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Change of Strength Date

February 27, 2009

cos_dateIf you read the previous post, you’ll see The Posting Message. It seems like they’re screaming at you because it is all in UPPERCASE but that is a carryover from when they used telex machines and no one has bothered to change it yet.

Actually it probably doesn’t matter since most of the information is acronyms that are in UPPERCASE anyway, it would cost too much just to put the occasional word in lowercase.

So, as far as the message goes, points 1 and 2 don’t mean too much to me. Point 1 tells me who my husband is (I already know that) and point 2 tells me where he currently is (most of the time I know that too).

Point 3 is significant because it tells us the COS date. The COS Date is called the “change of strength” date. What it means is that is the day that hubby’s posting takes effect, the day that NDHQ (National Defense Headquarters) changes his file from his old job to his new job.

This is important for a couple of reasons:

  1. If the move is to take place across a provincial boundary, then that is the date that the income tax rate on the member’s pay statement changes from one provincial rate to the other.
  2. If you are applying for military housing and there is a waiting list, the members application for housing only becomes active 60 days prior to the COS date. This can have serious implications if you are moving OUT of an apartment or civilian home you need to set the closing date of your home sale close to the COS date so you can have a door-to-door move.

How the COS date affects our life for this move.
We are currently renting an apartment in Quebec. For those of you who are not familiar with Quebec’s Régie du logement (Landlord Tenant Board), ALL leases finish on June 30th of any given year. This means we will have to leave our current apartment by June 30th or be responsible for rent payments and the condition of the apartment for another FULL YEAR even if we find sub-lettors.

So, we have got to move well in advance of the COS date written in the posting message. I know that the CF (Canadian Forces) is used to dealing with this problem so I’m only worried a little bit.

There are two options:

  1. They put our stuff in storage from the time we move out of our apartment until the COS date when we would get a military house.
  2. They allow us to move into military housing before the COS date.

Since Option 1 has the CF paying for everything (storage, hotels for us), and option 1 we pay them rent for housing, I’m hoping we get Option 2. I don’t want to live in a hotel for a month.

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