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Department of Defense


The Department of Defense (DoD) is charged with coordinating and supervising all agencies and functions of the government relating directly to national security and the United States armed forces. The mission of the Department of Defense is to provide the military forces needed to deter war and to protect the security of our country.

The Department of Defense is America's oldest and largest government agency -tracing its roots back to pre-Revolutionary times. Today, the Department is not only in charge of the military, but it also employs a civilian force of thousands. With over 1.4 million men and women on active duty, and 718,000 civilian personnel, DoD is the nation's largest employer. Another 1.1 million serve in the National Guard and Reserve forces. More than 2 million military retirees and their family members receive benefits.

Perhaps you are working for the DoD or interested in working for the DoD. Here is a forum to share your experience with the DoD.
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0018 Hopeful  
#21 Posted : Friday, June 8, 2018 2:11:33 AM(UTC)
0018 Hopeful

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China Lake,

Every major road in town is named after a 1950's era "lady of the night" that worked there during the 1950's boom that built the town.

Used to be called Crumville in the 1940's.

The lakes are actually dry hard pans, or salt encrusted lake beds. Some people call it a "playa" which means beach in Spanish. I never understood, why someone would choose that word over the Southern African English word of dry pan or hard pan.

frankgonzalez  
#22 Posted : Friday, June 8, 2018 2:54:55 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: blaydese Go to Quoted Post
Frank Gonzalez,

I'm not following your math on the GS-12 Step 2, why would they round up from GS-11 Step 5 to GS-11, Step 7?

Standard promotion pay setting. The "2 step rule" as it is commonly called. Your salary increase is the equivalent of (but not less than) 2 steps from your current salary. So, if you are GS11 step 5, you add 2 steps (step 7) and then see where that falls on the next grade's table. In this case, it falls between step 1 and 2, so you go to the higher step.

It is done this way as higher steps in one grade are more than the lower steps in the next higher grade (and why would you take a promotion to get a cut in pay?- special salary tables excepted!). For example GS11 step 7 through step 10 are all more than GS12 step 1.

Edited by user Friday, June 8, 2018 2:57:29 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

You should have voted Cthulu...the greatest of all Evils
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blaydese on 6/9/2018(UTC)
TheRealOrange  
#23 Posted : Friday, June 8, 2018 4:33:35 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: frankgonzalez Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: blaydese Go to Quoted Post
Frank Gonzalez,

I'm not following your math on the GS-12 Step 2, why would they round up from GS-11 Step 5 to GS-11, Step 7?

Standard promotion pay setting. The "2 step rule" as it is commonly called. Your salary increase is the equivalent of (but not less than) 2 steps from your current salary. So, if you are GS11 step 5, you add 2 steps (step 7) and then see where that falls on the next grade's table. In this case, it falls between step 1 and 2, so you go to the higher step.

It is done this way as higher steps in one grade are more than the lower steps in the next higher grade (and why would you take a promotion to get a cut in pay?- special salary tables excepted!). For example GS11 step 7 through step 10 are all more than GS12 step 1.

blaydese, the Two-Step Promotion Rule is described at the OPM website as: "The two-step promotion rule states that a GS employee promoted to a position in a higher grade is entitled to basic pay at the lowest rate of the higher grade that exceeds his or her existing rate of basic pay by not less than two step increases of the grade from which promoted. The two-step promotion rule must be applied using one of two methods--the standard method or the alternate method."

https://www.opm.gov/poli.../fact-sheets/promotions/
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blaydese on 6/9/2018(UTC)
blaydese  
#24 Posted : Saturday, June 9, 2018 12:22:57 PM(UTC)
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frankgonzalez & TheRealOrange,

Thanks and noted, at the 2.5 year mark, start looking for GS-12 jobs close to home OR return as GS-11, STEP 6, correct?

Originally Posted by: frankgonzalez Go to Quoted Post
(and why would you take a promotion to get a cut in pay?- special salary tables excepted!). For example GS11 step 7 through step 10 are all more than GS12 step 1.


Frank,

It's a pay cut for us...

Right now, today: GS-11, Step 5, SAN JOSE-SAN FRANCISCO-OAKLAND, CA = $83,760.00

Japan: GS-12 Step 2, $65,720.00 + 25% of spendable income is $6,500 in benefits = $72,220.00

$83,760.00
-$72,220.00
____________

$11,540 less?

Thinking of NOT taking the job based on the fact that we can't afford to lose 11K a year.

California is really expensive, at GS-11, Step 5, we're still living paycheck to paycheck.

Sad that taking an overseas job means you lose your home state side, unless you rent it out and we can't we need it for the kids to go to school. :-(

Regards,
blaydese
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Endless Summer  
#25 Posted : Saturday, June 9, 2018 12:50:55 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: blaydese Go to Quoted Post
frankgonzalez & TheRealOrange,

Thanks and noted, at the 2.5 year mark, start looking for GS-12 jobs close to home OR return as GS-11, STEP 6, correct?

