While the Defense Department provides an array of support programs to military families on the move, a recent survey suggests most of those on the move would prefer a check.

“Financial assistance” ranked first on the list of suggested permanent change-of-station move improvements in a survey of 5,650 service members, veterans and their families conducted by the Military Family Advisory Network. It wasn’t close, either: 28 percent of survey-takers who tackled the question pointed to the need for more cash, with the second-place answer, “information support,” garnering 16 percent.

“No support needed” clocked in with 13 percent. “Help adjusting to new communities,” the only other response in double digits, had 12 percent.

The survey did not break out respondents by background, so it’s unclear how many of the troops, veterans, spouses and others who offered their views on the PCS question have been active participants in the military moving system in recent years.

More than 30 percent of the survey-takers hadn’t made a military move in at least five years, according to another question, and 16.78 percent never made one.

Other survey findings:

  • Nearly 8 in 10 respondents said a PCS move caused “high financial stress,” with only 10 percent saying it had zero financial effect.
  • 1 in 4 families consult online resources when planning a PCS move, while 20 percent check out government resources. Another 14 percent of respondents said they didn’t consult any resources.
  • A child’s education and a spouse’s employment were cited as top reasons for the 43 percent of respondents who said they had lived apart while a family member was in service. Education was the top reason (21 percent), followed by spouse employment (15 percent), unaccompanied orders (13 percent) and deployment (12 percent).

Kevin Lilley is the features editor of Military Times.

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