By Sue, Silpasornprasit, IMCOM-Korea Public AffairsSeptember 29, 2008
"Sustain. Support. Defend." These words are the guiding principles of the U.S. Army's Installation Management Command-Korea Region. IMCOM-K's focus is as straightforward as the motto borne by its unit flag: to give Soldiers and their Families living in the Republic of Korea a quality of life equal to their service to the Nation. To do this, IMCOM-Korea employs a team of highly skilled Department of the Army Civilians dedicated to the mission of modernizing all aspects of Army life in the Republic of Korea.
The Army is ushering in the next era of its role in defending post-Cold War Korea. As part of this effort, IMCOM-Korea's civilian workforce is charged with accomplishing some of the largest transformation initiatives in the history of the Army, while continuing to provide Soldiers and Families a standard of living comparable to what they would experience at any other installation in the world today. Department of the Army Civilians looking for challenging and fulfilling career opportunities are sure to find them here.
"Working at IMCOM-Korea can be a very rewarding experience for Army Civilians," said James Joyner, IMCOM-Korea Deputy to the Commander. "It gives you a unique opportunity to experience another culture while working on some of the largest, most challenging installation transformation projects in the Army today."
An assignment here offers plenty of opportunities for professional growth and development within a wide range of disciplines," added Joyner. One such opportunity is found at United States Army Garrison Humphreys, located south of Seoul, near the city of Pyeongtaek.
"The plan to realign U.S. Forces in Korea and transform U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys is one of the largest transformational efforts in the history of our Army," said Lt. Gen. Robert Wilson, IMCOM Commanding General. "By 2012, Camp Humphreys will be the Home of United States Forces Korea - growing from a current installation population of fewer than 10,000 to more than 44,000 Soldiers, Civilians and Family members," explained Wilson.
This $8.25 billion project is rapidly transforming Humphreys into a showcase for Army living in the ROK and serves as the centerpiece of the Yongsan Relocation and Land Partnership Plan. The YRLP outlines the directions, goals and objectives IMCOM-K will execute to accomplish the transformation of US Army Garrison Humphreys and other locations on the peninsula to meet the stationing requirements for U.S. Forces Korea. When the plan is complete, 59 camps and stations will ultimately be returned to the ROK and our forces will be positioned on master-panned, enduring installations to better support the defense of the ROK and U.S. national interests.
In addition to transforming its forces, footprint and practices in South Korea, the U.S. Army maintains a comprehensive support structure for its personnel stationed here by establishing and maintaining the programs and infrastructure necessary to keep their Army's Family in Korea strong.
"The men and women serving in Korea are absolutely critical to the overall success of IMCOM -- they are our most valuable asset," said Col. (P) John Uberti, IMCOM-Korea Commander. "Not only is this an exciting time to live and serve in the Republic of Korea, but the sheer size and scope of Army transformation here provides our Civilian workforce with unique opportunities for professional development, training and advancement that are hard to find anywhere else in the world," he added.
If you are interested in joining an awarding winning team dedicated to accomplishing meaningful work in support of the IMCOM mission, a tour of duty in Korea is sure to offer you a rewarding assignment - both a personally and professionally.
Discover the Benefits
There are a host of reasons to live and work in Korea, not the least of which are the numerous pay and allowances available to Army Civilians who choose an assignment here. While living overseas, employees and their families enjoy full access to on-post facilities, including the Post Exchange, Child Development Centers, family services, recreational programs, movie theaters, and state-of-the-art fitness centers.
These access privileges provide employees a tangible supplement to their base salary and a significant boost to their disposable income and overall quality of life.
"Army Civilians stationed in Korea enjoy many financial benefits unavailable to their counterparts in the States," said Joyner. "In addition to the many financial incentives for serving overseas, our Garrisons are truly family-oriented communities with plenty of activities to help you create lasting memories of your time here," Joyner said.
While overseas, civilian employees can also rest assured that their medical needs and the needs of their family members will be taken care of. Most civilian employees have access to local emergency medical care on-post and top-notch Korean health care providers located near each installation. All of the major off-post medical facilities have international departments offering English-speaking health care professionals - many of whom underwent training in the United States.
The Army is here to support its civilian workforce wherever they are stationed. One of the most significant benefits a civilian employee living overseas can take advantage of is the ability to shop at the installation's well-stocked commissary. Here, customers can find all the products they're accustomed to back in the States - and frequently at a greatly reduced price. "They provide you the product at cost," explained Jose Gonzales, USAG-Yongsan's commissary grocery manager. "That means you can save over 30 percents by shopping in the Commissary, verses an outside market on anything and everything."
According to Gonzales, studies show that Commissary customers save two to three thousand dollars a year by shopping at the commissary.
In addition to the many cost savings civilian employees find by working here, they also have access to affordable graduate and undergraduate educational programs. Each garrison has an accredited Education Center, offering university-level courses open to the Department of the Army Civilians and their families. For those employees interested in advancing their education, Korea provides ample opportunity to participate in traditional classroom-based courses or to study online via a variety of distance education opportunities available through their local installation Education Center.
