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How long can a Soldier be posted in Germany

I'm actually writing this for my Soldier/Daughter, who is presently an E-4 at 35F school, so she doesn't have much free time on her hands and I try to help her by posting questions.

Her dream when joining the Army was to be stationed in Europe, as she has traveled there many times. She did great in BCT and now in AIT and the assignment Gods smiled on her, she got her orders to Weisbaden. She had initially planned on at least 2 enlistments, now she is considering making a career as she loves the Army.

As I understand, her initial OCONUS assignment is for 3 years, which puts her at the end of her first enlistment. I know that nobody can read the future, but what are the chances that when she re-enlists she can remain in Germany? For her, she'd just as soon spend her entire career overseas (gets that from her dad), but realizes that probably isn't even a remote possibility.

Yes, she has a degree, but has no desire to be an officer, as she would not be guaranteed to stay in MI, which she loves. She does intend on earning a Masters during her first 2 enlistments using TA. She picks up languages easily and is now studying German in her spare time.

Plus, does anyone know of present travel restrictions for a 35F, such as not being able to go to say the Czech Republic or Poland?

Thanks all in advance,

Posts: 49 | Registered: 28 July 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post

Picture of 11BIN3ID
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Her first tour in Europe will be 2 years unless she is married. Im not sure how some people did it, but there were people when I was in Germany that had been there for 6 years already. From what i hear though, it's getting harder and harder to stay there because of BRAC. I guess it would take alot of good timing and luck to stay there now.
Posts: 991 | Registered: 12 November 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post

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That's a little while down the road for her, but when the time comes she has a few options. She can reenlist for stabilization with her current unit which will most likly be 24th MI BN, 66th MI BDE. She can only do this if the option is available during reenlistment. Next would be to submit an FSTE (foreign service tour extention) which is similar to stabilization. Next would be an IPCOT (In place consecutive overseas tour) which would keep her in USAREUR. Lastly if she is just looking to stay overseas, she can submit a COT (consecutive over seas tour) which means she could be stationed anywhere from Alaska to Korea. Like I said, I am pretty certain she will be coming to 24th and if she does, there are plenty of good NCO's here to answer her questions.
Posts: 1 | Registered: 27 August 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post

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Thank you both for your answers. I got the 3 year duty thing from some DA site which said it was 3, but things always change.

She realizes that there is the extreme probability she'll go to the sandbox at some point, but she is fine with that. She is just ecstatic over getting Germany for however long it lasts.

Posts: 49 | Registered: 28 July 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post

Picture of CrisTama
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Is 2 years for single soldier and 3 years for soldiers with dependent.

She will have no problem traveling within the EU (european union), it will be helpfull for her if she will get a passaport before she gets there, if not she can stil apply for one to the embassy. For most of the countries she will not need a passaport, but for some she will, so is good to have one.

Wiesbaden is a nice area she is going to love it...i am jealous, lol.
Posts: 665 | Location: All over the world | Registered: 03 August 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post

Picture of Sn8ke_iis
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Mr. Daveesl,
You are one hooah, hooah dad. I've come across several of your posts in my research tonight. The prior posts on this thread are spot on. Single and or unaccompanied tours are 2 years. Her DEROS (date of expected return from overseas assignment, or something to that affect) will be 2 years from the day she signs into post. One of the first things I asked was "how do you stay longer?". I Have met several soldiers and NCO's personally as well as heard word of mouth about people staying in Europe 6 years or more. And not all have had to file for tour extensions or reenlist (i.e. they had somebody with some pull make some phone calls).
Getting a passport before she comes is a lot easier then waiting till you get over here. I'm still waiting on a copy of my birth certificate. The current leave/pass policy is 250 miles or crossing a border and you need a pass. We are NOT EU citizens. We need a passport to cross borders unless you are under orders. You can cross borders without a passport but if something happened or she was randomly checked and she didn't have the proper pass and passport she would be in trouble.
As for Wiesbaden Army Airfield(WAAF) as an assignment I have good news and bad news. First, THE CITY of Wiesbaden is AMAZING. If she's a liberal arts major (Theater, right?) her head will be spinning from all the history and culture in the area. And its all within easy cab/bus/train distance. A lot of garrisons in Germany aren't so lucky. I know this from friends assigned to other posts who reenlisted for Germany. I had to reenlist to come here as well. I've only been here a month and what an amazing month it has been. I literally just got back from a museum festival in Frankfurt. It was only 15 euro for the train ride round trip. The previous 2 weekends there was a wine festival in Wiesbaden. Had a blast. My car is still being shipped but the public transportation in Germany is phenomenal. Which I hope she utilizes, DUI's are essentially a career ender and will usually get you chaptered out if you are E-4 and below. I mention this because DUI's are a big problem in USAEUR right now as well as the Army as a whole. And it effects ALL ranks, officer and enlisted. And don't worry about the BRAC issue. WAAF is expanding while other posts in Germany are being shut down.
Now the bad news. This is my 3rd duty station in my short 3 1/2 career and this post has the ABSOLUTE WORST barracks I have ever seen. Or heard of for that matter. E-4 and below are crammed 2 to a room. I've been assigned to Ft. Eustis, VA and Ft. Drum, NY and even E-1's at those posts got their own rooms with walk-in closets and only had to share a kitchen and bathroom with one other person. E-5's and E-6's get there own rooms but E-6's shouldn't even be in the barracks. In the states E-6's get BAH and can live off post. Just from walking around post I see at least a hundred million dollars worth of construction going on and NONE of it is getting spent on housing for single/unaccompanied soldiers. It is all getting spent on new command centers and family housing. That was how I came across this thread as I am working to remedy this through the BOSS and AFAP programs. But if that doesn't work I will begin organizing mass IG and EO complaints for sub-standard housing. I am promotable to E-5 and should have my stripes soon, but E-4 and below are getting screwed for housing and that is not how you take care of soldiers which is what I was mentored to do.

