Newcomer FAQs

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U.S. Army Europe Newcomers FAQ's

U.S> Army Europe Headquarters

Headquarters staff

Orders to U.S. Army Europe headquaters staff? Visit the USAREUR Headquarters staff page.

Total Army Sponsorship Program

The one-stop, real-time, web-based portal for Soldiers on orders. Get the latest available information on your assignment, family travel and sponsorship status, including points of contact.

Sponsorship in U.S. Army Europe

U.S. Army Europe's sponsorship program helps Soldiers and their Families adjust to their new home by providing a sponsor to help with the transition.

About U.S. Army Europe

What is the USAREUR mission?

U.S. Army in Europe trains and leads Army Forces in support of U.S. European Command and Headquarters, Department of the Army by training and preparing full spectrum capable forces for global employment, strengthening alliances and building partner capacity and capability, providing Army Service Component Command and Title 10 support, and continually seeking to improve the readiness and quality of life of our Soldiers, Army Families and Civilian workforce.

Is USAREUR part of NATO?
No, but the United States is a founding member of NATO. And as the U.S. Army’s component command headquarters for Europe, USAREUR works closely with our NATO allies.

Where is the USAREUR Headquarters located?
At Clay Kaserne in Wiesbaden, Germany.

What units and commands are in USAREUR?
USAREUR units and commands range from the 18th Military Police and 12th Combat Aviation brigades to the 21st Theater Sustainment and Joint Multinational Training commands.

How many Soldiers are assigned to USAREUR?
Approximately 40,000.

How many countries are in the USAREUR Area of Responsibility?
There are 51 countries in the USAREUR Area of Responsibility.

What communities are in the USAREUR footprint?
Belgium: Brussels and Chievres.
Germany: Ansbach, Bamberg, Baumholder, Garmisch, Grafenwoehr, Heidelberg, Hohenfels, Kaiserslautern, Mannheim, Schweinfurt, Stuttgart and Wiesbaden.
Italy: Livorno and Vicenza
The Netherlands: Schinnen

What is a good source for USAREUR News?
The USAREUR website is a good resource for current news.

Where can I find out more about U.S. Army Europe?
As a U.S. Army Service Component Command, USAREUR is America's strategic forward enabler, providing forces and participating in multi-national operations with multiple Combatant Commands.




Will I have to live on-post or off-post?

Based on current Army and Installation Management Command Europe Region Policy there is a mandatory on-post housing requirement for Soldiers in grades E-1 through E-6. These Soldiers will be assigned to on-post Army Family Housing in the best housing available in the community that meets their modern housing needs.

Accompanied Soldiers in the ranks of E-7 and above (including officers) will be voluntarily assigned on-post. If suitable housing is not projected to be available, or if their preference is to reside in Private Rental Housing (PRH), Soldiers in this category may receive a Statement of Non-Availability to allow them to reside in PRH on the economy. Soldiers on an “all others tour” must reside in Unaccompanied Personnel Housing (UPH) on-post.

All newly arriving personnel are required to contact the housing office for counseling and guidance before entering into any agreement, written lease, or rental/sales contract for off-post housing . In order to physically view available listings you must be registered with the office. Because of the ongoing demand for rental units, it is not possible to place them on hold for later viewing.

What is the difference between Basic Allowance Housing (BAH) and Overseas Housing Allowance (OHA)?
BAH pays a set monthly rate based on the member's pay grade, location, and whether or not the member has any dependents. In other words, if the set rate for a member is $750 per month, that's what they receive, no matter how much the member actually pays for rent and utility costs.

OHA is based on the actual amount of rent. For each location, members are assigned a maximum rental cap, which is based on average rental costs for the area, depending on the member's pay grade and whether or not the member is residing with dependents. In addition to the monthly rental reimbursement, one's OHA payment also includes an allowance for utilities. This amount is based on random surveys of military members in the area, and is the same for everyone in the area, regardless of pay grade.

