When You Get PCS Orders to a Place You Don’t Want to Go

When You Get PCS Orders to a Place You Don’t Want to Go

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You are waiting on PCS orders, hoping for Hawaii or even Germany. If you can’t go OCONUS, you are pulling for Fort Carson, your best friend lives there and you have heard so many good things. Your spouse comes home with orders for Fort Bliss.

After 5 years overseas you just want to get stationed somewhere on the East Coast so you will be just a few hours from your family. You learn you will be PCSing to Fort Lewis in Washington.

After spending 10 years in landlocked states you are hoping for a PCS to anywhere near an ocean. He gets orders to Fort Riley.

You met when he was stationed in Germany but you haven’t lived near your family in 15 years, maybe now is your chance. But he gets orders for Japan.

When You Get PCS Orders to a Place You Don't Want to Go


As any military spouse can tell you, there are certain places we want to go and certain places we don’t. Sure, most of us would love to PCS to some of the more popular military installation locations but that isn’t always what goes into where you want to go. Sometimes you just want to be close to home. Sometimes you just want to see another part of the world.

But what do you do when you get those long-awaited orders and they are for a place you don’t want to go. They are for a place too far away from home or too different from what you expected. What if you get orders for a place you have heard nothing but bad things about? How can you get past that? How can you get excited for your new adventure when all you feel about it is dread?

Here are some ideas for when you get pcs orders to a place you don’t want to go:

Talk to people who like the area

I don’t care where you are going, you can always find at least one person that liked that duty station. Trust me. Some people are just able to bloom where the are stationed and others are able to find that one thing to make their current location enjoyable. See if you can find people to talk to that live or have lived in that location. Most places have Facebook groups. I have duty station guest posts you can read. Ask for real-life advice on social media.


Once you find out where you are going, you can start your PCS planning process. If you are not excited about where you are going, spend some time looking into your new home. Find out what is nearby, what people do for fun, what your housing choices are. The more you can learn about your new duty station the better prepared you can be once you move there and you are setting up your new life. Check out PCSgrades for more information about housing areas and neighborhoods that you might want to live in.

Make plans

Make a plan for once you get to your new home. Where will you go to make friends? What will you do for fun? If you can figure some of this out before you go, you will be more excited to get there. If you would like to find a job in your new location, get your resume ready and seek out what is available to you. You can also look into working from home if that is something you would like to do.

Visit home before you go

If you are going to be stationed far from home, why not plan a trip back home before you go? See if you can work that in. See the people you want to see and do all the things you know you will miss while you are stationed far away. Homesickness is real but planning a big trip to see everyone can help. And know that just because you will be stationed far away doesn’t mean you won’t ever be able to visit during the years you are there. You might be able to plan a trip or take advantage of Space-A if you are overseas.

What about you? Did you ever end up in a place you didn’t think you would like? Do you have PCS orders to somewhere you are not sure you will like? Leave a comment 🙂


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