So. Here's what happens when you PCS ... from the minute your spouse checks out of their unit to the time they check in to the new one ... your spouse will begin receiving what is called Transit BAH. The location of where you or or where you are moving to doesn't matter, it's the same across the board for the entire continental United States. (Imagine if you will -- trying to come up with BAH when you're only awarded $1050 but the going rate around these parts is $2100). Here are the rates for 2012: http://www.military.com/benefits/milita ... rates.html
Drew officially checked out of his Recruiting unit on June 8th (or maybe it was the 9th) but he wasn't required to check in to the new unit in DC until July 15. So he hung out at his brother's in Pennsylvania while we waited for our house on base to become available, and I continued living in Baltimore and commuting the 2 hours into Arlington, VA and back (via metro and commuter train, mind you). TMO eventually delivers our household goods, Drew accepts them yada yada ... he heads into the new unit to at least make an appearance. He bumps into a MSgt (E8), introduces himself and does a general meet and greet. At this point, the MSgt then tells Drew "Nice to meet you, don't worry about checking in until July 15."
Right there, in that exact moment ... was where we made an error that was going to cost us thousands of dollars. Because the transit BAH is significantly less than what we need to pay ... we've been up a tree for a little over 45 days at this point. Digging deep to find the extra cash. To avoid all of this, here's what should have happened:
1. He checks out of his old unit
2. Hangs out at his brother's house in PA for a week or two while TMO delivers our household goods
3. After receiving the goods from TMO, he should have gone into work (which he did) and officially check in
4. After checking in with the unit, that was the moment he should have gone back on leave ... not take leave before he had checked in.
Keep this in mind folks, neither of us had any idea and if I can save anyone the heartache and stress that we've been under for the last couple of months, I'll feel a bit better about this. Turns out, there are quite a few individuals that I've spoken to that didn't have the foggiest clue that transit BAH kicks in and not your usual BAH -- including the MSgt that told us not to worry about checking in to begin with. Check in ASAP -- until you do? You will be receiving a flat-rate BAH no matter where you end up going, be it to a podunk town in the Midwest or a big, booming metropolis where the going rent is $2000+ for a 1BR.