As a member of the armed forces, your service member has the opportunity to live and work in new and different places around the world. And while moving every three or so years is part of the adventure, adjusting to a new community can also present some challenges. That’s where military sponsorship comes in.
A sponsor can ease the adjustment to a new duty station by being a friendly face and source of local knowledge. Whether your service member is about to PCS for the first time or is an old pro at it, a sponsor can play a valuable role in the transition.
How military sponsorships work
Your service member will be assigned a sponsor through their unit, no matter where they are moving to. Military sponsorship may look a little different for each service branch, but in general, sponsors are closely matched by rank and family status to the person they are sponsoring. So, if your loved one has young school-age children, their sponsor might have children around the same age, and will know about schools, local activities and other resources.
If your service member is PCSing and hasn’t been assigned a sponsor, they can contact their installation Military and Family Support Center’s relocation assistance service provider for assistance.
How your service member can benefit from a sponsorship
Your service member can and should connect with their sponsor before they PCS. This can be especially helpful if your loved one needs to set up services or identify certain resources beforehand. For example, if your service member has a pet and needs to use a boarding facility as soon as they arrive, their sponsor can help provide information on local options. Sponsors can also:
- Serve as a friendly face to greet your service member when they arrive.
- Help with in-processing at the new duty station.
- Show your service member and their family around the area.
- Be a knowledgeable local contact to turn to with questions.
Whether your service member is moving within the continental United States or overseas, a sponsor is a valuable connection and resource. If your service member would like to learn more about the sponsorship program, they can take the Sponsorship and You: Sponsorship Awareness course. The course is free and available 24/7 through MilLife Learning.