A permanent station change can cost thousands of dollars for travel, accommodation and vehicle rental, as well as incalculable stress. (Gitte Schirrmacher / US Navy)
Starting in the New Year, the Navy requires senior enlisted sailors and some officers to use a government travel payment card to pay for a permanent change of station.
A PCS can cost thousands of dollars for travel, accommodation, and vehicle rental, as well as an untold cost in terms of stress. Paying these expenses with a government card is designed to reduce the burden on sailors and improve government accounting, according to a Navy financial specialist.
“This will help Sailors have a better PCS experience, providing a reliable and cost-free means of financial support to all Sailors,” Yeoman 2nd Class Paulino Gonzales Ramirez of the American Forces Network Pacific in Tokyo told Stars and Stripes in an email Thursday. “Especially when it comes to submitting travel reimbursement claims they can use MyPCS Travel Voucher.”
As of January 1, Sailors enlisted in pay levels E-9 and above and officers O-6 and above are required to pay their PCS and other travel claims using a government travel payment card , or GTCC, and submit travel claim vouchers through MyPCS, according to an administrative message from the Navy. Sailors of all pay levels will be subject to the same requirement from July 1.
Gonzales Ramirez said a government travel card provides mariners with an easier, no-burden financial alternative to paying for personal expenses associated with PCS travel.
MyPCS also allows mariners to submit their travel vouchers in a fully automated format on personal and government mobile devices, tablets, laptops and desktops.
This new requirement will ease the administrative workload when the sailors arrive at their next command, Gonzales Ramirez said. But it depends on how the sailor prepares for the PCS move.
“The more a sailor prepares and plans for his move and keeps up to date with receipts and travel vouchers, the faster the reimbursement process will be,” he said. “That’s why sailors need to understand how they can use their GTCC.”
In addition, submitting a MyPCS travel voucher ensures that sailors have everything they need to complete and submit their travel requests, he said.
Military personnel must understand the rules for using a government travel card and presenting a travel voucher, which the government relies on to pay for travel expenses. For example, a sailor making a PCS may be allowed to hire a car on one trip but not on the next trip.
“Ultimately the responsibility lies with the sailor to pay any balance in his GTCC account,” said Gonzales Ramirez. Failure to ensure that the balance is paid within 60 days of the end of a PCS or Mission Critical status can result in payment default, he said, “and can negatively impact assignability. , seafarer security clearance and credit history “.