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Posted: 9/21/2001 8:05:26 AM EST
I am hoping that you guys can help me out in wading through some stuff an Army recruiter was telling me. I am planning on switching over from 11B (Infantry) in the guard, to a 96B (Intelligence Analyst) or 96D (Imagery Analyst) in the active Army. The main things that I am wondering about have to do with Army life, which I think a lot of you here know quite a bit about. I am married and she would want to have Europe as a duty station, which is fine with me. These are the questions I need some clarification on: 1. How big of a housing unit would a married couple (w/ no kids) expect to get overseas? We have a 1500 sq. ft. townhouse right now and would like to be able to bring all of our furniture, etc. The recruiter said all the housing is 1800-2000 sq ft, and that everything we have would fit easily which I find hard to believe. 2. Pets, are they allowed? Have 3 cats, could we keep all of them? Quarantine necessary? 3. Is family housing guaranteed? I was told in basic by Drill Sgt's there are usually long waiting lists for family housing and not to bring your family until you are actually moved it. The recruiter said to bring her right away, so that they have to put you into a unit right away. Whats the real situation? 4. Has/is anyone a 96B or 96D? In europe? I know lots of stuff is classified, but are you usually at a desk, or are you usually in the field? How frequent are deployments? (I know it varies by unit). 5. Pay. How much should an E-3 with 1 dependent (wife) expect to make in Europe? He didn't have the numbers for all of the allowances, and hasnt gotten back to me yet. I would trust the info more if it came from someone here. 6. Civilian employment. The recruiter said that jobs are plentiful for wives of enlisted men. Has this been your experience? Are their any jobs for people with prior experience in accounting related jobs or will she be flipping burgers at the BK? That's about it for questions right now. The recruiter seems like he is telling the truth, but some of the stuff he is saying almost sounds too good to be true (or too easy to be true). I just don't want to get screwed so any info you can give me on any/all of the above questions is appreciated. Thanks. Oh yeah, if you think I should be considering any other Intel related mos's let me know (especially if you have first hand experience).
Link Posted: 9/21/2001 8:37:11 AM EST
HKer, If you haven't already completed basic training, leave the 'lil woman at home. You wouldn't have anytime time to see her, even if you were allowed. As far as quarters or billets, thats a roll of the dice. If you get post housing or live on the economy (read: off post housing)the size can vary. You could end up in a shoe box or a palace, depending on what is available. It was my experience growing up in a military household (and my family had decent housing since dad was a O-6) that post housing was nice, but you were subject to inspections, to make sure you weren't punching holes in walls, painting the place black inside and the house had to be spotless when you moved out. On post housing is not guaranteed, you might end up staying in the visitors quarters (a military run motel)or a regular motel/hotel for a while. Pets were allowed (at least in officer billets), but there were size and number limits. Again a subject addressed by the housing office that places you. E-3 pay isn't all that much, probably better than when I was in ( I enlsited after high school). I always lived in the barracks. Also some posts have very limited family housing, and you may be required to live on the economy. If that happens you would probably get "separate rations" for meals and a Varibale Housing Allowance (VHA)which help, but it's not that much once you start spending the money. The spousal employment issue is also a roll of the dice. Your wife could get a job in the exchanges or on the economy again, or she could apply for a Govt job in an office. It all depends on whats available, her skills, etc, just like here. I had a friend who was an E-6 (SSG) and his wife worked in a bank while they were stationed in Bremmerhaven Germany. They lived on the economy and rented a nice house with their two kids at the time (1988). I visited them after I got out of the Army in 1987. They even had a family dog. When they PCS'ed from Virginia in late 1987, he went over first and arranged the house for the family to avoid many of the headaches of not having a place to move the wife and kids into right away. The wife and kids followed about 2-3 months later. I would suggest you consider the same, just so you know your wife has a place to stay, even if she moves back home for a short time stays with her parents or other family. As far as your MOS stuff, I'm at a loss. I was a MP, and know nothing of that secret squirel stuff.
