Effects of PCS on Military Families

A Permanent Change of Station (PCS) occurs when a military member moves from one duty station to another, usually taking their families with them. Moving frequently is known to be one of the greatest stressors, but for military families, who typically can expect to move an average of every three years, this effects is magnified. Specifically, these multiple relocations can have detrimental effects on the careers of the military spouses as it may lead to fewer job opportunities, less training, and lower wages.

Active duty military members usually relocate from their current duty station to another every two to five years, taking their families along with them. This means military spouses are forced to leave their current position and search for another job in new locations just as often. This is not an easy task, given the current state of the economy. Many military spouses prefer to work outside the home, and do, but the uncertainty of when these relocations may occur makes life difficult. Job opportunities are limited for military spouses because since employers may be reluctant in hiring them due to the finite amount of time that they will be in the local area.

According to research, it has been said that military spouses may lose up to 6-9 months of salary per relocation. To help with this, forty states and the District of Columbia provide military spouses eligibility for unemployment compensation. A list of these states can be found online.

It may seem like an almost impossible task to deal with the effects of PCS for military spouses and families, but there is help out there. There are programs, such as the Employment Assistance Program and Military OneSource, which have been created to offer aid to military spouses in reaching their employment and career goals. They provide many employment and career services to military members and as their needs change, the programs also adapt and improve to fit their needs.

The effects of moving can have a negative impact on any families, but it seems to always be intensified for military families since they are forced to deal with it more often. However, their are programs and organizations out there to help them overcome the new obstacles and unique challenges.


Resources:
Military Homefront Spouse Employment

Archana Sabesan

Archana Sabesan

Archana Sabesan is a junior at North Carolina State University. She is currently pursuing a major in Psychology, with a primary focus in Child Psychology, and a minor in Spanish. After graduating, she plans to attend graduate school to obtain her PsyD degree in Clinical Psychology. Her experiences at Stanford University and Duke University as an Undergraduate Research Assistant have helped her to develop an effective research regiment and build on her observation skills. She hopes to open a private practice of her own in the future.

Every summer, Archana works at Kumon, a math and reading workshop, tutoring children between the ages of three and 18 in these subjects. She used to be enrolled in this program herself, so this allows her to connect with the students and give them the one-on-one help that they need. Archana is also currently a member of NC State’s Psychology Club, Rotaract Club, and EKTAA (NC State’s premiere South Asian Student Organization).

Archana was born in India, and moved to North Carolina with her immediate family when she was 7 years old. She speaks mostly Tamil, the native language of South India, and English in her home. In addition, having taken Spanish classes since 6th grade, she can speak and understand it pretty well too. Archana enjoys spending time with her family and friends, watching movies, listening to music, and going to the gym. She also loves to travel, and hopes to travel the world one day and learn about all the different cultures!
Archana Sabesan