Freedom Friday – PCSgrades
Todd Ernst is the Founder PCSgrades. PCSgrades (faceook page) is a wonderful platform for military families to go for advice on PCSing (relocating) but not limited to that. They have a variety of resources that military families can use such as information on schools in certain areas, bucket list places to visit while stationed in different places, and guides on buying a house. There is so much information on their site and would be a military families best friend. Changing duty stations have never been easier. Well at least PCSgrades help make it smoother than normal.
What branch did you serve in?
Air Force – 14 years active duty and 8.5 years in the Reserves both as a part-timer (Traditional Reservist) and full-timer (AGR).
Tell a little about yourself.
While I’m thankful for my time serving our country as a U-2, B-1, and T-38 pilot, including tours in support of OIF and OEF, I think I’m most grateful to have led the fight on behalf of surviving families of Guard and Reserve members to establish equal benefits for equal sacrifice for those who perish in the line of duty, while serving on an administrative pay status known as “Inactive Duty Training”.
I learned a lot along the way while playing roles as “Lt Col” Ernst inside the DOD and in the capacity of “Mister” Ernst on Capitol Hill and amongst Military and Veteran Service Organizations. Even better…the changes were signed into Public Law on 23 December, 2016 as part of the Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act.
What is your business/organization/blog name and what your business/organization/blog is about?
PCSgrades is a rating and review platform built by and for our fellow service members, veterans, and spouses, addressing our biggest must-solve relocation needs such as neighborhoods, base housing, Realtors, mortgage lenders, schools, moving companies, and more. They are providing a voice for our community to help us help each other while creating transparency and accountability in a system that’s never existed before.
What led you to this journey?
I’m not a big fan of the phrase, “The Military Takes Care of Its Own”. Too many times I’ve witnessed and heard stories of our fellow airmen, soldiers, sailors, marines, and their families receiving a raw deal when entrusting their problems to “The Military”.
Instead, I believe the real phrase should be, “The Military Family Takes Care of Each Other”.
My biggest takeaway from my experience working on survivor benefits is these kinds of changes only happen when we step forward and take care of each other. If we wait for somebody else to do it or for “The Military” to make good things happen, often times they won’t.
In short, the only way to give our fellow military families greater control and increased transparency in the PCS process is by our community stepping forward to do so for each other.
What is one thing you have learned from the service that you use in your business/ organization/blog?
One thing I’ve learned for sure is everybody in the military family serves and this couldn’t be more apparent than during a PCS…when everybody feels the impact.
I was blown away by the support my family provided me during my years of service and I see this same dynamic occurring in all of our fellow military families.
Through PCSgrades, we can support our greater military and veteran community because together, we can truly make a difference.