DOD employees living in Europe

Jun 9th, 2000, 06:19 AM
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DOD employees living in Europe

I am trying to decide if a job with the Dept. of Defense is a good career move. If I do go with DoD, I would want to go overseas, Germany or close. Does anyone have any information or know of a web site where I can get information about living in Germany full time. I have the DoD web site, I am looking for information about living on the economy, schools, etc. We are just starting to look into this and any information would be helpful.
Jun 9th, 2000, 06:39 AM
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Nancy -

Email me directly and I can give a bunch of information about military websites and information regarding this subject.
Jun 9th, 2000, 08:44 AM
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Nancy, please e-mail me directly and I should be able to put you in contact with some people that can give you first hand advice.
Jun 9th, 2000, 09:14 AM
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Nancy, my father did that - I went to a DoD school from kindergarten through twelth in Germany. I'll be glad to help if I can with any info - feel free to e-mail me. We lived on the economy rather than in the housing, but we used the px and commisary priveleges (well worth while).
Jun 9th, 2000, 09:38 AM
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Nancy: It sounds like both of these folks will be able to help you out.

I lived in Germany for three years working for a defense contractor (Lockheed Martin), but with many or all of the allowances that DoD employees have.

I had a military ID card with an equivalent "GS" rating that allowed us the join the Rhein Main Officers Club, which has many things to do, in fact, that's how we started traveling on tours until we knew our way around and went on our own. We could shop anywhere on the military installation, except the (military) clothing store including the base exchange, commissary and Class VI store. Not too bad.

Our vehicle(s) had US government license plates and we had motor vehicle driver's licenses through the military, also. We also got government discounts on air fares. Not too bad.

The pay, however, unfortunately won't be tax exempt for government employees.

There are other locations, sometimes hard to land, like Oberammergau, among others. Could be a great opportunity. Frankfurt has housing, schools and some other things available with so many Americans there. Good luck!
Jun 9th, 2000, 10:42 AM
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With all the military cutbacks, Germany isn't the place it once was. Many, if not most, of the recreational facilities are boarded up and there are less perks available on the remaining active bases. The commissaries aren't what they used to be. And I hear the organized trips aren't offered as much. The positive side is that you will have to live among the Germans and shop in German stores. The negative side is you'll have to exist on a government paycheck.
Jun 9th, 2000, 05:32 PM
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So much information! Thank all of you for posting. Currently I work for the local school board (secretary) so I know about a gov't check! My husband is an office manager with a glass company, he handles the auto glass side, do you think he would have a problem finding a job in Germany? Does anyone know what the pay would be in this type of a job?

I think we have decided to go for a quick trip early next year so he can see if he even likes Europe (who wouldn't?). I was in Germany last year for 3 weeks & fell in love with it.

Thanks again everyone, I will be emailing those of you who offered to pick your brains for more!
Jun 10th, 2000, 07:49 AM
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Hi Nancy,

i am a german in Germany. My husband and I fell in love with USA. Maybe we can change our homes and jobs? lol
Jun 10th, 2000, 08:33 AM
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Think carefully about moving to live in Germany. It is a very different country to live in as opposed to visit. I lived in the former East for 3 years and while I loved it and regularly return it was stressful and I am an EU citizen.

German bureaucracy is a nighmare and you really need to have some German to be able to cope with the daily difficulties of living there. Have copies of everything and don't expect customer service or reason to be operated by German state agencies.

On the plus side the people in the East were really friendly and helpful and I made some life long friends - my house is full every summer with German visitors and hence all my my tips for touring Ireland have been tried and tested by my resident "tourists"

Another problem which might occur if you are not with the DOD is work permitts etc - they are very difficult to obtain if you are non-EU. There is a high unemployment rate in parts of Germany and throughout the whole country at the moment. I would advise learn some German and try and find a company who has a German branch. Otherwise do a Teaching English as a Foreign Language course and head towards Bavaria and the major auto companies etc. Mail if you want further details.


Jun 10th, 2000, 11:37 AM
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Just a word of warning: Before you decide to accept that job in Germany, check on a few things first.

My husband and I are both DAC (Dept. of the Army) civilians living overseas, and we regularly read the STARS and STRIPES magazine, European edition. We also have friends stationed in Italy, Germany and other European countries.

Here's the story according to our sources: Seems a while back there was a big bru-haha about American personnel working on the bases in Germany and Italy. They found out, much to their dismay, that some of them would be relieved of their duties because it was decided that the jobs they held should have been awarded to local nationals instead of Americans. In other words, their jobs could be done by anyone (as opposed the job specifically requiring American personnel with clearances). Several Americans were fired, and their jobs were given to local nationals.

In Italy, some Americans were shocked to find out that the Italian Gov't had, without the knowledge of the American employees, classified said Americans as Italian citizens (for various reasons) and then declared that said Americans were subject to Italian taxes.

I don't have all the facts on this, and perhaps I have gotten some of the details wrong (I apologize if I have).

BUT, you should still look into this matter. It could affect your tax status and your husband's ability to get hired anywhere on base - don't know how that would affect his chances of being hired out on the economy, though...

Having said all that - and I HOPE THAT I AM WRONG!! - living overseas (we have lived in Belgium and England) is a wonderful experience. Yes, there are definite culture differences, but if you are flexible, open-minded, adventurous, and have a good sense of humor, it can be the most exciting time of your life! Do some research, and then if it all checks out ok, take the plunge!!

Good luck.
Jan 5th, 2002, 10:35 AM
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Are some of the posters who offered responses to the OP still around? The topic is still relevant for me and probably a few others. Thanks!
Jan 5th, 2002, 01:51 PM
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Pauley, although I wasn't an original poster, I do have a lot of information and a number of sites. If you will e-mail me directly with the types of information you are seeking, I might be able to help.
Jan 5th, 2002, 03:39 PM
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Linda, I will email you shortly. Thanks!
Jan 7th, 2002, 03:04 AM
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What no one has mentioned is that to get into the government system GS and move to Germany, you have to have been employed with DOD for 12 months then apply for a job in germany, if you are selected they will then move you over here, once here you are subjected to the five year rule, That states you can stay for five years then have to go back, the catch with that is that you need to apply for a job in the states and hope they hire you and move you back. It is not as simple as people think!!! Good luck!!!

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