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Posted: 9/28/2017 5:54:08 PM EDT
I have an interview coming up for a job that will either be in Iraq or Afghanistan. I want the experience of being in another country\culture as well as the chance to shift fields a bit.

As civil service (try position) would I be tax exempt for being overseas\in a combat zone?

What is security like in each country? Which is more prone to attacks (IED, rocket\morter, kidnap)? I heard guys talking about chemical weapons used in Afghanistan years ago, is this an issue? Difference in response times?

What is the quality of life like? Ac, showers, food?

What can you do in your down time? Allowed\ safe to go off base? Is hobby photography allowed (with restrictions for opsec)?

Personal firearms allowed?

Do you work\ interact with locals? Local labor? Culture\ language training?

I am basically expecting a cot in a connex box that is hot\cold depending on the weather with cafeteria food and a set of weights to entertain myself. So anything above that is gold...

Right now not knowing any difference other than mountain vs desert I would pick Afghanistan though for the field I will be in, both would be good experience. I know there will be stresses and hardships but its something I'm really wanting to do. Any advice?
Link Posted: 9/28/2017 6:26:50 PM EDT
"Which is more prone to attacks (IED, rocket\morter, kidnap)?"

Relax man, it aint Chicago!
Link Posted: 9/28/2017 9:43:14 PM EDT
I'm not really stressing it that much, but being that all I have to go on is what's in the news and what the guys I work with tell me about their experiences in the late 2000s. I figure 99 percent of the time it will be similar to what I'm doing now but I'll be driving/riding in a bigger truck...

If I had the chance to go to the moon I would still ask what the chances of getting hit by an astroid would be.
Link Posted: 9/29/2017 1:32:33 AM EDT
 You were asking what to different countries are like.

that's like asking how the food is in Canada how are the showers and is there a AC.  That's like asking how is the Security. 


  The questions you're asking our way to broad, if you can ask about a specific base you will get actual answers.  But without knowing where you're going no one can answer.
Link Posted: 9/29/2017 6:42:56 AM EDT
Tax exemption is not for govt. Civs no uplift, just straight time.
Interaction with Ln's, low unless you are working in something that requires your interaction with them. Most likely more so with tcn/ln contractors food cooks, cleaning crews, laundry, ect.

Unless you have a need to go leave base then you will most likely be contained to your assigned installation BAF/KAF unless you get lucky to get assigned to one of the NATO camps.

Some areas are more "active" than others. From the folks I spoke with said that the risk is low, but don't get complacent. When I was at BAF some time ago we would receive incoming rounds, but the never came close to hitting anything.

It becomes a grind. Your work shit loads of hours, so you fall into a routine. Eat, work, exercise, eat sleep. Friday steak night, stop by the pizza joint on Weds., smoke cigars with the boys Saturday ect.before you know 90 days past, then 180, next thing you know you take leave, and another year starts.
Link Posted: 10/9/2017 9:02:01 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/9/2017 9:04:34 PM EDT by ljh824]
Originally Posted By carpesignum:
I have an interview coming up for a job that will either be in Iraq or Afghanistan. I want the experience of being in another country\culture as well as the chance to shift fields a bit.

As civil service (try position) would I be tax exempt for being overseas\in a combat zone?

What is security like in each country? Which is more prone to attacks (IED, rocket\morter, kidnap)? I heard guys talking about chemical weapons used in Afghanistan years ago, is this an issue? Difference in response times?

What is the quality of life like? Ac, showers, food?

What can you do in your down time? Allowed\ safe to go off base? Is hobby photography allowed (with restrictions for opsec)?

Personal firearms allowed?

Do you work\ interact with locals? Local labor? Culture\ language training?

I am basically expecting a cot in a connex box that is hot\cold depending on the weather with cafeteria food and a set of weights to entertain myself. So anything above that is gold...

Right now not knowing any difference other than mountain vs desert I would pick Afghanistan though for the field I will be in, both would be good experience. I know there will be stresses and hardships but its something I'm really wanting to do. Any advice?
View Quote


The below is for Afghanistan. I was active military in Iraq, DoD civvie in AFG

-Only contractors are tax exempt for a portion of their salary. DoD basic pay and OT is taxed. Haz duty and PD is not.