Originally Posted by: frankgonzalez Go to Quoted Post
(and why would you take a promotion to get a cut in pay?- special salary tables excepted!). For example GS11 step 7 through step 10 are all more than GS12 step 1.


Frank,

It's a pay cut for us...

Right now, today: GS-11, Step 5, SAN JOSE-SAN FRANCISCO-OAKLAND, CA = $83,760.00

Japan: GS-12 Step 2, $65,720.00 + 25% of spendable income is $6,500 in benefits = $72,220.00

$83,760.00
-$72,220.00
____________

$11,540 less?

Thinking of NOT taking the job based on the fact that we can't afford to lose 11K a year.

California is really expensive, at GS-11, Step 5, we're still living paycheck to paycheck.

Sad that taking an overseas job means you lose your home state side, unless you rent it out and we can't we need it for the kids to go to school. :-(

Regards,
blaydese


Yeah, I'm sorry to hear it may not work out for you. It seemed like it would be difficult to pull off. Not that it matters much but that $6,500 is not taxed, so it's more like $10,000 in pre-tax. That still leaves you in the hole.

Can't talk the kids into going to college in Japan?
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blaydese on 6/9/2018(UTC)
0018 Hopeful  
#26 Posted : Saturday, June 9, 2018 12:51:26 PM(UTC)
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A GS-12 Step 2 in Japan is $65,720

GS-12 married with a dependent LQA is $34,400ish. But you only get what you spend. So if your rent and utilities are $25,000 then you should be ok. If you can't find something that suits your needs for $40,000 then you will be out more. We regularly get screwed when the exchange rate. I do not know if this is tracked or not.

Plus as you said post allowance, which I have figured out multiple times and I don't honestly think I am still getting the right amount.

Our rent is about $2400ish dollars a month, we have had major fluxuations over the past few months with the exchange rate that have plaid hell with our finances. Thank God we do not have a home we own in California to worry about.

I find that I have much less money in my pocket as a GS-11 overseas, than I did as a GS-11 stateside. Every ones version of that very real situation will depend on your finances, and what it cost you to live there.

It is your decision to make, we would not have came to Germany if we had it to do over again. Our children are small, and traveling is a major chore. We would have waited until our kids were at least 10.

There are other things, and even though I really enjoy the culture at this time in our life it wasn't the right move.

The new tax laws on moves are going to be a real ball buster, we moved over here in 2016, and it didn't affect us. I have no idea how badly we will be taxed on the cost to move home from Europe. God forbid you ship a car, what will that cost?




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blaydese on 6/9/2018(UTC)
FatHappyCat  
#27 Posted : Sunday, June 10, 2018 6:27:47 PM(UTC)

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Originally Posted by: blaydese Go to Quoted Post
Right now, today: GS-11, Step 5, SAN JOSE-SAN FRANCISCO-OAKLAND, CA = $83,760.00

Japan: GS-12 Step 2, $65,720.00 + 25% of spendable income is $6,500 in benefits = $72,220.00

$83,760.00
-$72,220.00
____________

$11,540 less?

Thinking of NOT taking the job based on the fact that we can't afford to lose 11K a year.

California is really expensive, at GS-11, Step 5, we're still living paycheck to paycheck.

Sad that taking an overseas job means you lose your home state side, unless you rent it out and we can't we need it for the kids to go to school. :-(

Regards,
blaydese


I feel for you but I also don't...

Your circumstances is what is causing you to have the dilemma you currently face. Generally when people move overseas - they take their family with them, not try to maintain 2 households. If pay at the end of the month is the priority for you, given your situation, then no you should not take this position. For most other people, being overseas even at a lower step or grade, they would find themselves much better off financially.
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blaydese on 6/10/2018(UTC)
blaydese  
#28 Posted : Sunday, June 10, 2018 7:44:53 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: FatHappyCat Go to Quoted Post
I feel for you but I also don't...

Your circumstances is what is causing you to have the dilemma you currently face. Generally when people move overseas - they take their family with them, not try to maintain 2 households. If pay at the end of the month is the priority for you, given your situation, then no you should not take this position. For most other people, being overseas even at a lower step or grade, they would find themselves much better off financially.


FatHappyCat,

Trust me, I'm not trying to be selfish, stuck-up or ungrateful,
I personally know how hard and rewarding this opportunity is.
I also want to be informed, and have like you said "pay at the
end of the month is the priority for you" be the best decision
possible.

So here are some new factors.

1. I could teach English to bring much needed buffer income in
until a car is paid off in the USA in three years.

2. Wife is looking to go full-time job vs part time job (not likely).

3. Daughter's room and board will be free as a Jr. & Sr. now that she
will be a Resident Adviser (RA) at her school.

4. My son's girlfriend has a car, and will attend the same school as
him and they can car pool to school each day.

5. I can live off base and 94% of most expenses, i.e. rent, water, trash,
gas, electric, etc. will be covered by PCS entitlements.