Should I bring small electrical appliances from the states with me?
Generally, yes. Voltage in government quarters varies; some units have 110v (U.S.), some 220v (Europe), and some a combination of both. All civilian housing is 220v. Transformers are available in the Post Exchange. They are also available at your installation Thrift Shop at a reduced price and are often advertised in the post newspaper. Check appliances to see if they are dual-voltage. If so, all that is required is an adapter plug. If not, it is often less expensive to purchase an item new or used than to purchase a transformer to use the one you have.

Should I ship my large appliances like washers or dryers?
Do not ship large appliances. The Furnishings Management Office will supply a washer, dryer, refrigerator and range. Dishwashers are available in government quarters. They are also available for off-post housing provided the landlord will sign an agreement.

How many pets am I allowed to have?
No more than two dogs, cats, or combinations thereof are authorized in Army Family Housing. Other domestic pets, including goldfish, hamsters, and birds, may be kept in AFH. Barnyard animals, or exotic pets, such as snakes, lizards, tarantulas, etc. are prohibited. In accordance with host nation laws American Pit Bull Terrier, Bull Terrier, and Stafford shire Bull Terrier are prohibited from entering Germany. Service members who are unaccompanied are not authorized pets in government provided quarters, nor is having a pet a sufficient reason to reside off post. Visit the AMEDD website for more information on PCSing with pets to Europe.


Soldiers and Families

I have orders to Europe, now what?

The place to start is the Total Army Sponsorship Program website.

How do I find information about personnel questions?
For additional information about USAREUR personnel questions, visit the G-1 website.

What is the Army Family Covenant?
The Army Family Covenant pledges a commitment to support Soldiers and their Families and resource programs to provide them a quality of life commensurate with their service.

Where can I find medical care information?
The Europe Regional Medical Command website is an excellent source for information on medical care.

Where can I find information about child, youth and school services?
IMCOM-Europe and U.S. Army Europe provide great services for our families. Visit the Child, Youth and School Services program webpages at the Morale Welfare and Recreation installations guide webpage. Click here for Baumholder and here for Wiesbaden.

How do I find employment for my spouse?
To find military spouse employment information visit the Civilian Human Resources Agency .

What services are there for surviving families of Fallen Soldiers?
Survivor Outreach Services is committed to helping families of Fallen Warriors.

What volunteer opportunities are available in Europe?
Army One Source has information about volunteering in your military community.

Who do I contact at my post to ask a question, complain, or talk about something?
Please visit the individual garrison websites .
I have an exceptional family member. What is available for me?
If you have a family member with special needs that may influence your housing assignment, please contact both the Housing Division and the Exceptional Family Member Program coordinator as soon as you have confirmed your assignment. Your family member must be a registered member with the EFMP before any special considerations regarding housing can be considered. Contact your community Army Community Services Coordinator .

Where is the big hospital in Europe?
The Landstuhl Regional Medical Center is located in Landstuhl/Kirchberg, Germany.

How does the postal service work in Europe?
The Military Post offices operate as an extension of the United States Postal Service, consistent with public law and Federal regulations. Service members pick up their mail from a Consolidated Mailroom and send mail from a community post office. CMR boxes are assigned within the first two days of in-processing to a new unit here in Europe. Sponsors may also set up CMR boxes for incoming Soldiers. To do so, the sponsor must bring their ID, orders for the incoming personnel and a memo from the gaining unit. The combination for the mailbox will not be provided to the sponsor.

Although FedEx, DHL and UPS do not ship to APOs, they do ship to physical addresses. However international shipment pricing may be much higher than having it shipped through USPS. These companies may allow you use the "Hold for pickup"option. The receiver will then be able to pick up the shipment at the company’s local terminal. For shipping prices to and from APO, visit USPS .

Note: Companies such as do ship to APOs. Make sure to check the shipping details for the product you are purchasing.



What must a visitor (visiting Soldiers, Family members, relatives, veterans) do/have to be able to enter a U.S. base in Europe?