Bottom line, one of the first things Civilian employees assigned to Korea will notice is a tangible increase in their paycheck. The benefits related to an overseas assignment are substantial and include:
Travel and Transportation:
Most civilian employees assigned to Korea are eligible for travel and transportation to Korea for the employee and all eligible family members at government expense. They may also ship up to 18,000 pounds of household goods to Korea, or elect to store items in the United States as non-temporary storage while stationed overseas. If, after reporting overseas, they find that they do need some of the items in non-temporary storage, they may use your original orders to ship all or any portion of these stored items to Korea.
Shipment of Privately Owned Vehicle:
Civilian employees may ship their POV to Korea at government expense. While living here, employees are also authorized access to on-post vehicle registration facilities as well as AAFES and MWR car-care centers. Employees may also ship a motorcycle to Korea as part of the household goods shipment and motorcycle training and licensing is available at all U.S. Army Garrisons in Korea.
Foreign Transfer Allowance: FTA is an allowance payable to the employee for temporary lodging and meals for up to 10 days prior to an employee's departure from the United States. This allowance is designed to offset the cost of food and lodging while the employee transitions from their State-side home to their quarters in Korea. In addition to this allowance, new employees moving to Korea will receive $1,000 to cover the incidental costs related to their move.
Living Quarters Allowance: LQA is a tax-free allowance paid to the employee in order to substantially offset the cost for suitable permanent housing while stationed in Korea. In some instances, LQA can be used to purchase a foreign residence. LQA covers both the cost of rent and utilities for the employee. Most civilian employees assigned to Korea live off-post in modern, spacious apartments, town houses or villas. Upon arrival to Korea employees will meet with the Garrison housing office and receive assistance in finding just the right home to meet their needs.
Temporary Quarters Subsistence Allowance: TQSA is an allowance payable to the employee while occupying temporary quarters upon arrival to Korea. Essentially, the government will pay temporary lodging and per diem for civilian employees while they look for permanent housing. This allowance covers the cost of temporary lodging, meals and laundry for up to 60 days.
Post Allowance: The government provides civilian employees assigned to Korea this allowance to help offset the difference in the cost of living here when compared to similar costs in the United States.
Educational Travel: The government will pay for transportation expenses of one round trip each year for dependent children to attend a college or university in the United States.
Advanced Pay: If eligible, employees may request an advance of their pay of up to three months base pay or equivalent salary. This is an interest free loan and must be paid back in automatic deductions from the employee's salary over a 12 month period.
Annual Leave: Unlike their State-side counterparts, employees assigned to Korea may accumulate an additional amount of Annual Leave every year. For example, employees recruited from the United States may accumulate and carry over up to 360 hours each year.
Home Leave: Home Leave is a special type of leave given to employees recruited from the United States that can be used in addition to their regular annual leave. Employees in Korea accumulate up to 5 days of Home Leave each year. Home Leave can only be used in the United States, Hawaii, Alaska, and its U.S. Territories of Guam, Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands.
Renewal Agreement Travel: If, after completing their first tour of duty in Korea an employee elects to remain for a additional tour of 24 months, the government provides the employee and their family free airline tickets back to their State-side place of residence. Employees may also use these free tickets to travel to other or multiple destinations in the United States as permitted in Joint Travel Regulation, Volume II, Section 4150. For example, employees frequently make a stop in Hawaii before returning to their home state and this is all paid for at government expense.
Environmental and Morale Leave: After completing an initial 6 months in Korea, employees are eligible for up to two EML trips per year. EML allows employees access to military aircraft for flights to the United States or in the overseas area on a priority space available basis. These flights generally depart from Osan Air Force Base.
Korea: All the comforts of home
The Republic of Korea is one of the most modern countries in the world. Since the Korean War, the ROK has completely transformed itself from a farming and fishing-based society to a thriving, high-tech industrial leader. South Korea's economy currently ranks number eleven in the world. It is a state-of-the-art, industrialized nation with a cultural heritage encompassing five millennia-the influences of which are still closely interlaced in the Korean people's daily lives.
Civilian employees here quickly discover Korea offers countless cultural events and activities as well as many of the creature comforts of home, including spacious western-style housing, high-speed internet services and familiar restaurant chains and department stores. Family-friendly activities also abound in the Land of the Morning Calm. Museums, festivals, amusement parks, scenic landscapes, and ancient temples and palaces are located throughout Korea and offer convenient weekend day-trips.
For longer excursions, Korea's Incheon International Airport offers visitors easy access to gateway cities throughout Asia, Europe and the United States. Incheon is typically the first stop for travelers arriving to Korea. This world-renowned facility was recently recognized as "Best Airport Worldwide" and a place where an array of shops, restaurants and English-speaking customer service outlets welcome newcomers to Korea. The airport is located just 45 minutes from downtown Seoul. No matter what the destination, airport shuttles, busses, taxis and subway services are at the ready to transport newcomers to the installation of their choice.
Find a job in Korea that's right for you
Whether you are fresh off of active-duty, a military spouse or a seasoned professional, you'll find a career with U.S. Army in Korea both challenging and inspiring. If you ready to join an award winning team and embark on the adventure of a lifetime, you can learn more about living and working in Korea online:
Civilian Human Resources Agency - Korea Region
Civilian Personnel Online:
For a comprehensive look at what living and working in Korea can mean for you, visit IMCOM-Korea's official website or YouTube Channel, which feature a series of "Welcome to Korea" videos specifically tailored for Army Civilians considering employment in Korea.
Installation Management Command - Korea Region
Welcome to Korea Videos