Getting Stationed in Germany or Italy Difficulty (Army)

olympics1

Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2020
Messages
12
Once I graduate West Point, or do ROTC, I'd like my first duty station to be Germany or Italy. I was wondering what the chances are of gaining either as a first duty station. I know MOS is a factor, so right now let's assume I branch IN or MI. If anyone has thoughts or just any comments on being stationed there, I'd greatly appreciate it.
 

jl123

5-Year Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2016
Messages
1,508
Italy is particularly difficult due to high popularity and normally low number of allocations. In 2020 for Infantry, Germany had 12 slots and Italy had 7 (interim numbers. Final allocation may have changed slightly).

MI is a much smaller branch and normally about half are required to serve their first tour in another branch. Allocations for Germany and Italy are likely not more than 1 or 2 each year, and could be none. It is also currently a very popular branch and getting a desirable post requires a high class rank or willingness to commit to serve extra years.

Post allocations vary by Branch and by year. Some years are more plentiful than others. Attached is the allocation by branch for Infantry 2018 with the class rank range for each location.
 

Attachments

  • Posting IN 2018.png
    Posting IN 2018.png
    76.6 KB · Views: 41

olympics1

Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2020
Messages
12
Thank you!
Italy is particularly difficult due to high popularity and normally low number of allocations. In 2020 for Infantry, Germany had 12 slots and Italy had 7 (interim numbers. Final allocation may have changed slightly).

MI is a much smaller branch and normally about half are required to serve their first tour in another branch. Allocations for Germany and Italy are likely not more than 1 or 2 each year, and could be none. It is also currently a very popular branch and getting a desirable post requires a high class rank or willingness to commit to serve extra years.

Post allocations vary by Branch and by year. Some years are more plentiful than others. Attached is the allocation by branch for Infantry 2018 with the class rank range for each location.
 

UHBlackhawk

5-Year Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2015
Messages
1,466
As pointed out, at USMA it goes in class rank order within your branch.
For Aviation branch, it is assigned in flight school and will be based upon your rank within your flight school class and airframe.
Subsequently, it's luck of the draw. I was a German major in college, so of course, I never got assigned to Germany. Only places where they spoke Korean, Spanish, French, and Arabic.
 

olympics1

Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2020
Messages
12
As pointed out, at USMA it goes in class rank order within your branch.
For Aviation branch, it is assigned in flight school and will be based upon your rank within your flight school class and airframe.
Subsequently, it's luck of the draw. I was a German major in college, so of course, I never got assigned to Germany. Only places where they spoke Korean, Spanish, French, and Arabic.
I plan to get a minor in German if I attend USMA, just in case I get stationed there. Plus I love the language.
 

cb7893

5-Year Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2011
Messages
2,489
Plus I love the language.
The most important.

Crush the language--any language--knowing that it may never be a factor in your military career. Whether at USMA, in ROTC or as a junior officer, no one will really care. They will care about your performance as a Cadet and in your MOS. Opportunities to use it to your benefit will arise from time to time. It can be a way to differentiate yourself from all the other 11A's and 35A's. So keep it in your back pocket and at the ready.

Best of luck!
 

BossIsland0

Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2020
Messages
44
Once I graduate West Point, or do ROTC, I'd like my first duty station to be Germany or Italy. I was wondering what the chances are of gaining either as a first duty station. I know MOS is a factor, so right now let's assume I branch IN or MI. If anyone has thoughts or just any comments on being stationed there, I'd greatly appreciate it.
Duty station is a competitive process at USMA. As for ROTC, you can put in your preferences, but it’s really just random (I believe HRC aligns unit vacancies with BOLC and additional school dates).

My method for when I get to that point: just expect to end up at Polk and you’ll be happy wherever you end up at...unless it actually turns out to be Polk.
 

Capt MJ

Ancient Mariner, Salt-Encrusted
10-Year Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2008
Messages
10,892
Is Ft Polk that notorious?
This made me laugh.

Each service has its “Satan’s armpit” duty stations. They are either in the middle of nowhere or have other unredeeming qualities. They are usually not as bad as you think they are going to be, until you realize the standard going-away gift is a photo of the base shown in a rear-view mirror.
 

jl123

5-Year Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2016
Messages
1,508
Posts are picked by Cadets walking up to a row of large bulletin boards or walls, filled with index cards with the names of units/posts. At the start of the process the boards are filled with index cards, indicating the plethora of choices - Italy, Germany, Hawaii, Ft. Carson, etc.. Cadets are called up in Order of Merit and pick a single card, indicating their choice for their first duty assignment, and the OIC announces the pick. Kind of like the NFL Draft.