A few general things about the post:

-There is A LOT of rank here. The only place I'm aware of with more rank is the Pentagon. CSM's are everywhere and General officers can be seen strolling around post on a regular basis.
-Make sure she knows 670-1 by heart and keeps her hair within regs while in uniform.
-The sponsorship program is all jacked up here with soldiers left over from 1 AD acting as sponsors. Not their fault but there hundreds of new soldiers coming in and not enough sponsors to go around. Tell here to get in touch with her new unit ASAP. She will fall under the inprocessing unit for 2 weeks or so but the sooner she gets in touch with NCO's at her new unit the better. They will know whats actually going on and can help her with rides to get groceries, linens, etc.
-Tell her to get her meal card and ration card her first day no matter what she is told by a lazy sponsor/NCO. If she has any problems, have her talk to somebody with some rank in the reception cell or Mr. Reed in the Welcome Center.

Hope this helps, overall Wiesbaden is awesome and I feel very lucky to be here.

P.S. I got a WLC slot my first week in my new unit. I'm a promotable Corporal with a 139 GT score and a combat tour in Afghanistan but who knows she might get lucky if they need to fill a slot. They have to go by order of merit, but that goes all the way down to PFC's with leadership potential.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Sn8ke_iis,

"A nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its laws made by cowards and its wars fought by fools."
— Thucydides
Posts: 18 | Location: Wiesbaden Army Airfield, Germany | Registered: 25 August 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post

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Wow Sn8ke, thanks for all the great info, I'll forward it to her today.

In regards to all of my questions, I promise I'm not some obsessive/compulsive nut ( ha ha - ok maybe a little). I try to find out things for her, since she is so busy at AIT and I get bored easily :-).

Actually, I'm semi-retired. I do travel documentaries and am a travel writer, so I always do as much research on a project as possible. She is much the same. We both always like to find out everything we can before we do something, helps to alleviate the surprise factor (like your great advice on the ration card).

As to the passport and travel. She has been traveling internationally since she first went to college, with a number of trips going solo to Europe and Japan, so she has had her passport for years. Right after she graduated college, she moved to NYC, so she sold her car and has been using mass transit for 3 years. She loves the transportation systems throughout Europe, well maybe not so much that in Ireland and Sicily, since they are kind of sketchy at best.

She speaks very good French and a fair amount of Spanish and Italian. Once she got her orders to Germany, yep she is studying German. This is another way she and I are alike. If we are going somewhere, we like to be able to at least know the basics.

Oh, and with the barracks situation. During 4 years in college she shared a VERY small dorm room. In the city, she and 3 other girls rented a really small "2" bedroom apartment in Queens with one bath. Now that was scary, because the bathroom was really small. 4 women, 1 bath, no place to put all their stuff. When I'd visit, I didn't want to even try to walk in that thing. :-)

When she first got to Huachuca, there were 3 in a two person room, but that has now changed with the graduations. So being 2 in a room sharing a single bath with 2 others will kind of be normal for her.

Question though, since she is MI, do you know if she would have travel restrictions to specific countries in say what used to be the Eastern Bloc, like Czech Republic or Poland?

Also, I was reading something from the Garrison Commander about a "...substantial number of 3 and 4 day weekends" (this was related to people linking passes with leave). Just what is considered a "substantial number". From one thread I was reading it seems that if you are not assigned duty, you guys are getting off every Federal holiday as well as the German Federal and regional holidays as well? Is this for real?

Once again, thank you and everyone else for these fantastic comments and ideas!!

Posts: 49 | Registered: 28 July 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post

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Dave she can travel that is no problem. She does have to announce when/where she is travelling to and be briefed by her S2 or ops depending on her organization. 1st MI, 24th MI. however she could also end up working at darmnstadt as well.
Posts: 625 | Registered: 19 July 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post

Picture of Sn8ke_iis
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Yep, its for real. Looking at the training schedule for my unit there are a lot of holidays. Normal holidays, training holidays, German holidays. I just had a 4 day last weekend and there is another one coming up this week for Labor day. Its USAEUR policy that you get a 4 day every month. If she does get staff duty she might get comped a day but that's not guaranteed. There is no 24 hour CQ duty in the barracks like stateside. That's a double edged sword. Less 24 hour duty but they usually do most of the cleaning of the common areas in the barracks stateside. My building has an issue with people not cleaning up after themselves and not cleaning their assigned areas. We get yelled at a lot for the barracks not being clean.

UMUC has real college level face to face German classes with a great professor right on post in the ed center. Its a 5 minute walk from the barracks. Army tuition assistance pays for it but you have to have all the right paperwork complete. The garrison had to ax the head start German class due to budgetary constraints. There is also a free conversational type class available through ACS. She'll find out specifics about it during inprocessing briefs.

"A nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its laws made by cowards and its wars fought by fools."
— Thucydides
Posts: 18 | Location: Wiesbaden Army Airfield, Germany | Registered: 25 August 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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