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Relocating

Are you considering relocating your federal career - either by your choice or by Uncle Sam? There are practical issues and concerns to think about when deciding whether or not to relocate. Others have done it while still others have not. This forum will allow for all to offer their insight, post their questions, and help each other out.

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johnlv  
#1 Posted : Friday, September 09, 2011 8:41:55 PM(UTC)
johnlv

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Posts: 282

I’m getting ready to complete my intern program in May and my homeport does not have a position for me.  They should be able to find something for me but suggest I consider going to Europe.  The bases I can go to are Sigonella and Naples  in Italy or Bahrain (may be dependent restricted).   The idea is I'll pick up even better contracting skills and will have return rights.  Another thing is my command may be facing some RIFs stateside.  They also have a difficult time getting contract specialits to go overseas.

Does anyone have any experience as a DoD Civilian they can share with me?  I’m retired military and have served four overseas assignments in the past all over the word.  I was single then and now have a wife who is a RN and 70 dog who is family.

I have not found much information pertaining to civilians and the allowances/perks they receive.  Below are a few questions I have but am open to any information or pointers.  I’ve been using Fed Soup for a long time and the community has been great!

1.  Does a DoD Civilian Spouse received any preference in hiring?  I know the SOFA’s can be strict at different locations.

2.  Are DoD Civilians allow to live in base housing?  I will start off as a GS-12 for the first year or two if this makes a difference.

This is all I have for now, thanks!

johnlv2011-09-10 04:50:16
sakijo  
#2 Posted : Saturday, September 10, 2011 1:19:56 AM(UTC)
sakijo

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I was treated almost like a service member when I was overseas - commissary, PX, housing, etc.  I lived off Base because as a single, I wasn't entitled to housing.  That was a blessing in disguise.  I got to know the local people and really experience living in a foreign country.  Base housing may be restricted or mandatory, depending on local policy.  I don't think your spouse has any preferences, but an RN may have a good shot at landing a job because of demand.  Check the base's website for information.
johnlv  
#3 Posted : Saturday, September 10, 2011 1:46:00 AM(UTC)
johnlv

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Thank you for the info.  We have been checking the base websites and it is hard to get information for DoD Civilians.  I have even done all types of Google searches.  I should be able to contact some working at one of the units there within a few weeks.  The application is due first thing Monday because of the time difference.  I may just apply and see what happens.  I don't receive any Vet preference in a RIF since I'm retired military.  Going overseas for a few years will allow me to gain some seniority and avoid a RIF plus I'll get return rights to my command.

mudpie  
#4 Posted : Sunday, September 11, 2011 9:28:50 PM(UTC)
mudpie

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If you are not in a permanent position now before you go overseas, there will be no return rights. Return Rights are for a specific position for which you held. You can't return to a intern position. I would get something in writing with a billet number that they say you have rights too before your leave.
 
That said. I would go to Italy. I too spent over 10 years in Europe. Nice place especially since you don't have any kids to worry about. Travel is very abundant.
 
DoD civilians in Italy live on the economy. You will recieve a housing allowance known as LQA. It will cover most of your monthly expenses and it is tax-free. You will also get a modest post allowance. It is not COLA. Full logistical support - weight, OCONUS ID cards, BX, Commisary etc. Civilians can use the military hospital but you have to use your insurance and pay DoD rates with a copay.  Use doctors on the economy, it is cheaper in Europe because of social medicine and sometimes much better and little waiting times to get into to see a doctor. Remember active duty have priority in everything.
 
If you have a VA disability there is a Foriegn Medical Program you would need to get enrolled in. Basically pay out of pocket and file with the VA for reimbursement.
 
Now for your wife. The Obamanation signed a bill into law giving "military" spouse overseas preference in filling jobs, however they have to be qualified to fill them as well.  Most bases have a local HR website that will advertise local positions but most have gone over to www.usajobs.opm.gov. You can search specifically for internaional positions and by base. She needs to be applying now. If she gets an interview now and is offered a job, she will be individually command sponsored separate from you which adds many benefits.
 
I did a brief search and found many generic jobs in Italy. The State Dept is looking for some public health professionals.  Good luck.
 
mudpie2011-09-12 05:35:44
johnlv  
#5 Posted : Sunday, September 11, 2011 10:23:56 PM(UTC)
johnlv

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I checked with my acquisitions director and it turns out they would graduate me from the intern program and assign me to a slot in overseas location.  I would then have return rights back to the command after three years of serving overseas.  I may be able to use my TRICARE overseas since I’m retired military.  It is difficult understanding all of the civilian entitlements and everything.  I found a pretty good link with some briefings from HRO.  I didn’t realize all of my PCS stuff would be taxed.  They give you an allowance to offset it but it seems complicated.  It was much easier PCSing as active duty military for sure.  We are up to the adventure if selected though and will have a blast.

mudpie  
#6 Posted : Monday, September 12, 2011 4:46:47 AM(UTC)
mudpie

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Its not complicated. They add everything into your W2 at the end of the year and then you fill out the offset paperwork for a refund.
 
Read this: Same DoD regulations for all services.
 
 
and
 
Relocation Income Tax Assistance (RITA) Form
 
mudpie2011-09-12 12:56:10
johnlv  
#7 Posted : Monday, September 12, 2011 6:57:47 AM(UTC)
johnlv

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Thank you for the good information.  I have no idea when they will decide to interview or how many people from my command applied.  I should know something before Jan since the reporting is May or June.
Q-4life  
#8 Posted : Thursday, September 29, 2011 4:29:12 AM(UTC)
Q-4life

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johnlv ...This seems like an great opporunity, I am also in acquisitions and I have been looking for the right opportunity to go overseas and work.  I have heard several people say that DOD has a hard time getting people to go overseas however I don't see a lot of opportunities out there maybe USAjobs is not the place to look. What branch are you with and do they have anymore positions open in Italy if so tell me where to apply!!
jake.valentine  
#9 Posted : Thursday, September 29, 2011 6:49:12 AM(UTC)
jake.valentine

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Q-4life: Although it goes against what I would have assumed, you may be correct. I have friends in the private sector who often tell me they'd love to work overseas, but strangely when it comes time to apply they don't for whatever reason. I had a 12 opening recently in Asia for a security position and we had to re-open it because of a lack of qualified applicants. It was very surprising considering the current economy, but maybe our assumption that people would want to relocate there is wrong. The second go-around ended a few weeks ago and we received some really good candidates. Even with that being said, we still had less applicants that I thought we would. If the opening was at our San Diego facility we would have been overwhelmed with highly qualified applicants. The lesson: If I was looking to get a government civilian job I would definetly be looking at OCONUS openings.

Q-4life  
#10 Posted : Thursday, September 29, 2011 10:12:47 PM(UTC)
Q-4life

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Jake: Wow!! That is very interesting, it is hard to believe that overseas positions are not getting more interest especially with all the benefits offered. I am a 1102 and there is a big need for contracting personnel overseas but of course they want you to go to Afghanistan or Iraq. Don't get me wrong I am not against going to one of those locations for a year as long as I can be assigned to Italy, Germany or somewhere in Asia afterwards. The way it is only DOD employees have return rights, so I would pretty much be out of a job after my year.

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