If you’re a military spouse, you may be eligible for your own military spouse professional gear allowance when you move. That’s the good news. The bad news is that there aren’t a lot of things that qualify. In particular, technology items are no longer considered pro-gear, even though they used to be. The weight of your uniforms and certain papers and books may be deducted from your overall weight allowance.
What Items Count?
From the Joint Travel Regulations, Appendix A: Acronyms and Definitions, Part One: Definitions, Professional, Books, Papers and Equipment (PBP&E):
PROFESSIONAL BOOKS, PAPERS, AND EQUIPMENT (PBP&E) are also known as professional (“pro”) gear. A Service member or employee’s PBP&E are items needed for the performance of official duties at the next or a later PDS.
A. PBP&E include reference material not ordinarily available at the next PDS; specialized
clothing such as diving suits, flying suits, helmets, band uniforms, chaplains’ vestments, and other specialized apparel; individually owned or specially issued field clothing and equipment; Government or uniformed service owned accountable organizational clothing and individual equipment issued to the Service member or civilian employee; communication equipment used by a Service member or civilian employee in association with the Military Auxiliary Radio System.
B. PBP&E exclude commercial products for sale or resale; sports equipment; shop fixtures;
furniture; personal computer equipment and accessories; memorabilia, including awards, plaques or other objects presented for past performance; table service, including flatware, serving pieces, dishes, other utensils, and glassware; or other items of a professional nature that are not necessary at the next or a later PDS, such as text books from previous schools unrelated to future duties, or personal books.
C. For a Service member’s dependent spouse, PBP&E are items needed for the spouse’s
employment or community support activities at the next or a later destination. A civilian employee’s
dependent spouse does not receive PBP&E.
In reality, this means papers, books, instruments or tools, and uniforms. Books are limited based on the restrictions listed in the next section. However, a lot of people seem to get away with counting a lot of books. In my eyes, paper items would be anything that isn’t easily replaced: curriculum, notes, flyers, handouts, handbooks, etc. For example, I have several binders of gathered Army Family program materials that I could not recreate.
Check out my Pinterest Board: PCS Resources/Military Moving!
What Items Don’t Count
The following items are not eligible to be counted as professional gear, per the Transcom “It’s Your Move” booklet (edited for clarity):
- Commercial products for sale/resale used in conducting business
- Sports equipment
- Shop fixtures
- Furniture of any kind even though used In Connection With (ICW) the PBP&E (e.g., bookcases, study/computer desks, file cabinets, and racks)
- Personal computer equipment and peripheral devices
- Memorabilia including awards, plaques, or other objects presented for past performance, (includes any type of going away gifts, office decorations, pictures, etc.)
- Table service including flatware, dishes, and glassware
- Other items of a professional nature that are not necessary at the next/subsequent PDS, such as textbooks from previous schools unrelated to future duties, personal books, even if used as part of a past professional reading program or course of instruction, and reference material that ordinarily would be available at the next/subsequent PDS either in hard copy or available on the Internet. (emphasis added)
How Much Is The Allowance?
The professional gear weight allowance for military spouses is 500 pounds.
How Do I Take This Allowance?
The estimated weight of PBP&E/Pro-Gear must be provided during counseling and annotated on DD Form 1299. Items must be separated and properly labeled during packout to ensure that they are weighed separately. I designate a certain area in the house and gather all my pro gear there. It doesn’t have to be complicated. It might be a fireplace mantle or a certain bookcase or just one corner of a room. hang a sign that says “spouse pro gear” with an arrow. (Use painter’s tape – no one wants to ruin paint right before they check out of a house!)
A great resource for more information on this and all other moving questions is the It’s Your Move booklet produced by the US Transportation Command.
Questions? Comments? I’ve done this a few times and it has been really easy!
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What teaching Materials can I count? I am a teacher and have a varriety of materials including inclusive specialized seating, Alternative seating and tables for standing (because some schools do not provide this).
We are moving OCONUS TO OCONUS. My current duty is requesting a letter from my employer that states my pro-gear is necessary at my next duty station. Along with the PBP&E worksheet. I’ve never heard of needing a letter and cannot find a regulation stating a letter is required. They will not let me move forward with spouse PBP&E unless I provide a letter (that they do not have a formate or example of for me). Any advice or information on this?
Kate Horrell says
Wow. That’s weird. Who is asking this – the personal property office?
Let me ask around.
Any update on this? I’ll be having this hurdle in few months.