By Julie Provost
As soon as you know where you are going to PCS next, you will want to get into planning mode. Where will you live? What will it be like to live in your new state? How are the schools? One of the best ways to get this type of information is from social media. There are so many social media resources out there today to help you plan your next PCS.
Facebook Groups for Your New Duty Station
One of the first things you can do when you find out where you will be moving to is look for a Facebook group based on your new location. You can try the Facebook search for “Your duty station” or something like Pentagon PCS. You can find groups for moms, wives, book lovers, nature lovers, runners, etc. In these types of groups, you can find more exact information about the area and activities that interest you from the people who currently live there and share your interests.
Facebook Groups for Your Branch
Another option is finding a Facebook group for the branch you are in, then you can ask about your new duty station and will have a higher chance of finding people who live there or who used to. They might also be able to direct you to a more local group or spouse page.
Real Estate Facebook Pages
If you intend to rent or buy a home off post, you will need to look into some realtors or property management companies. To get started on your housing search, check out PCSgrades.com. This free website is a great resource with reviews and recommendations made by fellow military and veteran families for neighborhoods, base housing, realtors, mortgage companies, and moving companies.
Ask on Social Media
Sometimes the best way to get the information you need about your new location is to ask, especially if you have a lot of military friends and followers. You probably have quite a few people in your circles that know about where you will be PCSing too. You can ask specific questions such as, “What middle schools are best for a special needs child?” or keep things more general, “We are PCSing to Fort Drum, has anyone else been there?” PCSgrades has a terrific interactive messaging system that allows you to pose a question to a fellow military reviewer without having any of your personal information shared such as your name, location, or email address. This is a great way for military families to connect and share valuable information without giving up any privacy.
Check Instagram for Photos
One of the best ways to view pictures of your new location is to check on Instagram, the social media photo site. Look up tags based on the post/base and the city or state where you will be moving. Doing so will give you an idea of what everything looks like and even what people who live there do for fun. You can learn a lot about the area through looking at people’s photos.
Job Listing Groups in Your New Location
If you are planning on finding a new job in your new city, find some job Facebook groups specific for your area. In these groups, people will post about job openings, and you can see if they are a good fit. You might even be able to post about what you are looking for in a job and what you need.
Planning a PCS is never easy but the more resources you have, the better the PCS process is going to go. In addition to base housing, neighborhood, realtor, and mortgage company reviews, PCSGrades offers comprehensive area guides for many duty stations throughout the U.S. Check out the list below and if you do not see your duty station locale listed, check back often as area guides are added regularly.
- Washington D.C.
- Fort Belvoir
- San Antonio
- Colorado Springs
- Hampton Roads
- Fort Hood
- Fort Leavenworth
- Camp Pendleton
- College Station
- Fort Campbell
- Patuxent River
- Gulf Coast of Florida
- South East Arizona
- Pacific Northwest
In today’s world, social media can be just what you need to use to find the right resources for your move. There is so much information out there, and plenty of people are willing to share what they know. How have you used social media as a PCS resource?
Author: Julie Provost is a PCSgrades’ Blogger Affiliate and a freelance blogger with over 8500 page views a month on her blog Soldier’s Wife, Crazy Life. She enjoys life in Tennessee with her husband, a National Guard soldier and their three boys. Julie enjoys blogging, reading, photography and a good cup of coffee. You can follow her on Twitter @bloggingJulie.