As the end nears, there are routinely the same few cards remaining for the last few Cadets to choose - Ft. Drum, Alaska, and Ft. Polk. Occasionally an individual will have circumstances that lead to them to having a preference for Ft. Drum or Alaska, but I have never heard of anyone holding their breath hoping Ft. Polk is still on the board when their turn comes.
 

Hockey10

Member
Joined
Nov 8, 2019
Messages
101
Ft Hood. Ft Polk. Ft Leonard Wood. Pick your poison. I was a physician at Ft Hood in the 70's. I found it interesting that I never met a family that transferred in from Hawai'i that wanted to go back and never met a family that transferred in from Alaska that didn't want to go back. For what it's worth, if anything.
 

txfwindian

Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2019
Messages
868
You’re not from around here, are you?;)

You should do a little road trip. If you are from Texas you have several Army installations and surrounding communities to visit. Don’t leave out Lawton, OK.
No sir, as they say in Texas “I was not born here, but I came here as fast as I could” 😉😉
 

jl123

5-Year Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2016
Messages
1,508
What to some is a lump of coal, to others is a hidden gem.
  • When the Engineer School move to Ft. Leonard Wood from Ft. Belvoir, many Engineers were distraught at moving from the D.C. suburbs to the middle of nowhere. Others were ecstatic at the expanded opportunities for hunting and fishing and to get away from big city congestion.
  • I served on a brigade staff with an Air Force pilot serving a 3 year tour as Liaison Officer with the Army. For accepting this "hardship" tour he was given his choice of location for his next flying assignment. His choice - Alaska.
 

cb7893

5-Year Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2011
Messages
2,489
Duty station is a competitive process at USMA. As for ROTC, you can put in your preferences, but it’s really just random (I believe HRC aligns unit vacancies with BOLC and additional school dates).

My method for when I get to that point: just expect to end up at Polk and you’ll be happy wherever you end up at...unless it actually turns out to be Polk.
My AROTC O-3 DS got the table scraps after the WPers finished their meal. I have no clue about the other service branches but in the Army context, he was able to remove some of the randomness.

The most important thing he did as a cadet and continues to do is seek the advice or mentorship of those senior to him (in terms of time in service), officer or enlisted, who know the paths to those possible future goals. Certain MOS’s are much more competitive than others. Certain MOSes preclude certain Duty Stations while some unpopular MOSes have terrific duty stations.

My DS took the unpopular MOS route. He wanted a certain MOS that happened to be towards the bottom end of desirability. Many of the new O-1’s were totally unprepared. At best, they were less than motivated which may have affected their performance and performance is all that matters.

One would assume the new branch allocation system would correct this.
 

emwvmi01

5-Year Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2012
Messages
260
More opportunities are available now for Europe in the Army than 5 years ago but not like the 50s-90s when it a rare person above O3 who didn’t have a Europe tour.

My view at 20 years is you cross a point where it is more about job opportunities than location/cool factor. So I have several peers now who are all about Polk (hunting, fishing and opportunities for jobs). I am at a less desirable post but given an opportunity for tactical command couldn’t be happier and know several folks in those other locations who would trade places in a heartbeat.
 

falcon25

Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2021
Messages
41

At about 9:00 and 44:00, Infantry and Field Artillery select. Italy is gone pretty much right away so that should give you an idea, but if you watch more of this video you can see which locations are popular. Good luck!
 

UHBlackhawk

5-Year Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2015
Messages
1,466
There will be wild cards. Sometimes a Cadet will bid low to be with their “significant other”.
Also, some Cadets toward the bottom are now being assigned as basic training XOs after BLOC. That’s not a bad thing. You get some experience and sometimes get a good follow on assignment. This use to be common, but when the Army became short 2LTs it was phased out. Now that there is an excess of LTs the Army is getting back to this.
DW was a basic training XO for a while after her first assignment as a 2LT. Gave her some great experience.
But, as with everything, control the things you can control and you have a better chance of being in charge of your own destiny.
 
Top