In most cases, visitors who possess a common access card (CAC) or military retiree ID card can access USAREUR installations upon arrival.  You will be granted access and reminded to get registered in the Installation Access Control System (IACS). 
USAREUR does not accept the DoD Civilian Retiree card, the Federation for Identity and Cross-Credentialing Systems (FiXs) contractor card and the blue or red striped CAC cards issued to non-US citizens for installation access.

Any visitor without an authorized DoD ID card will require a sponsor to access a USAREUR installation.  The visitor can be signed on by an authorized individual, usually a CAC card holder, for a short visit.  They must be accompanied by the sponsor while on the installation.

A visiting friend or family member here for a short stay can be issued an Installation Pass for 90 days or less if sponsored by a registered DoD ID card holder. A visitor with a pass is authorized to access the installation without the sponsor being present. Sponsors should check with their local IACS Registration office for specifics on obtaining the pass.  The visitor cannot initiate the process. 

NOTE: All visitors to USAREUR installations should have at least two photo IDs with them in order to gain access.  A second form of ID is required under some circumstances.

I’m an Army veteran who was stationed in Europe, and I want to visit where I was stationed. What must I do to come and visit?
If you have a CAC or military retiree ID card, you can access USAREUR installations upon arrival.  You will be granted access and reminded to get registered in the Installation Access Control System (IACS).  USAREUR does not accept the DoD Civilian Retiree card, the FiXs contractor card and the blue or red striped CAC cards issued to non-US citizens for installation access.

If you are a veteran but do not have a military retiree ID card, you will need a sponsor to access a USAREUR installation.  You can be signed on by an authorized individual, usually a CAC card holder, for a short visit.  You must be accompanied by the sponsor while on the installation.

Unfortunately, there is no process in place to provide you with a sponsor for your visit.  Due to force protection requirements and the reduction of forces in USAREUR, we are unable to facilitate visits.  While we understand and appreciate the desire to visit your former duty assignment, we do not have the assets needed to support the many requests we receive.

What are the time zones of the USAREUR Area of Responsibility?
Central European Time: Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Kosovo, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Vatican City.
Eastern European Time: Belarus, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Romania, Turkey, and Ukraine.
Greenwich Mean Time + 2: Israel
Greenwich Mean Time + 4: Armenia and Azerbaijan
Moscow Standard Time: Georgia and Russia
Western European Time: Iceland, Ireland, Portugal, Scotland and United Kingdom.

Are there Space Available Flights in Europe? What do I need to do to book a Space Available flight?
Space-A flights depart from air bases in Aviano, Italy; and Ramstein and Spangdalem, Germany. Visit Air Mobilility Comman d for more information on Space-A flights.

Where can I get information about traveling abroad?
The Bureau of Consular Affairs provides information to ensure you a safe trip when traveling abroad.



Phone and Internet

How do I dial Germany, Belgium, Italy and The Netherlands within Europe?

“Country Code-City Code-Number”

The country code for Germany is 49, Belgium is 32, Italy is 39 and The Netherlands is 31. The city code is similar to an area code in the U.S. It follows the country code when dialing to another country or the “0” when dialing a number within the same country.

Example: To dial a landline or cellular phone number in Heidelberg, Germany, press (0)1234-56789. To dial the same number from another country, press (49)-1234-56789.

Note: International phone numbers follow a similar format. When written, the city code and number are separated by spaces or hyphen. Also both the city code and number can vary in the number of digits.

How do I dial Germany, Belgium, Italy and The Netherlands from a landline in the U.S.?
011- Country Code-City Code-Number

How do I dial the U.S. from a landline in Germany, Belgium, Italy and The Netherlands?
001- Area Code- Number

How do I dial other DSNs from a DSN (314) within Europe?
Africa: 311- Prefix- Extension
U.S.: 312-Prefix-Extension
Pacific: 315-Prefix-Extension
Alaska: 317-Prefix-Extension
Southwest Asia: 318-Prefix-Extension
Canada: 319-Prefix-Extension
Australia: 715-Prefix-Extension

What cellular providers are available?
Cellular providers include, but are not limited to O2, Vodafone, and T-Mobile (Telekom)
Like most providers, they provide pre-paid and contracted services. In order to obtain a contracted service, you must provide the company with a German routing number.