-Security is not as good as it was when we had American QRF. If you get hit somewhere, most likely Afghans will come save you. But commands are too risk averse now, not many people have their own trucks like we did during my first deployment.

-Quality of life is what you make it. I was on camp Eggers, and ISAF/RS. I had a hot shower almost every night, when I wasn't living with the Afghans. Food was good. Questionable now that US doesn't have the contract. However, DFAC has plenty of food, all the time. It does end up being like Groundhog Day sometimes.

-you cannot go off base on your free time in AFG. Still too dangerous.

-Absolutely no personal firearms

-I went to Dari school on Uncle Sams dime, but they will have informal Dari or Pashto classes in country when you get there. If you get a terp/IT, he will be a big help. Learn the basics now. A salaam allekum, tashakur, etc.

-if you end up on RS, you will either be in a CHU, or if you are lucky, you'll get a room in one of the few brick and mortar places they are building.

Feel free to message me. I was both MoDA and AFPAK Hands. Just came back a little while ago.
Link Posted: 10/19/2017 10:06:53 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By ljh824:


-Only contractors are tax exempt for a portion of their salary. DoD basic pay and OT is taxed. Haz duty and PD is not.
View Quote
If your incentive pay was not taxed then you weren't taxed properly, you may want to check into that.

Hazardous Duty and Post-Differential are incentives, not reimbursements, therefore they are subject to taxation.

That being said, everything else you said is pretty much spot-on.

I've been to AFG 3 times as a DOD civvy. Even at the smallest, most remote FOB/COP I've been to (total US forces population of ~50) I've always had hot meals, hot showers, & AC. As a matter of fact, the best food I had over there was at a camp of about 50, with the cook being a one-man show in a open-sided MKU trailer; he threw his military "recipe cards" in the trash and got creative, and it was delicious!
Link Posted: 10/19/2017 3:58:22 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By SigOwner_P229:

If your incentive pay was not taxed then you weren't taxed properly, you may want to check into that.

Hazardous Duty and Post-Differential are incentives, not reimbursements, therefore they are subject to taxation.

That being said, everything else you said is pretty much spot-on.

I've been to AFG 3 times as a DOD civvy. Even at the smallest, most remote FOB/COP I've been to (total US forces population of ~50) I've always had hot meals, hot showers, & AC. As a matter of fact, the best food I had over there was at a camp of about 50, with the cook being a one-man show in a open-sided MKU trailer; he threw his military "recipe cards" in the trash and got creative, and it was delicious!
View Quote
I'll check my stuff. honestly cant remember exactly what was taxed and what wasn't. I do know I paid a shit ton of taxes for each deployment. Most people were shocked when I told them, as they thought civvies worked tax free.

I agree. Camp Eggers on my first deployment was some of the best, most abundant chow I've had in the military. They even had "themed" nights. Mongolian night being my favorite. 2nd Deployment, Bagram was OK, but RS sucked. I did thoroughly enjoy eating with the Afghans though. OP, if you get a chance to do that, I highly recommend it. Seems like the mission is changing as of late, so hopefully they will ramp up advising, interaction, and working "shoulder to shoulder" with the Afghans again.
Link Posted: 10/20/2017 12:04:12 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ljh824:


I'll check my stuff. honestly cant remember exactly what was taxed and what wasn't. I do know I paid a shit ton of taxes for each deployment. Most people were shocked when I told them, as they thought civvies worked tax free.

I agree. Camp Eggers on my first deployment was some of the best, most abundant chow I've had in the military. They even had "themed" nights. Mongolian night being my favorite. 2nd Deployment, Bagram was OK, but RS sucked. I did thoroughly enjoy eating with the Afghans though. OP, if you get a chance to do that, I highly recommend it. Seems like the mission is changing as of late, so hopefully they will ramp up advising, interaction, and working "shoulder to shoulder" with the Afghans again.
View Quote
Haha, my first deployment I paid more in taxes than my wife makes with a college degree... it was disheartening...

+1 on eating with the Afghans, I only got to do it a few times in Kandahar but it was delicious when I did; never got the chance when I was in Bagram. I LOVE Naan; it's like a pizza crust without any toppings.
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