Embracing Adventure “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” ~~Hellen Keller

Moving Within Germany Part 3: Closing Out of Heidelberg as a NAF (Nonappropriated Fund) Employee

One side of the Farewell Heidelberg US Army Garrison Baden-Württemberg Child Youth & School Services coin I was given when leaving Heidelberg.

When moving within Germany, soldiers have their own clearing stuff to do, and I wasn’t really involved, so I can’t tell you about that, but I can tell you about my end: closing out as a NAF (nonappropriated fund) employee, specifically as a child and youth program assistant, during our PCS (permanent change of station) from Heidelberg to Kaiserslautern.

Although I’d known for awhile we would be moving, I couldn’t do anything until my husband had his orders. Once he did, I gave a copy to my place of employment, which was the Patrick Henry Village (PHV) Child Development Center (CDC). We had a NLT (no later than) moving date and were waiting on our housing offer, so I still didn’t know exactly when we were going.

Once we had the housing offer, I had my husband set a moving date. Because I was a full-time NAF employee, I was entitled to three days of administrative leave for the PCS process, which was nice. I had my husband set our moving day for a Wednesday so I could use my administrative leave days that Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, leaving us the weekend to start unpacking.

I was moving in just enough time to reach one year of service there, so I also had to do my annual review. Before my last day, the managers called me in the office. In addition to giving me my copy of my review, they had a nice package put together with a with certificate of appreciation, a coin, two pins, and “final salute for service” from the Commander.

The certificate of appreciation which says “USAG Baden-Württemberg Child Youth & School Services Division presents this certificate of appreciation to Amanda Papenfus for your service and dedication to working with children”; the other side of the coin  which says “Farewell Heidelberg U.S. Army Child & Youth Services 1945-2013”; and two pins, one of stick figure and one with an adult and a child in a house which says around it “Army Child Development Services”.

I also had to put in my resignation in writing denoting the reason as a PCS. Because the Patrick Henry Village Child Development Center was closing down (and the Heidelberg garrison itself shutting down was why we were all moving), I was supposed to get a BBA (business based action) letter so I could get preference as a displaced employee. They didn’t anticipate me getting that until August when the garrison would close, so my manager placed me in LWOP (leave without pay) status, which I also had to write a request for, so that I could get the letter.

My manager had also indicated that being in LWOP status would keep me in the system so if I found a job I wouldn’t have to start all over with everything. Unfortunately, the fact I was in LWOP actually turned out to cause me to lose out on a couple of jobs because they rejected my application saying I didn’t qualify for spouse preference because I already had a job. The first time, since they hadn’t said why I was rejected, I had called USAJobs to inquire, and the lady said she couldn’t see why I would be rejected and put in a request to review it.

When I got an email stating the reason for rejection, I called again and talked to someone to tell them the job I had was for a PCS to Germany and the one I was applying to was for a PCS to another post in Germany, so I should qualify for spouse preference. Instead of writing what I had actually said, the guy wrote “Military spouse preference is what I am using and my job is at a different base”, which I only know because it was quoted in the reply, which said that because I currently work for NAF I don’t have FMP (family member preference) because I already used it.

I received this final salute for service from the Commander which says “Baden-Württemberg Community 1945-2013 In recognition of faithful and dedicated service in USAG Baden-Württemberg, Germany, building partnerships and defending democracy during the United States Army presence (1945-2013). You are officially presented this Final Salute for Service to the Nation in Heidelberg, Germany.

Because it wasn’t a job I was dying to have, at that point, I gave up arguing with them. The same thing happened for another job as well. Oddly enough, it was only the Air Force jobs that happened with. I got emails about being qualified for other jobs I’d applied to with the Army during the same time period, so I didn’t worry too much about it. I eventually ended up finding work as a substitute teacher with a Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) school, which I’ll tell you about sometime in the future.

The last thing I had to do to close out was to bring my husband’s clearing papers in to the CDC. Because he wouldn’t get those until after our moving date, I actually had to go back to turn them in after we moved. When I did, I also picked up my employee file which was put in a sealed envelope with tape and signed. An “official use only” paper was put on top with more tape. I guess they don’t want me to mess with it. I don’t know if I’ll work with CYS (Child and Youth Services) or MWR (Morale and Welfare) again, but I’ll keep the file on hand and all my CYS/MWR shirts, just in case.

A last look at the Patrick Henry Village Child Development Center.

Related Posts:

Comments are closed.

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: