Oktoberfest 2018 in Munich: A traveler’s guide

  GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — The 2018 Oktoberfest in Munich runs Sept. 22 through Oct. 7 and fest-goers can expect to see stringent security measures again, according to the official website.   The heightened security plans include a secured perimeter, a significant police presence with up to 450 security wardens on…

Things you didn’t know: Carrying pepper spray in Germany

  GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — German laws allow you to carry certain forms of pepper spray, but Army regulations prohibit you from bringing it on-post.   Recent reports of an increase in crime and terrorism across Europe, such as those in Cologne and Paris, have raised concerns regarding personal safety.  …

Weiberfasching: Where women are king

GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — One day each year, women around Germany officially rule the roost during Weiberfasching.   Celebrated on the Thursday before Ash Wednesday — which is Feb. 10, 2016 — Weiberfasching (meaning women’s carnival) marks the transition from the Fasching fest season into the Lenten season leading up to…

College students eligible for gov’t-funded travel to visit active duty parents overseas

  GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — College students with parents stationed overseas may qualify for a government-funded round trip visit plus the shipment of unaccompanied baggage, according to Army and federal regulations.   The Army regulation on overseas travel, chapter 5, and the Joint Federal Travel Regulation, paragraph 7155, grant military students…

Things you didn’t know: Fasching is Germany’s most colorful time of year

GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — It officially began on the 11th day of the 11th month at 11:11 a.m., but the hoopla is just around the corner.   Fasching is Germany’s carnival season, a time of festivity and merrymaking.   It’s an excuse to break rules (and poke fun at those who…

Local Knights of Columbus council receives top award

  GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — Knights of Columbus Council 15700 here in Grafenwoehr earned the STAR Council Award for achieving 175 percent of their recruitment goal, one of the organization’s top awards, for the fiscal year 2014-2015.   The organization’s headquarters, located in New Haven, Connecticut, made the announcement.   The…

Romantic and magical wildlife reserve near Grafenwoehr

  By Alexis Tucker   GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — Would you like to make her swoon with a non-generic Valentine’s Day date? Maybe you’re just an outdoorsy couple, animal lovers, or you want to take your children somewhere unique.   If you nodded yes, you should explore the Wildgehege Hufeisen in…

I just got orders to USAG Bavaria and I need a sponsor. Now what?

  GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — Soldiers PCSing to the U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria in Grafenwoehr, Vilseck, Hohenfels or Garmisch will need to use Army Career Tracker’s Total Army Sponsorship Program  to request a sponsor and initiate the DA Form 5434 (Sponsorship Program Counseling and Information Sheet).   Dubbed the Total Army…

Soldiers can avoid unnecessary credit card fees

  By Maj. Paul Butler, 7th Army JMTC   GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — Tired of paying foreign transaction or annual fees when you use your credit card overseas? If you’re on Active Duty (or a Reservist on Active Duty), you’re in luck!   Military life while stationed overseas can be expensive.…

How to write ICE comments that deliver results

    GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — The Army garrison here aims to provide services to support Soldiers and their families. But if those services either exceed or don’t meet your expectations, you can take action.   The Interactive Customer Evaluation system, or ICE, is your online customer feedback form.   A…

Hatch Act: Federal employees’ guide to social media and email

    U.S. Office of Special Counsel press release   The Hatch Act, a federal law passed in 1939, limits certain political activities of federal employees, as well as some state, D.C., and local government employees who work in connection with federally funded programs. ​The law’s purposes are to ensure…