Maradmin 289/19 was released on May 16th, announcing changes to what can be officially packed for Marine Corps families! What, pray tell, is the change? USMC families can now expect PCS entitlements that include shipping alcohol! Yup, booze is now allowed to be officially packed by the moving company during a permanent change of station (PCS).

The Marines have always been special. The smallest branch of the Department of Defense is known for making do and “Semper Gumby” – always flexible. Until recently, the Marines were the only branch of the DOD that did not authorize alcohol to be moved with PCS by movers.

USMC Allows Shipping Alchohol During PCS

Chapter 2, section 4 of the Marine Corps Order stated: “Marines and Marine Corps civilian employees are not authorized to ship alcoholic beverages as part of the Household Goods (regardless of Code of Service).” Yup. You read that correctly. Booze was banned from the moving boxes packed by moving companies, officially.

RELATED: USMC, Army, Air Force to Reimburse Spouses for Occupational Licenses

The previous order did allow alcoholic beverages to be moved through a personally procured move or DITY move. Among Marine Corps families, the inconsistencies regarding this subject were often the discussion point on Facebook groups mid-PCS – which families had their alcohol boxed up, those who didn’t, and those who may be looking for the missing cat among the boxes (true story).

booze in boxes.eastern sky photography 2

While our fellow service branches allowed alcohol to be packaged up and moved, the Marine Corps had long held off on authorizing it. The concerns that the glass bottles would break and then the liquid seep into the box contents and surrounding boxes or furniture prevented its previous authorization. So, why the reversal of the previous policy?

Moving companies reported that shipping alcohol did not result in any reports of leaking or harm to the surrounding items during moves. Let’s face it – that nice bottle of sake purchased in Japan was already wrapped in bubble wrap before the movers arrived, and those Japanese movers know how to pack!

booze in boxes.eastern sky photography 4

Not all alcohol is created equal

Microbrew beer that was personally made should be labeled and checked with the moving company prior to shipping. Previously opened bottles of liquor should be secured with tape, and it may be at the discretion of the packing crew if that bottle makes it. Boxed beverages that are unopened may be packed.

Whether the Marines and Marine families are moving through a government-arranged move or doing a DITY move, check into the international/state requirements through the installation household goods/transportation office to ensure it is safe to ship. Keep in mind how long your shipment may take to get to arrive at your destination, and if it will sit in temporary storage that is not climate controlled.

Now you don’t have to throw a “come over and say good-bye and take some booze with you” party, but we won’t hold it against you if you do. In fact, we may stop over. Cheers!

Check out What to Expect When You PCS on the Patriot Express

USMC shipping alcohol


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Photo credits: Eastern Sky Photography

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Heather Walsh is a mom, Marine wife, Navy child, blogger and lover of all things crafty and Disney. Professionally, she is a Physician Assistant and has a passion for helping others to stay positive and supported. She has been writing since KidPix had the ability to write stories on floppy disk. The military lifestyle is something she has always known, so traveling and capturing those moments and sharing what she learns with her community is important to her. Recently, she has written for NextGen MilSpouse. She is one of three women who share travel tips for the military family at They are currently sharing exploration of Southern California, Virginia and New Orleans with tips for the military family on how to enjoy the adventure with every PCS and save money while doing it!


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