Moving is a way of life for service members and their families. Resources like MilitaryINSTALLATIONS, Plan My Move and Military OneSource can help smooth that transition. But, for many newcomers, a sponsor adds that personal touch. The Sponsorship Program supports sponsors with training and access to important information and resources. Also spouses can receive sponsorship training and become a spouse sponsor.
Sponsorship Program goals include the following:
- Providing newcomers with a sense of belonging
- Easing the transition for inbound service members or civilians and their family members
- Increasing productivity
- Helping newcomers make informed decisions
- Cultivating new friendships
- Improving morale
A sponsor is assigned by a newcomer's gaining unit and helps the newcomer before, during and after a move. If you haven't been assigned a sponsor, you can request a sponsor through your new unit. Units try to match sponsors and service members by rank and family status.
Sponsorship duties include the following:
- Contacting the service member and family with an introductory email
- Following up with the member's preferred method of contact
- Sending information about the new community and duty assignment, responding to questions and providing resource information
- Confirming transportation and lodging arrangements
- Assisting with post office arrangements
- Meeting service members and family members upon arrival
- Accompanying service members to unit check-in point
- Introducing service members to the Military and Family Support Center and loan closet, if available
- Orienting service members and families to the installation and key locations, such as the commissary
Note: Responsibilities may vary based on service-specific policies and guidance.
For more information on the Sponsorship Program, contact your installation Relocation Assistance Program office or, in the Marine Corps, the Information and Referral office.
If you are already a sponsor, visit My Training Hub and log in with your Common Access Card, or CAC, to take the eSponsorship Application & Training. The course will walk you through your sponsorship duties and help you find the resources and information your newcomer is going to need.
Families can be an important part of the sponsorship process. If your family members want to learn more about sponsorship, they can access the Sponsorship Awareness for Families through My Training Hub with an email address and password. The Sponsorship Awareness for Families course includes the same resources and information as the CAC-enabled version.
- Army - Sponsorship is mandated for all soldiers in grades of E1-06, and encouraged for Army civilian employees. Sponsors will be assigned via the Army Career Tracker Sponsorship Module and must complete sponsorship training course #1B-F43(v) in the Army Training Requirements and Resources System. Soldiers who are PCSing must complete DA Form 5434 in the Army Career Tracker Sponsorship Module to provide gaining commands pertinent information required to assign a sponsor who can meet their needs.
- Marine Corps - Gaining unit commands within the continental United States assign sponsors upon request. Overseas commands assign sponsors automatically; however, if one is not assigned, you may send a request to the gaining command using the Military Installations website to find the accurate contact information. Contact the installation Information and Referral office for more information.
- Navy - Command sponsor and indoctrination responsibilities begin upon receipt of permanent change of station orders and continue until the sailor has become an integral part of the new command. Commanding officers should ensure all incoming personnel receive command indoctrination training within 30 days of arrival or within three drill weekends. Local commands can get assistance with the Sponsorship Program through the Fleet and Family Support Center.
- Air Force - Gaining unit command support staff assigns sponsors upon receipt of assignment notice. Assigned sponsors then make contact with their inbound service members. Commands and sponsors may contact the Relocation Assistance Program managers at the Airmen and Family Readiness Center for additional information or assistance.
- National Guard Bureau - Air National Guard and Army National Guard members should follow service-specific guidance (Air Force and Army).
Youth Sponsorship Program
Many installations give kids the chance to get to meet a new friend and become acquainted with their new installation through the installation’s youth program. Where available, they can exchange emails, talk on the phone or chat online. For more information, visit MilitaryINSTALLATIONS and click on Youth Services and your new installation. The youth program staff at your new installation can offer more information on the Youth Sponsorship Program. Families with children may also want to visit Military Kids Connect, an online community for military children and youth. The site offers games, videos and links to teen-led installation tours.
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