Unaccompanied Baggage

Moving to a new location is never fun, especially when it’s on the other side of the world and by air. The amount of things I could bring with me is governed by Department of Defense (DoD) and Joint Federal Travel Regulations (JFTR), in addition to what I’m able to practically carry with me through the airports and on the planes. I decided on just two large suitcases and my carry-on, though the Army would have paid for 2 additional pieces of checked baggage. So I arrived to Korea with very little. When a Service Member, with or without their family, makes a move, what they carry with them is just a portion of what they can take. We’re also authorized a certain number of pounds of “unaccompanied baggage” (UB) which comes by air and a certain number of pounds of “household goods” (HG) which come by sea.

Since I was coming alone and planned to be in on-post quarters where overseas the furniture is provided, I opted not to move any household goods but did send some unaccompanied baggage. My UB consisted of the books from my library that I would need while I am here (more on my library later), sermon notes and outlines, my Army-issued gear (TA-50) along with uniforms, the civilian clothes that I want (both for free-time and worship services) and any other convenience and comfort items I may need to include linens, small appliances, etc.

Part of the weight we are permitted to ship includes what is called “Professional Books, Papers and Equipment” or “Pro-Gear” for short. So my TA-50, books used in the performance of my job, my chaplain kit and other professional items don’t count against my permitted weight, though the government is beginning to cut down on how much pro-gear is permitted. It use to be unlimited, which I really needed due to the size of my library. The regulations said that allowable pro-gear included what you may use in the performance of your duties in your next or future assignments. This move, I was told I could bring as pro-gear the books I would use on this assignment, but only ones that weren’t available online or digitally. Ouch! That’s going to hurt on my next move! Since this is a short and limited tour however, I was able to get by with less pro-gear, primarily fewer books.

Today was the day that my UB was delivered so I finally have more clothes (though wrinkled!), an iron, additional towels and linens and the quilt my wife made and sent to me during one of my previous deployments. So my quarters are finally starting to feel a little bit more like home, though prominently missing family…

Having just been delivered today, I haven’t been able to unpack and shelve my books yet, but I think that will be one of my leisure activities for Saturday. Working in my library also seems to put me in a better mood so it will be a good end to a busy week. Once I get unpacked I’ll post pictures of my office, to include my “deployment” library, so you can see what type of facilities I work and minister out of.


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