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As I’m sure you know by now, in the military, we are inundated with acronyms on a pretty much hourly basis.

So today, I’m going to explain TQSA and how it works.  I alluded to this in my post from last week on travel vouchers.  So this is a more detailed explanation.  Trust me when I tell you that you’ll thank me later for the extra details.

The first thing you need to know is that this is the term ONLY for civilians,  The active duty get the exact same allowance, but it’s called something else.  It’s in one of my other posts, but at the moment, I can’t think of it.  Let’s see if it comes back by the time I finish this post!

Okay I cheated–I had to reread my last post to see exactly what I’d already said about TQSA and…in the process…well the active duty term is TLA–temporary lodging assistance.

Temporary Quarters Subsistence Allowance (or TQSA) is the amount of money that the government will allot you to do two things with:

One, you’ll be able to stay in a hotel on your old base (or base lodging if you prefer) for up to 10 days before you get on a plane to your new permanent duty station (PDS) See–more acronyms!!

Two, once you get to the new PDS, you will be able to stay in the hotel on base there (also known as temporary lodging)..If you are coming to Aviano, I strongly, strongly advise you to try to get into the hotel on base.  While it may seem fun and exciting to live in an Italian hotel until you find a house–actually, it probably will be fun and exciting.  But still.  Just understand a few things–first, you’ll likely have non-existent or very spotty internet access.  Wi-Fi on the economy is not a given.  Even in a good hotel.

oliviapalace

(Above are the Olivia Hotel and the Palace Hotel.  Both are in the city of Aviano)

Second, someone will have to come and pick you up to take you to work everyday.  Which means you’ll be at their mercy for when they want to come get you and when you can leave work.  You will have a sponsor, but I always try to operate from the premise of “save them for when you need major favors”.

Even if you go on leave soon after your arrival, those first few days will have to be spent in-processing on the base.

The only way around this is to rent a vehicle.  And believe me when I tell you that car rental agencies here have prices that will make you choke.

So think long and hard before taking that off-base accommodation.  Especially if you are on foot.

Now, I was told when I got here that I would have to submit lodging receipts to CPO (civilian personnel office) every ten days.  But I’ve been here for almost three weeks and I haven’t submitted anything.  I also know that lodging has already charged me for a 30 day stay (on the GTC).  And I was given paperwork that indicated I was to submit it monthly. So I’m inclined to believe the 10-day rule is really for active duty only.  One more difference between us and them 🙂

Another nice little secret is that while the active duty folks practically get thrown out of temporary lodging and forced into short-term rentals after 30 days if they haven’t found a permanent home, civilians can stay in lodging for *gasp* up to 90 DAYS!!!

Shocking stuff, I know.  But there you have it.  As of right now, 7 June, that is the gospel truth.  And besides, I wouldn’t lie on a Sunday 🙂

Two things to keep in mind though:

1) Government regulations change almost weekly, so while its true this year, it may not be true next year.

2) Please please KEEP ALL RECEIPTS.  You will need them.

And how ’bout that American Pharaoh–first Triple Crown winner since 1978!!

Woot woot!

Happy Sunday 🙂

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