By Carla Olivo, PCSgrades Director of Strategic Communications

Ahhh! There is nothing quite like a deployment or PCS to get the stress level going! The memories of a bad move can stay with you forever. A yearlong deployment can put a strain on a military marriage for years to come.

These staples of military life can leave you feeling that you have little control or input. With the relocation process in particular, when personal belongings are lost, stolen or broken, military families often feel helpless with no meaningful recourse.

A Matter of Trust

It comes as no surprise that military families tend to trust each other far more than just about anyone else. In fact, despite some of the disaster stories, only about one third of military families officially review their moving company via the Defense Personal Property System following a PCS. The few surveys that are completed are not available or openly shared with the very customers who the process is intended to serve…you, the military family.  This lack of transparency can generate frustration amongst a community with little choice in which moving company to use during a move.

With my own family, we very rarely fill out the official government survey following a move. I’m usually so disgusted and defeated that it seems pointless. Yes, my stress level post-PCS is usually sky high.

And then I found out about! Is it the answer to all of our PCS troubles? Wishful thinking that it would be that simple! But being able to tell other military families about our moving experience? PRICELESS!!!

Grading our Moving Company on things like:

  • Cleanliness
  • Packing Quality
  • Interaction & Responsiveness
  • Labeling & Inventory
  • Loss or Damage
  • Professionalism & Customer Service
  • Timeliness & Promptness

WOW! This is truly an unprecedented tool empowering military families for the first time with a genuine voice in the moving process! Known for providing a trusted review platform for the military and veteran community, PCSgrades’ Moving Company Reviews enables families to interact like never before!

PCSgrades’ Co-Founder Todd Ernst says, “We actively engaged our community regarding moving companies, discovering a deep-seated interest in a more transparent outlet for the voices of our military families. We devised moving company reviews in answer to that interest.”

Military Helping Military

The goal is to empower all of us in the currently-serving and veteran community. It helps all of us to share information and opinions openly with each other. As the database matures, military families will glean the best available information from other military families about the companies who handle their household goods. Every review submitted strengthens the voice of the military community, providing a little more control that has never existed before.

Now I know what you’re thinking. You are right. Military families don’t usually get to choose their moving company. But what you may not know is that you can request a certain company. The DOD still has final say, but it never hurts to ask! Even if you get stuck with a moving company that has horrendous reviews, consider yourself armed and ready. If a particular company has a lot of complaints about not treating electronics very well, you might consider a DITY or PPM for your laptops and video game devices.

The more info you have on a company before you do business with them the better. And there are some companies that garner some great reviews. So on your next PCS, would it hurt to request the company that is “A” graded on

Pay It Forward

Unlike typical review sites, a downloadable one-page Mover’s Notice is also available at for military families to hand-deliver to their moving company informing them their performance will be reviewed.

Ernst says, “Our goal is twofold: To provide our military and veteran community a voice in the moving process they’ve never had before. And to encourage and reward positive behavior amongst the companies and professionals we must all do business with.”

Reading these reviews can either bring peace of mind that your household goods will be treated with respect or highlight the shortcomings of a particular company. The more reviews, the better.

Finally, a centralized location for all the valuable PCS info we all look for when we move: housing, neighborhoods, moving companies, realtors, schools, mortgage lenders, apartments, and townhouses! Consider paying it forward (and dialing back your stress level) by leaving your review at Share this article with your military and veteran friends so everyone learns about this new option for holding those moving us accountable.


Author: Carla Olivo, PCSgrades Strategic Communications Director, previously served as the Director of Communications for Operation Hug-A-Hero and as the Media/Community Relations Officer for the Delaware Department of Transportation. She has garnered the Associated Press award for Spot News Reporting, News Writing, Enterprise Reporting, and Documentary Reporting. She lives in Northern Virginia with her husband, a retired USMC Lt. Colonel, their two children. You can follow her on Twitter @olivowriter.