PCS to Naval Hospital Jacksonville Navy Base | Florida
PCS is an acronym for Change of Station. It involves switching and moving from one base to another. More than 400,000 service members make a PCS every year, and you can expect to make one every two to three years.
Moving to a new location and settling down is one of the biggest implications of making a PCS. The moving and house-hunting processes can be complicated, so do your due diligence and plan beforehand.
Here is a comprehensive guide on what a PCS to Naval Hospital Jacksonville Navy Base entails, including how and where to find a house.
What Does a PCS Entail?
Unlike a temporary duty assignment, a Permanent Change of Station is a longer-term assignment, usually lasting two to four years. Generally, your PCS orders can assign you to one of the following two regions:
CONUS – Inside the Continental United States.
- OCONUS – Outside the Continental United States (including Alaska, Hawaii, and other U.S. territories).
A PCS involves many factors and has many complications. Here is an overview of three important concepts of your PCS to Naval Hospital Jacksonville Navy Base.
You will receive an assignment notification if you are due for a PCS. However, an assignment notification is open to changes, and your PCS will only become official when you receive your PCS Orders.
PCS Orders are categorized into two types:
Accompanied PCS Orders – PCS Orders allow you to move with your immediate family members.
- Unaccompanied PCS Orders – PCS Orders barring your family members from moving with you (usually issued for bases in hostile and dangerous locations such as Turkey and Korea).
PCS Orders provide for PCS moving expenses for you and your immediate family. The expenses covered include the following:
Human travel and transportation.
Cargo transportation and storage.
- Incidental allowances for moving overseas.
Overall, PCS Orders contain all the information you need to facilitate your move to Naval Hospital Jacksonville Navy Base.
PCS Orders are usually issued during summer between May and September 15th (especially during July). You can request your PCS Orders by contacting your servicing DLA Human Resources department.
Moving Help & Resources
A PCS to Naval Hospital Jacksonville Navy Base can be complicated and may involve complex logistics. Fortunately, the Department of Defense provides resources and assistance with moving and relocation.
Organizing Your PCS Move
The following resources can help you organize and ease your PCS moving process:
Military OneSource (Move Your Personal Property)
The Military OneSource website has a page titled 'Moving Your Personal Property' containing the following resources:
Defense Personal Property System.
Personal Property Resources.
- Personal Property Customer Service Contacts.
It offers information and resources on organizing and moving your personal property. Some available information and resources include entitlement brochures, packing guides, and FAQs about personal property shipping.
Military OneSource (Tools & Human Experts)
The Military OneSource website also offers human experts and online tools to help you organize your move and settle.
The human experts offer information on virtually everything related to your PCS move, including information on arranging a personal property shipment. Human experts and online tools are accessible 24/7 from anywhere in the world.
Plan My Move
Plan My Move is an online tool to help you organize your move by generating customized and personalized moving checklists.
Generating a moving checklist involves answering a few questions – you can also provide additional information to personalize your checklist.
Relocation Resources & Assistance
The following resources can help you organize and facilitate the relocation process:
Military Installations Website
The Military Installations website provides detailed information about all military bases worldwide, including the Jacksonville Naval Base.
The on-base information provided on the site includes a base's programs, services, check-in procedures, and housing options and requirements.
The website also provides relevant off-base information, including insights into the surrounding communities and amenities such as schools and housing.
Relocation Assistance Program
The Relocation Assistance Program provides informational resources and human experts to help you relocate and settle into your new base.
The information and resources available include pre-departure briefings, newcomer orientations, child care services, schools, and job opportunities.
Accessing these resources as soon as you receive your PCS orders is prudent to make the most of what the program offers.
A military sponsor is a member of your unit assigned to help you with your PCS to Naval Hospital Jacksonville Navy Base. The sponsor is chosen based on certain similarities in your experiences and circumstances.
It is usually someone with a similar rank and family structure – the idea is to help you learn from the sponsor's experience moving to the base, which may be closely similar to yours.
Blog Brigade is a website where all service members can publish their experiences with virtually everything related to their work, including a PCS transfer to a new base.
Reading about other service members' experiences can give you crucial insights into the moving and relocation processes.
