The military services are working to increase the household goods weight allowances of service members across the board, an Army leader said during a recent forum.

“We hope to have something out before next summer’s move cycle,” said Maj. Gen. Michel M. Russell Sr., director of operations in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-4, during a family forum at the virtual annual meeting of the Association of the U.S. Army.

The Army did a cost-benefit analysis and identified where the problems were for soldiers, he said. “We’re working with the other services to try to increase weights across the board so that we can give some relief to all ranks and grades, not just portions of officers, NCOs, enlisted, but everybody across the board.”

Service members are given specific weight allowances for household goods moves. For example, an E-4 with dependents is allowed 8,000 pounds; a single E-4 is allowed 7,000 pounds. An O-4 with dependents is allowed 17,000 pounds; a single O-4 gets 14,000 pounds.

Those who exceed that weight allowance may pay several hundred to several thousand dollars in excess weight charges.

During a recent forum of the National Defense Transportation Association, some members of the moving industry discussed their concerns about the current weight allowances, especially the impact on junior enlisted members with families, where there appear to be more incidents of overweight charges. There have also been an increasing number of service member requests for re-weighs of their household goods shipments.

Army spokeswoman Ellen Lovett said the Army’s analysis of weight allowances is ongoing, and no further details are yet available.

Karen has covered military families, quality of life and consumer issues for Military Times for more than 30 years, and is co-author of a chapter on media coverage of military families in the book "A Battle Plan for Supporting Military Families." She previously worked for newspapers in Guam, Norfolk, Jacksonville, Fla., and Athens, Ga.

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