What internet providers are available?
Europe is one of the most wired areas of the world, with lots of internet access including in hotels and bookstores, etc. Internet providers are based on your location in Europe. Your community may have a contract with a particular company who provides service to the on-post community. Also, most cellular companies sell wireless USB sticks that can be purchased pre-paid or through a contract.

How will my Cost of Living Allowance vary?
The Overseas Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) is a non-taxable allowance designed to offset the higher overseas prices of non-housing goods and services. It affects service members at locations overseas, including Alaska and Hawaii.
Overseas COLA is intended to equalize purchasing power so that service members can purchase the same level of goods and services overseas as they could if they were stationed in CONUS. It is calculated by comparing the prices of goods and services overseas with average prices for equivalent goods and services in CONUS. The result of this comparison is an index that reflects a cost of living. If prices in CONUS are rising at a greater rate than those overseas, COLA will decrease. If prices overseas are rising at a greater rate than those in CONUS, COLA will increase. Similarly, if overseas prices rise or fall at the same rate as CONUS prices, COLA will stay the same. Overseas COLA is not a fixed amount.  
What U.S. banking institutions are available in Germany, Belgium, Italy and The Netherlands?
The following U.S. banking institutions have branches and ATMs in Europe to provide products for service members:  Community Bank (Except Belgium), Service Credit Union (Germany Only), Andrews Federal Credit Union (Except Italy). They also provide members with a European routing number, a necessity when living off-post and paying rent and utilities. Service member can also use local banking institutions as well.

Step into a virtual world and learn about finances through the Army Gold Financial Game .

What is the Value Added Tax Form?
Germany, Italy, Belgium and The Netherlands all have a "sales tax" called Value Added Tax for most items and a reduced VAT. The percentage varies by location. U.S. Forces personnel stationed in Europe qualify for relief from this tax in a variety of ways.



How do I obtain a U.S. Army Europe Driver’s License?

Most people with stateside licenses can receive a USAREUR license after taking a written exam .

How do I obtain a U.S. Army Europe Motorcycle License?
In order to obtain a motorcycle license you must have a valid stateside motorcycle license and have taken the Basic Motorcycle Course in the last 3 years. You must then take the written test. After successful completion of the test, you will be issued a motorcycle license from your local DTS.

How do I obtain an International Driver’s License?
An international driver's license is required if you plan to travel outside your community to another country. Visit the Driver's Testing office to fill out the application. Once complete, it can be validated and stamped at the local Vehicle Licensing Office. This application must be validated by the drivers testing office or the local Vehicle Licensing Office will not accept it. Bring your U.S. ID card, a passport-size photo and your USAREUR Driver’s License.

For more information on International Driver’s Licenses, visit AAA in the U.S. or ADAC in Europe.

Where do I pick my car up?
Typically you can pick up and drop off your vehicle in your local community. Vehicle pick up locations vary based on the community you are assigned to. For more information, contact your community’s transportation office.

Where do I register my vehicle?
Visit the USAREUR vehicle registry webpage for more information on registering you privately owned vehicle.

Purchasing a new or used vehicle?
If you are looking to purchase a used vehicle a good place to start is your community’s used car lot. Other popular sites include Star & Stripe Classified or Bookoo Yard Sales

What type of public transportation is there in Europe?
Europe has an extensive public transportation system. From inner-city buses and light rail to trains that travel around the country. There are a variety of ways to travel around Europe.

For more information, visit Deutsch Bahn and SNCB for traveling around Europe; RN-V for traveling within Germany; TEC , DE-LIJN , and STIB for traveling within Belgium; NS for traveling within The Netherlands; and AIM and ATL for travel throughout Italy.

Where do I find more information about driving in Europe?
The USAREUR Registry of Motor Vehicle provides all the information you need to start driving in Europe.




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