We have received our posting message for 2016. We’re moving to San Antonio Texas! I’ve had a few people ask me questions so here are a few answers.
They can’t just spring this on you. Did you just find out?
No. We received a screening message for the posting in January. We did all the medical check-ups and spoke with a social worker. Our son, who is at university in Canada, is considered a dependent until he is 21 years old. He will not be moving with us but he could move in with us at any time so he had to go through the screening process as well.
Additionally, my husband had to ensure all of his certifications and clearances were valid until the end of the posting (2019). This meant additional paperwork for him to complete the screening.
If you’ve known since January, why are you just announcing it now?
Many things can change in the span of a few months. First, you have to complete the screening successfully. There are many reasons why a military member’s screening message could flag “red” and the international posting would be cancelled. Sometimes, a military member will get a “green” screening for one location but end up being posted in another location because another member flagged “red.” It’s all really up in the air until the actual posting messages are sent out.
Why San Antonio?
My husband will be a liaison for joint training between the Canadian and American Armies for North American defence. U.S. Northern Command is at Fort Sam Houston. Fort Sam Houston is HUGE – almost a city itself!
Will you live in military housing?
No. There is a 48-month waiting list for military housing and our posting is only 3 years long. We will have to rent civilian housing.
When are you moving?
We don’t know exact dates yet. We will have to do a house-hunting trip (HHT) first to find a place to live. Once that is settled, we’ll be able to move. We expect to move sometime in July.
When is your HHT?
We don’t know exact dates yet. We have to register with the relocation team first and they will assist us in organizing the details. We expect our HHT to be sometime in May.
Will your high school aged daughter be able to go on the HHT?
Yes. Children under 18 years old can join their parents on an HHT. However our daughter has her GCSE exams and cannot miss school. Fortunately, her grandmother will be flying from Canada to stay with her while we are gone. They will be happy to spend some time together.
Will all your furniture move with you?
Yes – and no. In the UK the electrical power grid runs at 240V/50Hz. In North America it runs at 120V/60. This means we are not transporting any electrical items from the UK to the US. We will be transporting the rest of our belongings, called household goods and effects or HG&E.
Because we have to change countries, we must provide a complete inventory of our belongings, listed with fair market value, because they travel through customs both out of the UK and into the US.
How will you manage all of this?
We have access to a relocation team who assist us before, during and after the move. They will explain all of the benefits to which we are entitled. Working with the relocation team is important because expenses may not be reimbursed if they are incurred without the proper authorization.
I have so many more questions about how this works!
Don’t worry. I’ll provide regular updates on how the move is progressing.