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NAPLES, Italy — Petty Officer 2nd Class Arnaldo Romero stood befuddled at the cash cage Friday, wondering where he would go next month to get his rent money.

He had gotten used to the services provided by the Naples Personnel Support Detachment, which cashed his checks and converted the dollars into euros to pay his landlord.

But on Dec. 1, PSD ceased converting dollars to euros, and sometime in January it likely will stop cashing checks, said Chief Thomas Wallis, leading chief petty officer at PSD.

“It’s going to be pretty inconvenient,” said Romero, an operational specialist with Naval Forces Europe-6th Fleet, “especially since I do shift work, and when I get off, everything is closed.”

But PSD has to comply with a Defense Department policy that states if adequate banking facilities are available on military bases, check-cashing and banking services should not be provided by the military, Wallis explained.

Officials anticipate stopping the check-cashing service by the end of January, he said.

The Community Bank — the bank from which PSD used to buy its euros, Wallis said — has opened next door to the PSD office on the Capodichino base. There also is the Italian bank, Banca Intesa, on Capodichino.

And the Navy Exchange at the support site base, roughly 20 minutes from Capodichino, not only cashes checks, but offers to “sell” a maximum of 5,000 euros at a time, a customer service representative said.

The support site base also has a Navy Federal Credit Union, but the branch does not offer euro conversion.

Ceasing operations at the “cash cage” means sailors working for PSD can get back to their regular jobs, which include processing sailors’ pay and allowances, tax-exemption status, handling permanent change of station orders, and ordering and preparing command exams.

It also will keep the sailors proficient on, and abreast of, the requirements within their regular duties — which they are tested on for promotion, Wallis said.

“Having to have a cashier man the cash cage through the duration of the day takes way from him or her doing their job and gaining experience,” Wallis said. “There are not a lot of questions on how to cash a check on the Navywide advancement exam.”


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