By Heather Kline
Initial Entry Training Soldiers with orders to their first overseas assignment are required to attend the Overseas Orientation brief, which is held at 8 a.m. every Tuesday at Army Community Service, Bldg. 486 on Replacement Avenue.
This brief is designed to prepare Initial Entry Training Soldiers for the process of an overseas move and discuss social, psychological and logistical challenges.
Each brief is tailored to the country where the service member is transferring, if not by installation. Service members receive a specific packet outlining services, populations and important phone numbers. Packets include phone numbers for finance and housing availability.
Family members are encouraged to attend the briefings, and ACS will mail out welcome packets to families free of charge to those who request one. Onsite unit briefs can be scheduled if requested in advance. In addition to information on the country, ACS Employment Readiness members Karen Hall or Dan Danzo can help family members with their resumes (civilian or government) prior to transfer for positions at their host country.
Call ahead for an appointment at 573.596.0212.
Other tips to keep in mind:
— Every installation is unique when it comes to housing. Some have a waiting list, and others require registering for a place on a waiting list once orders are received.
— Doing a currency exchange is recommended, and best practice is to exchange money at a local bank in town prior to departing.
All ACS offices have funding available for Lending Closets. They are for service members’ use and convenience.
Gabe Medina, ACS Relocation Readiness Program Manager, said, “Each organization will have different items, but most will have basic items for Soldiers moving into family housing on hand. Basic Lending Closet items include pot and pan sets and kitchen items, such as spoons, forks, knives, plates, cups, cereal bowls, coffee pots, microwaves, irons, ironing boards, sleep mats and highchairs.”
Medina recommends going to ACS and asking for the Lending Closet. “This minimizes luggage and is a free service for those in the permanent change of station (PCS) process. Packing dishes and cookware in luggage is not necessary. My recommendation would be to pack towels, sheets and bedding. That is something not available at ACS Lending Closets,” he said.
Knowing what the next installation’s Lending Closet consists of can aid Soldiers and their family members in future decisions on what to allow the government to ship and what items service members want to keep and move for themselves.
Being prepared ahead of departure date can ensure a more smooth transition, Medina said.