First Day of School

No matter how seasoned I think I am in this military life, (from military brat, in the military and now military spouse) a new situation seems to lurk its way into my comfort zone and shake things up.   A roller coaster of ups and downs.  This is our dilemma:

We’re PCSing this summer. Our DEROS is August and the sign in date is August 30.  I contacted the school district in the states.  School starts August third. (Yes, I said August third. Am I the only one who thinks that is extremely early?)  The school liason stressed the importance of getting the students enrolled before the first day of school due to over enrollment. Basically, that means, when the dust settles, all of the teachers and students are placed strategically in the schools. Any stragglers may not get in and will be bused to another school.

We cannot officially PCS until August 1 because my husband’s sign-in-date is Aug 30. (Within the same month.)  And even then, if we fly from Kadena, it will be the first Saturday of August.  So we want to leave in July, and have applied for a curtailment. (Requesting the gaining unit accept him a month early to change our DEROS here.)  If that doesn’t work, we’ll apply for an ERD (Early Return of Dependants) so at least I can get the kids enrolled in school on time while my husband does the outprocessing here.

My question is:  Are there other ways of doing this? Of leaving a bit early?  I am a simple gal and want to uncomplicate things as much as possible…as long as I can get my kids in school on time. Any ideas?

Please share your wisdom!


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  2. Can anyone help me with early return of dependants. My husband is AD Navy currently green side with a Marine corps unit. My son will graduate from high school this June, and we are trying to figure out how to apply for early return so that he may start college. My husband was told he has to go through the Marine Corps to get it started and was told he needed some form letter, but no one seems to know what it is or where to find it.
    Can any one point me in the right directions? Thanks for your help.

  3. Hi Kristin,
    Thank you for commenting. We applied for a curtailment but it was denied. My husband can get us tickets for anytime since we have our orders, but I would like to leave in early July. My husband cannot finish outprocessing until August 1st. Our DEROS is August 2. He isn’t authorized to final out before August 1. I think we’ve worked out as many of the kinks as we can. We’ll have official tickets to fly July 2. He will try to space-A the flight with us. If not, I can handle the flight and wait for him in the states. I hope everyone who goes through this finds what works for them.

  4. We just went through the same thing.
    Do you already have orders in hand? If not your hubby can put in a cratailment to leave early. It will have to go through the unit here as well as your gaining unit to be apporved.
    If you do already have orders your hubby needs to go to transportation and tell them he needs to leave by X date so you’d like your tickets to be as close to the as possible.
    What is your DEROS date?

  5. Thank you all for your advice/experience.
    We will be able to leave before our DEROS. When I say “we” I mean just myself and the kids will have official tickets from here to the states. My husband will try space-A to accompany us and then return to finish up and fly officially a few weeks later. He still cannot officially outprocess until August. Poo. We will be able to pack out before we go and will just stay a few days out of our apartment out of our own pocket.

  6. We have a DEROS of Spetember 30 this year. However we have orders to RNLT August 5th. It really doesn’t matter when your DEROS is if the gaining base needs you sooner, they need you sooner, it is not a date set in stone it is the date you are scheduled to leave.

    We are trying to leave the last week of June and take Circuitous travel. our big problem is finding out where is considered circuitous. We don’t want to go to Hawaii because we have two dogs and quarantine kenneling is expensive! We plan to go to Tokyo Disney and Disney Sea, but Tokyo is apparently not considered circuitous because we have to go through anyway. So stupid! But, yes, you can have the family return earlier without an ERD as long as you have orders. Once you have orders, you can even leave within days and just have your husband do the pack-out. But it will be out of pocket for TLF and housing on one side or the other.

  7. I am in Alaska and work in the S1. What you can do to leave thirty days early is a Curtailment. Have your husband get with is S-1 and submit a cutailment if you need a example email me at and i will send an example. let me know if there is anything else that i can help you with. The AROD or Advance return of Dependents will not work for this case because it cost the government more money. they grant these based on Family hardship and extreme problems. please email me if you need any further assistance or guidance

    SGT Carruba

  8. I have been thinking about this alot lately. We do not have orders yet, but should be leaving in the fall. I have heard you can do a Advance Return of Dependents if you have orders, so your family can go ahead and move to the new location. I have no info on this, but it could be worth looking into

  9. I don’t think ERD is even an option in this case. It’s more for extreme cases where the family has to return home.
    You’d think schools that deal with the military would be used to those cases.

  10. I would talk to the district you’re moving to; ask to speak to someone higher; explain the situation; they usually will work with you; I know they have for us. Our schools start mid-august too. I like it tho; I think last year was the 8th. They get out mid-may. It all works out. I’d rather have them out in May than have to wait until June, but that’s just me.

    If that doesn’t work, I’d leave without him…. 🙂

  11. I just wanted to say if you think Aug 3 is early try July 17. My son gets out of school for the summer June 10 th and would be going back around the 17th of July(if we wernt moving to Oki on the 14th of June). Good luck and hope all goes well.

  12. Why is your husband’s “sign in” date the same as his DEROS? Are you talking about the RNLTD is 30 Aug? If so, why is it the same month as his DEROS? Normally the RNLTD is 45+ (usually 60) days after the DEROS month. Just curious…Regardless, once he receives orders, you and the kids can leave early so you can get settled in. Just my two cents.

  13. I am complete agreement with Diana. You can leave anytime, your husband just has to make sure he meet the NLT date! Once he has his web orders (my husband is a Marine) he can schedule TMO and get your tickets home whenever. Many folks try leave early and end up taking leave so that when they do finally make it to their new duty station their furniture isn’t too far behind. Good luck!!

  14. This may sound too simple but can you ask or have you asked about enrolling your student while still on island? You have orders, you know you are moving, why couldn’t you? In any of the stateside schools our children have attended their presence was not necessary for the enrollment process. Some states do require a particular health form but if you can get the school to mail you the enrollment packet why couldn’t you have it completedy here, have the health forms completed here, and if needed have it notarized here?

    Additionally, if you are not getting any of the answers you are seeking when dealing with the liasion I would consider moving up the chain of command. Contact someone within the district or superindentant’s office. Just a thought.

  15. My understanding is that the DEROS is the drop dead “have to be off the island” date…you can leave anywhere before that as long as you have orders in hand. In fact, if you take leave (we always take thirty days during a PCS to and from here), you can leave even earlier if you want.

    Once you have orders in hand, you should be able to schedule TMO and all that…do you have orders in hand?

    If you have the message that tells you for sure you are leaving and where you are going (persgram) but not orders, you can put in for leave and that should generate orders…but you have to have that persgram already.

  16. Kandy, I know you said your husband’s report date is NLT 8/30, but can you leave earlier than 8/1 if you use (excuse the spelling) circuitous travel (sp????). I think that’s the term they use if you apply for leave en route to new duty station. I think it is possible to leave prior to 8/1 if you will going on leave before check-in. I’m not sure if it’s the same for all services, but this is similar to what we are doing in the Marines.

  17. Kandy, the only thing I can think of apart from what you have stated, is to contact the school again. Tell them your situation and if they say the date is the date, go higher, and ask again. You might have done this, but just a thought. I have done this with so many things in life and gotten what I needed done because of it, even with people telling me,it’s not worth it, blah blah, blah…