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Launching off to PCS

MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. -- Permanent change of station season is in full swing here at Malmstrom Air Force Base.

If you happen to be one of the many who received a notification of orders and are preparing to leave the nest, here are a few things to think about.

Orders are not permanent until you out-process from your losing unit. Always keep in the back of your mind that orders could possibly fall through at the last minute. Don’t cancel your lease (if you have one) too early. Resist the urge to sell or giveaway any unnecessary possessions, like issued cold-weather gear or necessary kitchen items, until you are cleared to go and on the road.

Get a head-start on your out-processing checklist. The virtual checklist you will have to complete before you out-process can be overwhelming, so find someone you trust to mentor you on how to properly read the checklist and get things done on time.

Be financially responsible! Make sure you have yourself set up so you’re not hemorrhaging money during your move and can still pay bills. Know what limitations you have in terms of cargo weight in household goods so you don’t pay an out-of-pocket cost. Know what entitlements you’re allotted, like temporary lodging allowance and house-hunting days; the U.S. Air Force doesn’t want you to struggle as you’re transitioning from one base to another.

Additionally, as corny as it sounds, try to set aside some time to reflect on the time you’ve spent at Malmstrom. If there’s an outdoor activity you’ve always wanted to do, but never did, go for it. Or do something you know a part of you will miss, like driving through the base at night on your way home from a long shift; the visual difference is astounding, I can assure you.

Also, make time to say goodbye to those who have impacted your time here in a positive way. For those who mattered and who made a difference, just give them a holler and let them know you noticed. You could make someone’s day just by saying, “thank you.”

Whether Malmstrom is your first base, fourth base or last base, there are good things only this base can offer you. Focus on the positive vibes and say your goodbyes with peace in your heart.

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