Moving Expenses & Reimbursement
Moving to a new base can be expensive. Fortunately, the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) can reimburse you for some of your expenses. However, you must file a claim for reimbursement.
Filing a claim for reimbursement involves completing Form DD 1351-2 Travel Voucher. Alternatively, you can send civilian relocation vouchers to the DFAS via the following channels:
Fax - 216-367-3422
Mail - DFAS Rome, Attn. Travel Pay, Civilian Relocation, 325 Brooks Road, Rome, NY 13441
- Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
You must also send a copy of your PCS orders and receipts of your expenses. The DFAS will take about two weeks to process your reimbursement claim.
Some refundable expenses include passport fees, airline tickets, immunization fees, and taxi fares – the DFAS doesn't reimburse expenses such as hotel accommodation and meals.
Settling at Jacksonville Navy Base
Familiarizing yourself with Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville should be one of the things you do when you get a PCS to Naval Hospital Jacksonville Navy Base.
Here is a brief overview of the base, including short reviews of the on-base housing options.
A Brief Overview of Naval Air Station Jacksonville
Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville is one of the country's largest and fastest-growing Navy installations –the third-largest base and the largest in the Southeast Region.
It covers an area of about 3,400 acres and hosts approximately 20,000 active-duty military personnel and civilians. It is also of considerable economic importance, considering that it generates more than $2 billion annually.
NAS Jacksonville hosts seven active squadrons, four helicopter squadrons, and three reserve squadrons. The base hosts more than 90 tenant activities – the most prominent tenants include the following:
Naval Hospital Jacksonville.
Commander, Navy Region Southeast.
Fleet Readiness Center Southeast.
Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southeast.
Fleet Logistics Center Jacksonville.
- Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing Eleven.
NAS Jacksonville has quality infrastructure and all the amenities you and your family need to live and thrive here. The on-base amenities include:
- Post Office
- Legal Office
- Finance Office
You can buy groceries and other supplies at the commissary. The base is also close to several major cities and towns featuring quality amenities and robust infrastructure systems.
On-Base Housing Options
Housing should be one of the primary considerations when you get a PCS to Naval Hospital Jacksonville Navy Base. You can live on the base in one of the three housing options.
It is advisable to contact the Housing Management Office as soon as you arrive at the base if you are looking for on-base privatized housing options – you can call the office at (904)-542-2996 or visit their offices at Ballard St. Building 960, Naval Air Station Jacksonville, FL 32212.
NAS Jacksonville offers the following three on-base housing options (one unaccompanied and two privatized housing options):
NAS JAX Barracks
You can opt for unaccompanied housing at the NAS JAX barracks. However, you must be unaccompanied and satisfy the underlying requirements. You should contact the NAS Jacksonville Unaccompanied Housing Division Office at (904)-542-8195 or visit their offices at Saratoga Avenue Building 822, NAS Jacksonville, FL 32212, as soon as you arrive at the base to make the necessary arrangements.
One of the main requirements for living at the NAS JAX barracks is that you must have a rank of E-1, E-2, or E-3 – service members ranked E-4 and above must have at least four years of service to live at the barracks. Senior personnel with higher rankings may also be eligible to stay at the barracks under certain circumstances.
Every service member gets a private sleeping room fitted with bed linens, furnishings, and other everyday supplies you will need while here. The barracks also feature designated smoking areas. However, pets are not allowed in the barracks.
Only service members in E-1 to E-9 and O-1 to O-5 are eligible to live at Patriots Point. The community has large homes with wood-style flooring, three or four bedrooms, and 2.5 bathrooms.
Other in-house amenities include large closets, ample storage spaces, fully-equipped kitchens, garages, utility sinks, master suites, screened-in porches, air conditioning, central heating, and washer and dryer connections.
Only service members in E-7 to E-9 and O-1 to O-7 are eligible to live at River Oaks. The community has large homes with three, four, or five bedrooms. The homes also feature all the in-house amenities available in the Patriots Point community.
They also feature several additional amenities not available in the houses at Patriots Point, including a fireplace, laundry rooms, and an outdoor entertainment area.
On-Base Community Amenities
Besides the in-house amenities, service members living on-base can also enjoy the following community (outdoor) Amenities:
- Walking parks.
