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DoD ‘on Track’ to Improve Military Family Moves

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Stephenie Wade
Thursday, February 27, 2020

Big improvements in accountability, transparency and quality from the companies that move household goods are on the way for military families who will be transitioning to new locations at the peak of next year’s moving season, a senior official said.

Complaints of widespread problems with the shipment and delivery of household goods awaited Army Gen. Stephen Lyons about 18 months ago, he said, when he took over as commander of U.S. Transportation Command, the joint military command that oversees family moves around the world.

In remarks before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Feb. 25, Lyons said there is “ongoing work” to improve DoD’s Defense Personal Property Program. He gave his assurance that “we are on track to restructure our relationship with industry through the reward of a [contract] that will begin moving DoD families ahead of the ’20–‘21 peak season.”

“My message for DoD families: We heard your call for improved accountability, transparency and quality capacity, and we are committed to deliver,” Lyons said. He also emphasized that the department “can no longer afford to operate in a disparate confederation of government activity supervising a similarly disparate collection of hundreds of transportation providers.”

The intention is not to put movers out of business, Lyons said, but his message to industry is “if you provide quality service for military members, you have a place in the future program. We need every quality moving service, to include our small businesses, and appreciate all that you do.”

Quality of life improvements for soldiers and their families are a top priority for Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville, who set a goal at the outset of his tenure of providing “a positive climate where everyone is treated with dignity and respect.”

This includes providing a high quality of life on-post, and his assurance that problems reported by Army families with the movement of and damage to household goods will be taken care of.