2. Financial Benefits
Beyond promotions, there are also financial benefits to FDNF assignments. They include:
The Savings Deposit Program: Offered to service members serving in designated combat zones, this program allows Sailors to earn 10 percent annually on any balance up to $10,000. Accounts will continue to draw interest for 90 days once you've returned home or to your permanent duty station.
Overseas Cost of Living Allowance (COLA): A tax-free allowance offered at all FDNF locations. It is designed to offset the higher overseas prices of goods and services, and provides Sailors with the same purchasing power they would enjoy with their regular salaries in the United States.
Tax-Free Zones: These benefits are applied in some areas where FDNF Sailors serve. While in a designated combat zone, your entire pay can be excluded from taxable income. This can be several hundred dollars a month more in your pocket, and possibly a few thousand dollars over the course of a year.
3. Travel and Leisure
When you have time off, living overseas gives you the opportunity to see amazing places and have memorable experiences. For example, within a day's travel from these FDNF duty stations you can visit:
Rota, Spain: The Strait of Gibraltar, Christopher Columbus' tomb in the Seville Cathedral, the Prado National Museum in Madrid, or the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona.
Yokosuka or Sasebo, Japan: Metropolitan Tokyo, Hiroshima & Nagasaki, or go skiing in Nagano.
The Middle East: The city of Dubai, the Burj Khalifa (world's tallest building), Petra in Jordan, or a beautiful resort in Oman.
Guam: Amazing snorkeling and diving, World War II historical sites, and it's close enough to visit Taiwan, Hong Kong, Philippines, Singapore, and Australia.
Gaeta, Italy: Rome, the Vatican, Naples, Pompeii, Sicily, Florence, Bologna, Milan, Venice, and other European countries.
These destinations are as varied as the duty stations themselves, and all are available to those who seek them out.
4. Continuing Education
From most of these FDNF locations, you are in a prime position to take advantage of educational opportunities. Depending on the location, you can find a variety of distancing learning courses, including Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) Examinations, the Navy College Program for Afloat College Education (NCPACE), as well as help with Tuition Assistance. Learn more about what the Navy College Program offers Sailors: www.navycollege.navy.mil/