By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (AW) LaTunya Howard, Navy Personnel Command Public Affairs
MILLINGTON, Tenn. (NNS) -- Navy Personnel Command (NPC) concluded its recent "Dream Jobs 2011" web poll, May 9, and the results show Sailors are interested in overseas duty.
The Web poll listed various overseas duty stations Sailors could rank as their most and least desirable choice of job locations. The poll also asked about incentive pay associated with certain overseas assignments.
More than 8,400 visitors to the site took the poll and there were nearly 3,800 write-in comments, the most ever for a poll on the NPC website.
"NPC is always interested in knowing what is important to Sailors and what topics they want more information on," said Don Koehler, NPC Web manger. "We ran the poll because leadership wants to encourage Sailors who have not yet done an overseas tour to consider assignments abroad. Hawaii topped the list of favorites, but there were a lot of write-in comments. Japan had the most write-in votes. Spain, Guam, Bahrain and Germany were other entries."
The Navy has 21 installations overseas in 11 countries, offering a variety of perks unique to the location.
"Overseas tours are generally a good experience for families and service members," said Elaine Horrell, Naval Support Activity Mid-South Fleet and Family Service director. "If you read the biographies of service members who have had a successful military career, you will see that the success stories show overseas tours. It is a fun cultural experience for all."
On-base housing is available on every Navy installation, except in Bahrain where there are only single and geographical bachelor quarters. Living in the local community is a choice in most areas. Sailors may be entitled to all or some of the following housing pays: temporary living allowance, overseas housing allowance, move-in housing allowance and cost-of-living allowance.
The Department of Defense (DoD) education program is another bonus. According to the DoD Education Activity (DoDEA) website, www.dodea.edu/home/, there are approximately 1.2 million student-age children with military affiliation being educated in public, private and home-based schools in the States and around the world by 194 schools.
"If I had known how excellent the DOD schools were, I would have gone overseas when my children were younger," said Horrell. "Research indicates that military children develop great resiliency due to frequent moves, and different cultural experiences are great confidence boosters."
"We have developed a fully accredited Virtual High School that is in its first year online," said Patricia Riley, chief of DoDEA Distance Learning/Virtual School. "This doesn't mean we expect students to attend the Virtual School from 9th through 12th grade, necessarily, but the Virtual High School will increase education options for DoDEA- eligible students."
College-age children and spouses have continuing education options and the Post 9/11 GI Bill transferability and tuition assistance can help pay.
The Overseas Tour Extension Incentives Program (OTEIP) is one more perk. It offers eligible enlisted members the opportunity to choose one of four incentive options for an extension of the DoD overseas tour length of 12 months or more.
The following options are available:
Option A - $80 per month special pay for each month during the period of the extension.
Option B - 30 days rest and recuperation (R&R) absence during the period of extension.
Option C - 15 days R&R absence plus round trip transportation at government expense from the location of the extended tour of duty to the port of debarkation in CONUS and return during the period of extension. Members authorized OTEIP extensions longer than 12 months are entitled to receive 20 days R&R absence.
Option D - $2,000 lump sum payment on the first day of the 12-month extension.
For more information about OTEIP read MILPERSMAN 1306-300.
Sailors considering a tour abroad must ensure proper overseas screening for themselves and their family members. This guarantees a productive tour for the service member, family and command. Absence from duty and early return from overseas or remote duty assignments may cost the Navy unplanned funds and create a manning gap. This is prevented with the command's assistance with timely, proper screening.
According to Cmdr. Carl Chaffin, Distribution Management and Procedures Branch head, medical issues account for about 50 percent of screening discrepancies.
"The transferring medical facility must request a waiver for any condition that will be ongoing after transfer," he explained. "Any medications required overseas must be cleared with the overseas medical treatment facility to ensure the medications are available. Some military medical facilities overseas have had their services reduced, and the local medical services have not been certified by TRICARE for reimbursement."
The total number of discrepancies against the number of overseas orders written is relatively low, but Chaffin said commands can do better.
"Sometimes these discrepancies are the fault of the Sailor, but in most cases it is either the command not checking with Family Advocacy, legal, etc., or the medical screener not requesting waivers from the overseas medical provider prior to marking Sailors/family members qualified for overseas assignment."
"Each Sailor owes it to himself/herself to explore their overseas options," said Horrell.
For more information, read NAVADMIN 209/10 at www.npc.navy.mil.
For more news from Navy Personnel Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/npc/.