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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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emmajs  
#1 Posted : Wednesday, May 25, 2011 11:33:35 PM(UTC)
emmajs

Rank: Newbie

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Joined: 5/14/2011(UTC)
Posts: 4

Do you get any alllowances up front when PCS'ing overseas as a DoD civilian?  Do I need to expect to pay everything out of pocket first then get reimbursed? I will have my husband and 2 children, one who is an infant, going to Germany some time later this year and need to know how much out of pocket money I should expect to spend up front?
simchief  
#2 Posted : Thursday, May 26, 2011 12:34:18 AM(UTC)
simchief

Rank: Senior Member

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Joined: 9/5/2006(UTC)
Posts: 643

When you relocate overseas you can request advanced pay prior to departing for your new location; this is a interest-free loan based on your future salary. I recommend at least 2 months advanced pay, or four pay-periods.

 

Advanced pay is paid back on several different plans; each pay period, monthly and over several months, but remember to ask for it prior to your departure.

 

Actual out of pocket expenses can overwhelming; deposits, several months’ rent, temporary expenses, such as living out of your suitcases, and hotels and eating out etc.

 

 

Bottom-line is how much you need is based where you are stationed and what is available, visiting quarters, hotel, and such.

 

It is important to discuss this with you assigned sponsor, try to use on base facilities, and transportation, there is nothing worse than being stuck in a strange country, off-post and without a car.

 

By living on post, they might have a lodge or hotel, it is cheaper and most things you need to accomplish can be done on post; mail, eat, commissary, in-processing, support functions and usually has cheaper taxies.  

I'll be shoveling along: <br />Digger O'Dell
HR201  
#3 Posted : Thursday, May 26, 2011 1:42:55 AM(UTC)
HR201

Rank: Groupie

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Joined: 4/14/2011(UTC)
Posts: 44

If the government is funding  your transfer overseas, you'll be entitled to Temporary Lodging Allowance (TLA).  TLA is designed as a reimbursement to offset the greater-than-normal expenses associated with living in temporary quarters (hotel, etc) while awaiting permanent housing.  Though TLA is a 'reimbursement', you'll find that most temporary housing providers will issue bills on time, but await payment until you've filed your claim (every 10 days) and received reimbursement.
 
simchief is correct that you'll need funds for security deposit on permanent quarters, and other expenses.  How much you'll need depends on the choices you make regarding housing, etc.
 
One other item:  if you're shipping an automobile to Europe, make sure it's gone over with a fine-toothed-comb before you ship it - repairs to many "US-Spec" autos are difficult if not impossible to obtain.  European roads are not as forgiving as ours, so if your car is more than a couple years old, consider selling it and buying a european car upon arrival.   Also, many employees departing your area will have cars for sale, so you will be able to find anything from 'beaters' to late model luxury cars.
 
Most of all:  take your 'I'm an American' blinders off and enjoy your tour.  Make an effort to learn the language and communicate with neighbors.  Take tours and learn the culture, then incorporate the good things and bring them back with you when you return to the USA.  Nothing, absolutely NOTHING is worse than getting into the home/work/club/home routine and wasting a priceless opportunity to see how other cultures live.  I spent over 20 years in Europe, came back to the USA in 1998, and still correspond with and talk on the phone with european friends I made.  The culture you land in may be different than what you've learned in the USA, but remember:   "Different Ain't Bad, It's Just Different" - recognize that european culture has been around a lot longer than ours and there's a lot to learn and embrace.
 
Enjoy!
 
Just my 2 cents worth....
simchief  
#4 Posted : Thursday, May 26, 2011 2:13:56 AM(UTC)
simchief

Rank: Senior Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 9/5/2006(UTC)
Posts: 643

Emmajs: great advice from HR201, and I can vouch these procedures have worked for all my employees for all of my twenty-nine years overseas.

An open mind and a great attitude will help you enjoy your oversea assignment.

 

I'll be shoveling along: <br />Digger O'Dell
sakijo  
#5 Posted : Thursday, May 26, 2011 3:28:44 AM(UTC)
sakijo

Rank: Senior Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 7/16/2007(UTC)
Posts: 1,127

My experience was very different.  On both tours to Japan, I got nothing upfront.  I asked for advance pay and they said "Apply for it when you get there."  So, I  had to upfront everything - hotel before departure, hotel upon arrival, food, transportation, etc.  Of course, I got reimbursed, but it still came out of my pocket first.  I even made a few bucks in the process (unintentionally).  I would consider taking a few thousand dollars.  I took a certified bank check so I wouldn't have to carry cash, and when I got there, I opened an account at the on-base credit union with that money.
 
And like HR201 posted, GO OUT AND HAVE FUN!  Don't take this the wrong way, but this is your 3-year European vacation courtesy of the US Gov't.  Sure, I worked Mon-Fri, but every weekend I was going somewhere.  I even stretched those weekends with Holidays and leave.  I saved thousands of dollars compared  to what it would have costed if I lived in the States.  Air fare alone from Honolulu to Japan runs $700-1,000, depending on the season.  And live off base, if possible.  You'll get more out of it than if you lived on post.
 
If you like European cars, consider buying one that's US-spec and have it shipped home when you leave. 
 
One last thing, when you settle your travel voucher, don't forget that you're entitled to claim "miscellaneous expenses."  This is a no-receipts allowance designed to cover small out-of- pocket expenses that you may incur along the way over.  I thiink it's $200 per person.
nomad26  
#6 Posted : Saturday, May 28, 2011 5:13:41 AM(UTC)
nomad26

Rank: Groupie

Groups: Registered
Joined: 12/9/2010(UTC)
Posts: 73

Very nice HR201 hope they have that on our orientation briefings. Those are the important once really.

Instead they are adding more and more useless stuff.


DoD Civilian EOD 2011 &gt;&gt; VA EOD 2012 &gt;&gt; DoD Civilian overseas (still looking)
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