Retired Services Office plays a major role in retirement transitions
DAEGU GARRISON ㅡSomeone once said, “We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.” Those words, regardless of when they were spoken, are as true today, as they will be way into the future. If we take into consideration the selfless service of those who have served in defense of our nation, then the meaning of the adage is likely to have even more precious and lasting sentiments.
Few would argue that it is because of those sentiments and that service that the duties and responsibilities of the Retirement Services Office (RSO) are as important to the United States Army Garrison Daegu, as it is to the Department of Defense overall. That’s why across USAG Daegu and Area IV, Carl W. Reed, Retirement Services Officer (RSO), is committed to doing whatever he can to assist retirees, widows, widowers, survivors, and family members from every branch of service concerning their rights, benefits and entitlements.
In a survey of Retired Soldiers, 88 percent indicated their pre-retirement briefing was "extremely" or "critically" important to their retirement planning. Clearly, such statistics point to just how important it is that Soldiers start gathering information and planning their military retirement 12 to 24 months before they submit the application for retirement. The RSO can be of profound assistance in this matter.
According to Reed, RSO responsibilities fall under Army Regulation 600-8-7. He said, “There are two different kinds of services we support. For pre-retirement, we provide information related to pre-retirement services such as, retirement application processing, retirement orders, and final out-processing procedures.”
The RSO explained that for those retirees who choose to retire in Korea, there are three steps in the planning and preparing process. He said, “The first thing that you have to do is apply for permission to retire in Korea. This is an essential part of the retirement application process. To obtain approval for an in-country retirement, the Soldier must submit a memo to the Area Commander stating the reason for remaining in Korea. The reason could for example be related to a job search or a job offer, education, and so on. The next step would be that of obtaining a civilian (blue) passport. This is necessary for those planning to remain more than 30 days after the effective retirement date. Staying beyond that point is a violation of Korean immigration laws and will result in a fine.”
Mr. Reed emphasized that the longer the violation, the higher the fine. “Lastly, a Korean visa must be obtained in your new passport in order to remain past the 30 days automatically granted to new retirees. As with the passport, if you do not have a current Korean visa, you will be fined for violation of Korean immigration laws.
To help better understand the role of the RSO, it is important to point out that Mr. Reed is responsible for providing assistance to the four Area Retiree Councils here on the Korean peninsula. That assistance involves organizing, planning and supporting the annual Retiree Appreciation Day (RAD). The event is popular among retirees, their dependents and invited guests living in the respective areas. “The retirees provide invaluable assistance to the various local installations, and active duty members. The primary role of the active duty force is in keeping with the purpose of the RAD, which is to honor retirees for their long and faithful service to their country,” stated Reed.
Photo: Mr. Reed travels from Yongsan Army Base in Seoul to Camp Henry, in Daegu, on a weekly basis to assist retirees and their dependents on a myriad of transition issues and concerns.
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