Link Posted: 9/21/2001 8:39:52 AM EST
HKer, I'm AF not Army, but I can say that there is no single answer to most of your questions. It all depends on where and when basically. You may get a 4 bedroom 2000 sq ft house or you may get a 800 sq ft 1 bedroom. As for the pets, it too depends on where. If you go to England, I believe it's a 6 month quarantine for all animals. In the AF, you are limited to 2 pets in base housing. Family housing is not guaranteed. There is usually a waiting list (especially overseas), in my 17 years, it's been from 1 day to 2 years. Again, it depends on when and where. As far as civilian employment....this is usually pretty good for spouses. They are not all high paying jobs, but there is always a job at the BX (that's AF lingo for PX) or commissary. Try and get in to the Civil Service as that's something that can move with you. Hopefully this helps some, feel free to ask any questions. Rob
Link Posted: 9/21/2001 8:45:58 AM EST
1). Do not count on getting any kind of housing, especially as an E3. You have 6-9 months of training before that even comes up. 2) Yes. Probably. Probably. Leave them stateside (I know this will suck). 3). No. See #1. 4). Close (one of the related jobs). No. It can go either way, or both (sometimes your "desk" is a fifty year old field table and your office is an awning behind a track in muddy field). As a 96B, you can get assigned to a high level MI unit or Staff element, or to an Infantry Batt S-2 shop. You can literally go anywhere. 5)Go to Army.mil for a chart of pay and allowances. Follow the links to Defense Finace and Accounting Service and they should have all of the pay charts you need. 6). Doubtful. I hear the the Germans are very stringent about foreigners working in their country, and they have high unemployment, due to their socialist economy, so competition is fierce, wages are lower. Flipping burgers is the most likely scenario. Other intel related MOSs are a toss-up. Anything requiring a language has a high chance of failing out of linguist school and winding up right back where you are, with no choice or control of where you go later (at least now it sounds like you contracted for Germany). Other MI jobs are never what they seem to be until you actually do the job, and even then you will probably wind up doing something totally different from what they trained you to do (personal experience at every duty assignment I had in the Army in MI). Also, once you are in MI, you can not ever get out. The only escapes are into the civilian world (and they still own your brain), officer programs (and you'll probably still wind up in MI) or into SF, and occasionally they block transfers into SF. Did I mention death as a way out?
Link Posted: 9/21/2001 11:38:46 AM EST
Anyone else?
Link Posted: 9/21/2001 5:03:50 PM EST
Yep, I'll pipe in here too. How long do you want to stay in? If you plan to make it a carreer, you may want to reconsider switching MOS. Grunts and Tankers make rank faster than anyone else for a couple reasons...higher turn-over rate, and there are more of them than anyone else. Now, I doubt you would stay 11B because everything seems to be switching mechanised, but 11M is a short class away for you as you've already done Infantry Basic. Besides, wouldn't you like to have a cool patch like the one under my nick on your chest??? If I gave this advise on any other board we would problably hear from a bunch of REMF's about how great their desk is, but I doubt that will happen here...to many hard core types.
Link Posted: 9/21/2001 5:25:33 PM EST
In 90-94 13M & 13B stationed in Germany. At that time housing for family took 10 mths. to 2 years. The climate now has changed over there. However, the Army has shut down many posts and family housing areas. I would expect a wait and don't hold your breath for a place off post for a family. But I wish you luck. As for the intel MOS... Always saw them in HQ Battalion drinking coffee. Enjoy the joe...Joe. [;)]
Link Posted: 9/21/2001 5:34:42 PM EST
And what, exactly, is wrong with a REMF? I'll have you know I was quite proud of the job I did as a Rear Echelon Mother F*cker! (That's REMF for you who don't know...) So was every grunt, cannon cocker, cav scout, and tanker I met after I PAID their muddy asses in a not so REAR area! (Let's see you hump all that cash that YOU are responsible for replacing should you "lose it" to enemy contact) Ok, just messin' with ya... I always regretted letting my recruiter talk me out of Infantry.
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