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Taking Advantage Of Overseas Assignments

October 01, 2010 | Master Sergeant William Howell

I know many of you out there have been assigned to an overseas location and they can be challenging, but they can also be a great experience. Being stationed here in the Netherlands has and will give my family and I the chance to travel to many places that we would have never been able to. We have been here since June and although we have yet to travel to places like Paris (later this month), we have made it a couple of places close to here. For instance, we went down and visited a place called the Tri-Border Maze and we climbed to the top of a tower where you can see the countries of Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. We also went down and visited Valkenburg, the Netherlands and rode some bobsleds and road in an underground cave. We also went to Germany and visited a theme park called "The Movie Park", it is an amusement park basically about american movies. They had many rides and areas such as Nickelodean world, the old west and many others. You would not believe that there are people stationed here for years and have not traveled. My advice is to all who are planning to be or are stationed overseas,you must take advantage of your time off and visit as many places as you can. When will you ever get back? When you are a civilian? Many say that, but it is very expensive to travel back as a civilian. Allow your children the opportunity to experience different cultures, the international school here is great, the sports teams play against teams from France, Germany, Italy and many more. They have their senior proms in old Castles, where else can you do that? So, take advantage of your overseas assignments.




  • George B. Collins
    11/1/2010 2:24 PM
    Dear First Sergeant Howell,

    Just a brief note to congratulate you on your very helpful insights to active duty Army personnel. Although I was a student so many, many years ago at the old Adjutant General School at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Ind, I owe much gratitude to the institution, and am proud to say that during my brief enlisted tour of only 3 years, my training there found me working for some very stellar Army brass. I was stationed in Germany at 7th Army Headquarters, working in G3 Operations for Colonels and above. My AG school credentials allowed me to achieve the rank of E5 two months before I turned 20 years of age. You are so correct in saying that Europe can be a wonderful place to explore, even while on active duty. I visited 13 countries in my 2 years in Germany, and it was truly an incredible experience for a young soldier. Wishing you all the best in your Army career, I respectfully remain,
    Yours truly, George Collins
  • 1SG William Howell
    2/16/2011 9:38 PM
    Mr. Collins, I appreciate your post and your service to our country. I went to AIT at Ft. Benjamin Harrison in 1994 right before they moved it to Ft. Jackson. Thanks again and I wish you well.
    • George Collins
      2/16/2011 10:21 PM
      Thanks for your reply, 1st Sgt Howell. I am proud to have played a small part in keeping America the greatest nation on earth. My old boss, Colonel Melvin Zais, went on to become the Commanding General of the 101st Airborne Division in Vietnam. Look up his bio sometime if you can. A great man, and a warrior of the highest caliber. I have an amusing picture of me today with a lifelong friend that you might get a kick out of. Email me at and I'll be happy to send it to you. We grew up together, and he is now an American icon. Best, George Collins
    7/26/2011 12:27 PM
    1SG Howell,

    How can get an assignment to the Netherlands? I am a 42A also. Currently, I am on deployment in Afghanistan. I deployed out of Baumholder, Germany. My DEROS is September 1st 2012.
    • 1SG William Howell
      7/27/2011 1:14 PM
      David, you can email me your last 5 NCOERs and your ERB and I will look at them and send them forward to my BN and BDE S1 for consideration on an assignment. Thanks for the inquiry.
      • 1SG William Howell
        7/27/2011 1:17 PM

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