Saturday, August 4, 2018

Next Post: Baghdad

With our youngest graduating high school in June 2019 and a position in Baghdad opening up summer 2019, we figured now was a good time to throw in our hat. It sounds simple enough.  And then reality sets in.

We have 4 pets.  Why?  Oh, good question, but irrelevant at this point.  Four pets that need to go somewhere for a year since they can't come to Baghdad.  Not even one cat to keep us company.  We have plans for all the pets.

We have one kid who has graduated college but doesn't have a full-time job yet.  She's working on it, and we hope that by winter time she'll be all squared away. 

Another kid is planning to move off campus at the end of the 2018-2019 school year.  She'll have the dog by then and we wanted to be there to help her move.  It's flexible.

Another has enlisted in the Marines and should be graduating boot camp next April in South Carolina.  We wanted to be there for that.  We will be there for that.

The youngest graduates on 1 June 2019 and has the whole summer 2019 to fill before going to university, wherever he goes.

Germany is interesting - it doesn't allow families to stay in-country if the direct hire isn't at post.  It is not a safe-haven country.  So the day that Ian leaves is the day the rest of us leave.

Here's where it gets really interesting.

The youngest graduates on 1 June.  That's immovable.  Home leave (required at the end of each tour, or after 2 years if the tour is 4 years, consultation days and holidays are not included) is a minimum of 20 unworked work days - a full month.  You can try to wriggle it a little bit like take training first, or get it shortened a few days, but on the whole it is non-negotiable.  We arrived in Frankfurt at the end of July in 2016 and are given roughly 30 days on either side of that date in 2019 for departure, but that is flexible though it requires some hoop-jumping for HR.

So... when we bid on this job, we expected that we would leave on 2 June... do homeleave and training... and arrive to the next post mid-July.

The person he's replacing leaves in June.

We've been informed, in no uncertain terms, that gaps at post are not allowed.  For any reason.  Ever.

Ian is the only one that matters when it comes to timing of stuff - getting his home leave done, getting to post.  If I could stay in Germany with Jonathon after Ian left to get through exams and graduation, I would, but as far as I know I can't.

I'm open to suggestions on how this is supposed to work.


  1. Miscellaneous, but loyal blog follower here (and fellow member of the bureaucracy, different branch). It would be a rather ludicrous waste of time and resources, but such is the world we live in. Could you and child four (assuming he can't stay on just as a student past the departure of your fso) fly back to the States then back to Germany as 'tourists' to finish out school? I'm a little shaky on home leave policy, so I don't know if you also have to be stateside for the whole caboodle or not. Either way, good luck!