Greetings from Osan AB, South Korea. We are an Army Family stationed on an Air Force Base here in South Korea and this is something that is common here. So you coming to South Korea. There is nothing to fear about here. If the Army didn’t feel Korea was safe for families to being approved to living here they wouldn’t approve Command Sponsorships. South Korea is in the process of becoming a Tour Normalization which is like Germany your soldier and family will be stationed here for a few years.
A few things I can tell you about Korea and what don’t expect and what to expect. Don’t expect that you will get the chance to be living on post because such as for Osan AB we live on base but we got lucky since the Air Force gives there housing basically to the Air Force families and with the Army the units here get only 10% of the families that are command sponsorship. At Camp Humphey’s there new housing is full, and at Yongsan if you have a pet you will not be allowed to live on post housing. But that is perfectly fine, because we are Army Families and we can survive anything.
Living off post is not bad at all. My husband, our two dogs and I did live off post at first. There are a lot of apartments that are fully furnished in Korea so leaving your good furniture in storage and on the Army’s bill just do it. I will just give you one suggestion if you don’t like a stiff hard mattress and your mattress that you have is a pillow top mattress I would suggest you bring that. The mattresses are stiff as a hard rock and take time to get used to.
Here are a few more things I suggest for you to bring with you that we where advised not to bring and we regret for not bringing them along. We left behind our microwave, toaster and toaster oven. The outlets are different then US outlets but your Realtor will give you converter boxes to use your American appliances so if you want to bring them then you know you can.
We are here on Command Sponsorship and I am an FRG leader here. So I want you all to know that there are FRG’s within the units in Korea and they are active and should be active.
If your coming to Korea, Non Command Sponsorship, a few words of advice from my knowledge and learning of being here. You do get a rations card, your allowed on base, but there are chances where you might not get into seeing a doctor with making a doctor’s appointment since you would have to try to make a same day appointment on space available. Another thing is that your soldier would need permission from his command to allow him to live off post depending on his rank and since your in Korea as Non command sponsorship. The Army will not pay for your flight to Korea, for your stuff in storage since you decided to come here without the Army’s approval for Command Sponsorship.
I am just letting you all know what I have learned since I have been in Korea since April 2009 and love to share my experiences with you.
Ronni F. Newton