How Often Do Military Families Move on Avarage?

Blog Written by JOHN COTTON / Fact-checked by LOGAN MILLER

how often do military families move

Military families often experience a unique lifestyle that involves frequent moves and uprooting. Whether it’s due to deployments, reassignments, or other factors, the regularity of these moves can affect their lives to some extent.

From finding new homes and schools to maintaining relationships with friends and loved ones, these moves can be daunting.

How often do military families move? It’s 2,5 years on average for each move. Why do they move so often? What are some tips to save money for their relocations? Read on for more details.

How Often Do Military Families Move?

Military families tend to move every two to three years on average. However, the frequency of relocation can vary depending on factors such as the branch of service and the training requirements of the military.

What is it called for this move? It’s PCS, or Permanent Change of Station. Some families may experience more frequent moves. They may move each year, while others may have longer periods between relocations.

The Effects of Moving on Military Families

1. On Family Life


  • Getting familiar with a new community: Moving to a new location often means adjusting to a new community, which can be challenging for military families.

They may have to get used to new surroundings, establish new social connections, and adapt to different cultural norms and values.

  • Finding new jobs and new houses: Military family statistics show that family members often have to find new houses and employment after each move. This can be difficult due to a lack of relationships and job opportunities in some areas.
  • Finding medical and other service systems: Military family moving can disrupt access to mental health services and other support systems that military families rely on.

This can be even harder for families with special needs, such as children with disabilities, who may require specialized services that may not be readily available in their new location.

  • Ensuring the well-being and care of children: Parents often prioritize their children’s mental health and well-being during the moving process and seek out resources and support to help them adjust to their new environment.

2. On Family Finances


According to some military families who moved, the financial effects of moving on military families can be significant because:

  • The moving expenses exceeded the amount of reimbursement provided. This has led to financial strain and even debt.
  • Some families have tried to minimize these by saving money before a move, but this may not always be possible or sufficient.
  • There was also an anxiety loss or damage to belongings during the move, which can further impact the family’s financial situation.

3. On Mental Health

  • Stress and anxiety: Military families may endure high-stress levels due to the frequency of moves and uncertainty about the future. This is exacerbated in people with mental health problems.
  • Isolation and loneliness: This can result from moving to a new location and starting over, especially for teenage military individuals.

How Can the Community Support Military Families on Moving?


1. Giving Them A Warm Welcome

This can include reaching out to them with a friendly greeting, offering to help them unpack, and inviting them to community events.

Simple acts of kindness like these can make a huge difference in helping military families feel more comfortable in their new surroundings.

2. Provide Them With Essential Needs If Possible

The communities can also offer employment opportunities, provide services like healthcare or education, and help them connect with other families in the area.

By offering these essential resources, communities can help military families feel more settled and reduce the stress of the moving process.

3. Help Them Cope With Loneliness

Communities can help alleviate feelings of loneliness by helping them build a network of friends around them.

Organizing social events or activities where military families can meet new people and connect with others who share similar experiences can help.

Thus, they may feel more connected and supported, which can significantly impact their overall well-being.

Why Must Military Families Move So Much?


1. To Meet The Operational Needs Of The Military

In the US, military personnel and their families move around to bases or installations where they are needed for specialized training or support missions.

These movements are critical to ensuring that the military has the required number of personnel in the right place at the right time.

2. To Avoid Becoming Lazy And Complacent

Constant movement and new challenges help military personnel maintain their focus and readiness, especially in high-stress environments.

Moving with the military is required because it allows them to gain valuable experiences in different locations, which helps them to be more adaptable and resilient in their work.

3. To Ensure Emotional Detachment

Military families are encouraged not to develop emotional attachments between teammates because it can affect their work and focus on the mission.

Constant moving and changing of teammates help military members develop the necessary emotional resilience to work with different people from diverse backgrounds.

While moving frequently can be challenging for military families, the military provides partial support to make the transition easier.

Tips To Save Moving Cost

  • Plan ahead: By starting the planning process early, military families can compare prices, and make more informed decisions about their move.
  • Downsize: Moving is an excellent opportunity to get rid of items that are no longer needed or used.

By downsizing belongings, military families can reduce the amount of stuff that needs to be moved, resulting in significant savings on moving costs.

  • Having a budget and using it effectively: You should use and track the funds appropriately to target the amount of money to pay during the moving time.

Frequently Asked Questions


What Is A Military Family?

The definition of a military family can include spouses and children serving in the armed forces. They can be navy families, or others with members serving in the air force. (They can be air force officers, air force security, etc.)

Should Military Family Consider A Do-It-Yourself Move?

Yes. Military families should evaluate the pros and cons of using a professional moving company versus doing it themselves.

They can save money by not getting a full house family moving service, renting a truck, packing and loading the items themselves, or driving the truck to the new location.

The Personally Procured Move program of the government will support all of this cost based on the distance you move.


How often do military families move? In general, a military family moves every two to three years. Why is the military on the move so often? It is because they need to follow their job requirements.

It can disrupt their daily lives and impact their mental and emotional well-being. Frequent moves can also impact the education of military children, as they may have to adjust to new schools and make new friends repeatedly.

Despite the challenges, military families remain resilient and dedicated to their service to their country.

5/5 - (2 votes)