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Thread: First PCS! Overseas screening, command sponsorship, ordmod...help!

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    Confused First PCS! Overseas screening, command sponsorship, ordmod...help!

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    Hello! A couple months ago, my husband received unaccompanied orders to Yokosuka, Japan (Navy). He arrived in Japan on August 1st and I've been working my butt off since he left trying to figure out what i need to do on my end in order to get there with him asap! I have a few questions and concerns...if anyone who's been through the same thing could help i would greatly appreciate it! Thanks

    As of now my husband is an E-3 and he will get E-4 in a week and a half on August 16th. We've been told that once he ranks up we can apply for command sponsorship for me to move out there. Now, we already did our research and i scheduled doctors appointments, pap smear, immunizations, etc. and will be done with ALL of my appointments by August 11th so i should have everything on my part done by the time he even ranks up and applies for the command sponsorship which i understand will defintely cut down some time However, recently he went and talked to the chief of admin in Japan and she told him that since i've gotten everything done already, instead of going through the command sponsorship process of waiting to get approved, we can instead do an order modification to change his orders from unaccompanied to accompanied. Has anyone been through this situation successfully? Is it faster than command sponsorship? She basically told him that i can take all my medical records and copies of my appointments, along with a copy of his *unaccompanied!* orders to the Suitability Screening Center and they'll be able to do my overseas screening appointments and then call the detailer to change his orders to accompanied. Has this worked for anyone before? Will they be able to do my overseas screening with his orders even though theyre unaccompanied or will they make us do the command sponsorship route instead? I tried calling the screening center before i drive all the way over there (an hour away!) just to have them turn me down, but no one answered or returned my call. We've heard so many different things...im just trying to figure out what works from someone with experience!

    Another question I have is, on the forms you have to complete (NAVMED 1300-1, DD2807-1) do any have to be signed by your primary care doctor? I know you need your dentist to fill out one of them but im confused on if my primary care doctor needs to or not. All my appointments were done by my civilian doctor and on the forms it looks like theres spaces for a civilian doctor and the military examiner to sign but on all the instructions for filling out the forms, they all say to only have them signed by the military examiner through the screening center. Just a little confused here and again, i dont want to get all the way to the screening center just to find out i did the forms wrong or didnt get something signed off by my civilian doctor that i should have!

    A few other things...
    He will be out to sea from August 15-December(ish)..how will this effect the process? (we were told he could still apply for command sponsorship, etc. from the ship)
    How long did your process take?
    How does the housing situation work? On base vs off base? (we do not have any pets or children)
    How does the packing/moving process work?
    Passports?? (i'm working on getting my tourist passport and have heard something about a no fee passport?)
    Japan immunization? (my civilian doctor hadnt heard of it...)

    Sorry for this rambling post, those are the major concerns i have at the moment. Other than that, if you've been through the same type of scenario dealing with an overseas PCS, unaccompanied orders, all the medical appointments/forms, command sponsorship & overseas screening, etc....please feel free to share your experience with me as well as any advice and tips!! This is our first PCS and it happens to be overseas so im totally overwhelmed right now!

    Thank you!
  2. Senior Member
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    Even with an OrdMod, you'll still need command sponsorship. There are two different things. First, he needs orders saying he's allowed to bring family, basically. Then you'll need a dependent entry approval, which is only issued after you do the medical screen and get sponsorship. But it's possible you can do the screen and *then* get the orders change. If his admin office is telling him that, I'd sort of trust them. So it's not an issue of not needing or not doing command sponsorship. It's whether they will change the orders and then have you do the sponsorship/screen process, or if you can do the screen and get approved, and then change the orders. I think they sometimes prefer to do the latter because that way, if you aren't approved, then his orders will stay the same. (If you have any chronic medical conditions or are currently or recently have been treated--even just meds--for mental health concerns, it can be an issue.)

    I never had a civilian doc sign on anything. I got all the stuff I needed (pap, current on all vaccinations and having a copy of your shot record), HIV test and TB test, and starting the Hep C vaccination series), got copies of my medical records from my civilian docs, and then scheduled the appointment for the medical screen where a doctor reviewed everything. I also took a form from my dentist (civilian, but it was easy for her to fill out) and that form with a million "have you ever had" medical questions. The appointment took probably 10 minutes. She looked at everything, asked a few very basic questions, and then signed off. Then DH submitted to his command (he hadn't yet PCSed) and they sent it to Japan. I think it took about 2 weeks to hear back that I was approved. I've moved to Japan twice, most recently about a month ago, and this was how it worked both times.

    And yes, you'll need a no-fee passport. Last I heard, they required it to be in-hand before you could travel, but it seems like some people get around that. There's lots of bad info floating around, and lots of people do it wrong either accidentally or because they think it's a small risk. But your no-fee is for official travel. What that means for you is basically getting you to and from Japan and the US (as many times as you want). Anything else is tourist travel, and that means you need to use a tourist passport, just like anyone else.

    I think Yokosuka currently requires military housing for everyone. It's not necessarily on base. There are a couple military housing neighborhoods in the area. We are at another base, but our Yokosuka friends told us that, though it may have changed since they arrived, but I doubt it.

    If you are asking about the Japanese Encephalitis vaccination, you should be able to get those on base, as your civilian doctor probably won't have any idea what you a are talking about, as you've learned. Generally, they only care that you've started it and you can finish once you get here (which often falls through the cracks).

    For packing, I'm not sure how it works when changing orders. It may be like a regular PCS where they military pays someone to pack and move your stuff and you don't have to do much other than organize. (It can take 5-8 weeks or more for your stuff to get here.) Or it could be like an acquired dependent where you are responsible for those costs. You can read through the JTR (google it!) and look for the appropriate passages, and have him confirm with his admin office.

    Hopefully that helps. As I said, I've done 2 moves to Japan (plus a third overseas moved), most recently a month ago, and my DH is Navy. So if you have more questions, feel free to ask. But also know that may people have vastly differing experiences. In my mind, it's best to have everything so the process is as smooth as possible. Sure, they may not ask for HIV and TB test results, for example, but those things are free, so just get them done so that when you show up for the medical screen appointment, there's no possibility you'll get sent away and delayed while you make a doctor's appointment, got those tests, get results, then make another appointment for a screen.
    Science always wins over bullshit. ~Dick Rutkowski
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    Quote Originally Posted by villanelle View Post
    For packing, I'm not sure how it works when changing orders. It may be like a regular PCS where they military pays someone to pack and move your stuff and you don't have to do much other than organize. (It can take 5-8 weeks or more for your stuff to get here.) Or it could be like an acquired dependent where you are responsible for those costs. You can read through the JTR (google it!) and look for the appropriate passages, and have him confirm with his admin office.
    It will be the first one, the military will pay for the move, assuming they were married before he got orders to Japan.

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