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Sponsorship: The Best Way to Settle Into Your New Home

No matter how many times you've moved or how much research you've done, the first days on a new installation are bound to be an adventure. That's where military sponsorship comes in, offering something no briefing memo can – a friendly face and a wealth of personal experience.

Sponsors often are assigned through your unit. You also can request one yourself through the professional at your local Relocation Assistance Program or Military and Family Support Center.

How having a sponsor can help

Here’s what you generally can expect from your sponsor:

  • You'll typically be paired with a sponsor who is similar in rank and family status. If you're the parent of a toddler, for example, it helps to be paired with a fellow mom or dad who will know the places for your little one to burn off energy.
  • You'll likely hear from your sponsor before you arrive. They may send a welcome letter or information about your new installation.
  • Once you arrive, your sponsor may want to meet with you and your family to show you around or help you through in-processing.
  • Keep in mind that a sponsor’s responsibilities and availability vary based on mission requirements.

The military-wide sponsorship program is a resource available to all military families no matter where they are moving.

Be sure not to confuse having a sponsor to help with a move with command sponsorship. The military-wide sponsorship program is a resource available to all military families no matter where they are moving. In contrast, command sponsorship or "accompanied orders," is a designation for families moving overseas. If you have command sponsorship, it will appear on your orders and confers several benefits to families during and after the move.

How to get the most out of your sponsorship

Here are some tips for making the most of the sponsorship program:

  • Reach out to your assigned sponsor for resources. Feel free to start the conversation if you have questions or concerns.
  • Help your sponsor get to know you and your family. Sharing the names and ages of your children or talking about your housing and child care needs can get the conversation started. And don't forget to share your arrival date and travel plans – your sponsor may offer to meet you at the airport.
  • If you choose, sharing more personal information such as a family member's medical situation or special needs allows your sponsor to connect you with resources and information more effectively.
  • MilitaryINSTALLATIONS is a great place to get a feel for your new duty station, and from there, your sponsor can fill in the details. Sponsors often share personal experiences about temporary lodging options, housing options, employment opportunities for family members, schools, child care, medical facilities and favorite places to visit.
  • Finally, if you're moving overseas, a sponsor's experience in the host country can be particularly invaluable. Your sponsor can help you navigate the culture, language, driving rules, currency exchange, climate and much more.

Become a sponsor

Before you know it, you'll be right at home on your installation. And that's the time to become a sponsor yourself. When you and your family are ready, check out the eSponsorship Application and Training, available online 24 hours a day, seven days a week through My Training Hub. With the eSAT, you can approach your duties with confidence knowing you have the latest information and resources.

Master your move and seize your adventure by participating in the military sponsorship program. Be sure to take advantage of this direct line to your unit and make connections at your next installation before you've even finished packing for your move. Ask your installation’s relocation assistance professionals for more details.