the final say in the choice.

But even if you aren’t able to choose your own mover through a government or military award, you still might find the information on government and military moving helpful for future reference!

This information on regulations, guidelines, and benefits that moving companies must follow when working with government and military clients might come in handy if you’re considering moving on your own!

And knowing what’s required during a government or military move can help you make an informed decision when choosing a moving company.

DIY Moves

When you’re moving with the military, you have the option of a “do-it-yourself” (DIY) move — still using a moving company!

Sometimes people (like Jason from earlier) opt to arrange their move themselves.

  • It can give you more control over the process.
  • It might offer more flexibility than a full-service move.
  • You can sometimes save money if you keep the cost under the reimbursement amount.

If you choose the DIY method though, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to do it all yourself!

You can choose your own company, pay for the move directly, and get reimbursed by the military. It’s important to note that with this kind of move, reimbursement is based on the military’s pay schedule — not the cost of the move.

However, some of our customers choose this option because it gives them more direct control over their move — without the stress of handling it all on their own!

And it’s also worth noting that a DIY with a moving company is most effective when a shipment can be delivered door-to-door without storage being necessary between the two destinations.

What are some tips to make moving easier?

Start the process early

If you’re moving with the government or military, the earlier you submit your orders or request, the better. Even if your dates can change, it’s better to book with what you know and coordinate adjustments if necessary.

Make an informed decision

Additionally, the information on regulations, guidelines, and benefits that moving companies must follow when working with government and military clients may be beneficial for customers who are planning a move on their own, and it can help them make an informed decision when choosing a moving company.

Many moving companies that specialize in government and military moving have experience working with these types of moves and understand the regulations and guidelines that must be followed.

There may be specific benefits and protections for service members and government employees when it comes to moving, such as protection against loss or damage of household goods.


We’ve got the right moves

Military and government moves are a different scenario from your typical relocation. At Appleton Moving Company, we’ve got “the right moves” to make your move stress-free and smooth. With our extensive experience providing government and military moving services, we know the process, guidelines, and importance of getting you where you need to go. 

Contact us today to learn how we can help you with your military or government move.


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