Just Married: What you need to know about command sponsorship

Marriage CertificateHave you recently gotten married? Are you scheduled to PCS soon? Do you want to get paid more? If you answered “yes” to all three then you should become familiar with command sponsorship.

Hello Schweinfurt, my name is Deborah Lawson and I am the Director of Human Resources. This means that part of my duties include helping Soldiers with diverse problems especially as the garrison assists in the transitioning of Soldiers to prepare for base closure. Over the past several months, one issue that keeps popping up is command sponsorship.

Our Army asks so much of our families. They serve side-by-side our Soldiers, face their hardships and provide the love and support that truly make our Army strong. Command sponsorship is the Army’s way of strengthening families. This can be tricky, but not unmanageable. If you have the right resources and tools, you should be able to breeze through the process without any unexpected hiccups.  My goal is to assist you now, so you don’t run into problems later.

For a spouse to even be considered for command sponsorship, the Soldier must meet several requirements. This includes the Solder being on orders for a 36 month tour. If you meet all the requirements the whole process, if submitted correctly, should only take at the most 30 days.

Soldiers should get to know the requirements to obtain command sponsorship by becoming well acquainted with their battalion’s personnel office, also known as the battalion S1. After you – they areSoldier and Wife your biggest asset to ensure success.

Just as a little advice, Soldiers who have recently married and are trying to PCS without an understanding of command sponsorship can delay receiving their PCS orders and may have to pay for overseas travel expenses out of their own pocket.

Rest assured that many people before you have successfully gone through the command sponsorship process here in Germany. Take this opportunity to learn from their mistakes. Here are a couple things to keep in mind:

  1. If you are a Soldier who recently married and brought his or her spouse over without being command sponsored, there are several questions that you need to address. Some of these questions include whether or not your spouse was born in a non-NATO country, and whether the spouse has the proper Visa to live in Germany under the SOFA agreement. The Relocation Readiness specialist at ACS has all the information you need about acquiring a Visa for your spouse.
  2. Another issue I am aware of occurs when spouses have difficulty obtaining an EFMP screening because they don’t live near a military installation. Spouses can contact the nearest military installation and ask for doctors in their area that can provide this service. They should also research the process thoroughly and have a plan in place before making any travel arrangements.
  3. Soldiers should also know that being approved for deferred travel doesn’t automatically mean that the Soldier’s family members are command sponsored. Make sure that your current duty station’s MPD has all your command sponsorship information in the system and that it is correct prior to moving overseas. You can contact USAG Schweinfurt’s military personnel division (MPD) to understand the requirements and stipulations needed to live in an overseas country.

If you are a little overwhelmed or have more questions feel free to come in to building 40 where we can assist you with your issues. Schedule an appointment by calling DSN 353-8805, CIV 09721-96-8805 or visit the USAG Schweinfurt Command Sponsorship and Family Travel Information page to find additional information.

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