Online Banking/cell phones etc...in Iraq?

Posted
by Gruffy Gruffy (New) New

Salute to everyone!

I will graduate with my ADN on May 1st and I am a 47 y.o. male with 7 years prior service in the Army. I have been reading most of the posts on the forum and I have learned very much. Thanks for all the info.

By what ever path I follow, I plan on getting a direct commission in the Army. I have been told that at somepoint I will end up in Iraq/Afgan/Kuwait. My questions are:

Can you access the internet for online banking and paying bills?

Can you bring your own laptop?

Can you use a personal cell phone?

I also saw a thread about uniforms during commissioning. Do we have to buy our ownd uniforms now? Don't they give an initial issue to direct commissions?

Thanks in advance,

Gruffy

caliotter3

38,333 Posts

People in these areas have access to the internet. They communicate with their families often. As to the particulars of using a personal computer for online banking, I don't know. Perhaps someone who has recently been there can give us some info on this.

just_cause

just_cause, BSN, RN

1,471 Posts

Gruffy,

the 99.99% of Soldiers have access to internet while deployed. You can bring your own laptop and even if you don't there are typically free computers at MWR centers you can use... many location and many choose to purchase their own cell phone while overseas through a pay as you go provider or such. I wouldn't worry about that at all... especially at location where nurses are likely to be at - you will have service.

Uniforms - you'll probably want to get a set.. you do an initial issue... I am a big fan of not being extra gear - as you typically never 'need' it.

best of luck,

v/r

Cursed Irishman

Cursed Irishman

471 Posts

Bear in mind that my info is a little outdated and I'm sure computer access is even broader than when I was there. But as a baseline reference:

Can you access the internet for online banking and paying bills?

Yes, quite handily. You can purchase time on MWR/hadji computers. Even when living in tents, I still got to internet access about once a week. Also, if you deploy: contact your cell phone provider, car insurance, satellite radio, whatever superfluous contracts you have, most will suspend or reduce your contracts while youre deployed so youre not making payments on utilities your not using.

Can you bring your own laptop?

Yes. The name of the game regarding electronics when deployed is power converter; bring fuses and never seperate yourself from the converter. I got stuck in kuwait for 2 weeks re-deploying, having the power converter and below mentioned dvd player saved me from bouncing off the walls.

In addition: I brought a laptop with me when I pushed north and purchased a portable dvd player while in country; I ended up using the dvd player more often because of its small size, relatively cheap cost, better battery life and the fact that I mostly watched hadji pirated dvds. Look into a gameboy/psp; war is 99% sheer boredom.

Can you use a personal cell phone?

Google Iraqna; most guys in my unit had cell phones in country; they even worked when living in tents 18 miles away from the iranian border. Becareful though, some guys had issues w/ the sim cards being used up when purchased. I understand Afghanistan has a similar provider, although on a smaller scale.

Rme4life

Rme4life

Specializes in 66H. Has 2 years experience. 126 Posts

when i came on direct commission, you had to buy your own uniforms. as an officer you get a one time clothing allowance of like 600. its not going to buy everything you need but it helps.

most places you pay a monthly fee if you want internet access in your room otherwise its free at mwr. you can access anything you want on your own computer.

good luck.

athena55, BSN, RN

Specializes in critical care: trauma/oncology/burns. Has 38 years experience. 987 Posts

:twocents: My two cents to the ongoing discussion:

Bring along a box of that cling-type saran wrap. Use it to protect your keyboard when down range

Also make sure you have/get your uniform allowance. One of the things that can be easily overlooked when you are busy with your TPU and drills etc.

Keep on top of your AKO account and your CAC.

athena

SoCalHeart

SoCalHeart

28 Posts

You can also set up allotments to pay your monthly bills while you are deployed, then you don't have to worry about getting online every time a due date is coming up on a bill. Check with your bank, or once you are AD I think you can go through your MyPay to set it up, or if you use a credit union/bank affiliated with military service (Navy Fed, FSNB...) they'll have lots of info and be used to that! Then you can spend your computer time doing something you actually like to do:D, not trying to remember due dates, account numbers and passwords. Best wishes to you.

Jarnaes

Jarnaes

Specializes in US Army. Has 14 years experience. 320 Posts

On another note, if you plan to be a commissioned officer nurse on active duty in the US Army you need to have a BSN. The reserves will take an ADN.

I suspended my cell phone plan, and put my bills on auto payment through my bank while I was in Iraq. We had decent internet access and some phone service. So when I got a chance to go online I could my accounts and investments in addition to the usual e-mail routine.

Cursed Irishman

Cursed Irishman

471 Posts

most places you pay a monthly fee if you want internet access in your room otherwise its free at mwr. you can access anything you want on your own computer.

So they have internet available in the trailers? Have they built actual barracks now or is this in kuwait?

FLmomof5

FLmomof5

1,530 Posts

Also use the Soldiers and Sailors Relief Act to your advantage. ALL debt you obtained before you entered the service must reduce their interest rate to 6%!

My daughter got home last week. Iraq has barracks now.

Phone connectivity STILL sux and your US cell provider will not function over there.

Internet is getting easier to get. We used webcam and the microphone to share Christmas with her! (Her 3RD! Christmas in Iraq in 4 yrs!)

just_cause

just_cause, BSN, RN

1,471 Posts

They have internet available at pretty much all locations...whether it be through MWR, or in-country contractors having wireless on the FOB, or it be built into every trailer or limited to your S6 shop having a sat line that they can enable needed access in case that is all you had - as always...situation depedent. I'd say for a nurse you'd have a strong chance of having net in your living quarters or a quick walk from it.

Gruffy

Gruffy

8 Posts

Thanks to everyone for all the great info!

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