Army Expands Command Sponsorship Program

Army Expands Command Sponsorship Program

Photo by: U.S. Army

Carrying through with a promise made earlier this year, the Total Army Sponsorship Program is expanding for relocating soldiers, civilians and accompanying families.

Under the new rules, the receiving unit must assign sponsors to assist enlisted soldiers who are E-6 and below, those who are chief warrant officer 2 and below, and officers who are O-3 and below. First-term soldiers are required to accept a command sponsor, but other soldiers may decline if they wish.

In a Family Readiness Initiatives Forum held at the Association of the U.S. Army in February, then-Army Secretary Mark Esper said a review of difficulties facing soldiers and families during permanent change-of-station moves led to a decision that every first-term soldier should have a sponsor at their new duty station.

The new policy makes the receiving commander responsible for the sponsorship and requires each command to have standard operating procedures to determine how sponsors are picked and what help they are expected to provide.

The change was made by revising Army Regulation 600-8-8, which spells out what services should be provided by a sponsor. This includes providing help with medical, housing, childcare, vehicle registration and other needs.