6. I'm retired military, and have VA check coming in, and I can do my
best to grab military HOPS back to the USA as needed.

7. I can get a local Y plate car and use that while I'm there, or ship
one of the cars I use now to Japan and use that.

8. We've been looking for used cars on Offer-up and Craig's, ebay motors
for cars to ship, or my son or daughter to use.

I could go on and on, but end state is, it's like holding onto a winning lottery
ticket and not knowing if I should ca***** in, or light it on fire.

Again, I'm not looking a gift horse in the mouth, I know how hard it is to get
job offers like this. But I owe the hiring agency to best that I can do, and not
be a problem employee who pisses and moans and asks to return early.

Tomorrow going to inquire with my CPOL office, see if they can get me the
truth math, and go from there.

Again thanks EVERYONE for your advice and assistance.

Regards,
blaydese

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blaydese  
#29 Posted : Wednesday, August 14, 2019 9:56:42 PM(UTC)
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UPDATE: 15 AUG 2019

Well, been here almost a year and with separate maintenance allowance, we broke even! :-) So thanks to everyone for the advice on taking the job.

HOWEVER, I have some bad news.

I got skin cancer. :-(

My command paid to send me back to the USA to my own home and I had so far successful have the surgery. Hopefully all gone, BUT... now they discovered more ailments. Enough so, they recommend I get back state side for regular treatments. So I'm asking to curtail my tour....

I saw the ONE POST on here about curtailed OCONUS tours. https://forum.federalsou...s&t=24557#post233833

Aside what is on that post, does anyone have NEW / additional advice since that post was from 9 years ago, of course on the topic of curtailing a 36 month tour down to 18 months?

Thanks in advance,
Peace!
blaydese
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dodsan  
#30 Posted : Thursday, August 15, 2019 10:36:13 AM(UTC)
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If a doctor recommended a tour curtailment for medical reasons, the Command will follow, and they will cut you PCS orders (as if you are at the end of your 36-month tour). You just have to make sure you have a job to come back to. Have you contacted your stateside office making them aware of the situation and will be returning? Talk to your stateside boss. A return position stateside is necessary for the PCS orders to get generated (except for those who are returning to retire or leave the gov't). I think your current office in Japan will wait until you have a job lined up, whether it's your old job you have return rights to, or a new one, before they issue you orders.

Where in Japan are you?
blaydese  
#31 Posted : Thursday, August 15, 2019 4:34:41 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: dodsan Go to Quoted Post
If a doctor recommended a tour curtailment for medical reasons, the Command will follow, and they will cut you PCS orders (as if you are at the end of your 36-month tour). You just have to make sure you have a job to come back to. Have you contacted your stateside office making them aware of the situation and will be returning? Talk to your stateside boss. A return position stateside is necessary for the PCS orders to get generated (except for those who are returning to retire or leave the gov't). I think your current office in Japan will wait until you have a job lined up, whether it's your old job you have return rights to, or a new one, before they issue you orders.

Where in Japan are you?


Thanks for the info, good things to remember. I will ask both current command and my return rights command, both are DLA.

I'm in Iwakuni Japan.

Peace!

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Eric W  
#32 Posted : Wednesday, August 21, 2019 6:52:39 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: blaydese Go to Quoted Post
UPDATE: 15 AUG 2019

Well, been here almost a year and with separate maintenance allowance, we broke even! :-) So thanks to everyone for the advice on taking the job.

HOWEVER, I have some bad news.

I got skin cancer. :-(

My command paid to send me back to the USA to my own home and I had so far successful have the surgery. Hopefully all gone, BUT... now they discovered more ailments. Enough so, they recommend I get back state side for regular treatments. So I'm asking to curtail my tour....

I saw the ONE POST on here about curtailed OCONUS tours. https://forum.federalsou...s&t=24557#post233833

Aside what is on that post, does anyone have NEW / additional advice since that post was from 9 years ago, of course on the topic of curtailing a 36 month tour down to 18 months?

Thanks in advance,
Peace!
blaydese



I came across this thread because I have been applying for GS jobs (2200 series) in Japan for several months. Looking for Iwakuni, Sasebo or somewhere surrounding Tokyo, and while I was searching for information about pay in Japan to get a good estimate of what I might make if I get a GS job. (I haven't been a GS employee before, prior Army and have been a government contractor for the past 8 years). Since some have told me you get a locality pay and a COLA which I was doubting.

Anyway, as I was reading through this thread and this post really caught my eye. Just want to say I wish you the best with your diagnosis and I hope you beat cancer.



dodsan  
#33 Posted : Thursday, August 22, 2019 6:17:39 AM(UTC)
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If you have any questions about the pay, just PM me. I just came back form a Japan OCONUS tour.
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