- Multiple playgrounds.
- Multiple sports parks.
- Venetia Elementary.
- J.E.B. Stuart Middle School.
- Robert E. Lee High School.
The three schools listed above are situated within the base. The base is also under the Duval County Public Schools district's jurisdiction. The base also facilitates bus transportation services to-and-from the schools.
The privatized housing communities also have pet-friendly policies – however, you can only keep up to two pets (including large dogs) and must comply with certain breed restrictions.
Settling Outside Jacksonville Navy Base
NAS Jacksonville is close to several major cities and towns with numerous housing options. However, choosing a community in an overall convenient location is essential.
Here is an overview of the five best off-base communities to live in when you get a PCS to Naval Hospital Jacksonville Navy Base:
Jacksonville is the best city to live off NAS Jacksonville. It is located about 12.5 miles (20-minute drive) from the base.
Homes in Jacksonville are relatively affordable. The average home purchase price is about $320,000, while the average monthly rent is about $1,700.
The city also has a robust infrastructure system and quality amenities, including dozens of elementary, middle, high, and private schools under the Duval County Public Schools district – it is also home to four universities.
Other amenities and attractions include extensive park systems, 22 miles of beautiful beaches, hotels, hospitals, pharmacies, and shopping centers.
Interestingly, Jacksonville was rated eighth among the best cities for veterans in 2020. The city has a veteran population of about 79,100 people. It also has six VA health centers and two VA benefits centers.
Orange Park is a small town with a population of fewer than 9,000 people – it is a suburb of Jacksonville. It is conveniently close to NAS Jacksonville, located about 5.3 miles (11-minute drive) from the base.
Houses at Orange Park are relatively affordable – the median listing home price is about $369,900, while the average monthly rent price ranges from about $950 to $2,000. The city also offers quality public amenities, including three elementary schools, two middle schools, and one high school – the town also has three private schools.
Other notable amenities include shopping centers, hospitals, drug stores, hotels, and the largest market in Clay County.
Middleburg is a city of about 14,500 people covering an area of about 18 square miles. It is located about 18 miles (31-minute drive) from NAS Jacksonville.
The average home price in Middleburg is about $375,000, while the average monthly rent price is about $2,000. The city has a robust infrastructure system, and public amenities, including two elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school – the city also has three private schools.
Other amenities include parks, nature trails, shopping centers, healthcare centers, and restaurants. Popular attractions include Highland Horse Farm (for horse riding), Jennings State Forest, Lynwood Park Zoo, and the Clay County Fair.
Green Cove Springs
Green Cove Springs is a medium-sized city with about 8,900 people. The city is about 17.7 miles (29-minute drive) from NAS Jacksonville. Interestingly, a part of the city's name comes from its evergreen trees.
The average home price in Green Cove Springs is about $364,000, while the average rent price is about $2,000. The city has all the amenities you and your family need to live and thrive here, including three elementary, middle, high, and private schools.
Some of the most popular attractions here include Clay County Fair Grounds and the Military Museum of North Florida. Some of the best neighborhoods include Del Rio, Chimney Lakes, and Julington Creek.
Lakeside is a city of about 33,900 people covering an area of about 15 square miles. The city is about 10.4 miles (20-minute drive) from NAS Jacksonville.
Buying or renting a home at Lakeside is relatively affordable. The average home price is about $340,000, while the average monthly rent price is about $1,800 – you can also find cheaper options based on your needs and preferences.
Some of the best neighborhoods include Ortega Hills, Oak Hill, and Jacksonville Heights. The city has dozens of public elementary, middle, and high schools and nine private schools.
Lakeside also offers many fun and productive things to do. The most popular attractions include Sea Serpent Tours, Okefenokee Swamp Park, and Rooterville Animal Sanctuary. Popular activities here include bungee jumping, fishing, and free diving.
Make Your Move to NAS Jacksonville Easy!
Moving to NAS Jacksonville after getting your PCS to Naval Hospital Jacksonville Navy Base can be complicated. Fortunately, the information in this guide can help make the process easier.
Overall, it is essential to ensure you leverage all the available resources and do your due diligence when looking for a house on or off the base.
Choose Your Military Base for More Permanent Change of Station (PCS) Information
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