Local

March 24, 2012

Sponsors: critical lifeline to newcomers

1st Lt. Ken Lustig
U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Senior Airman Jack Sanders
The Airman and Family Readiness Center offers a variety of handouts and information sources to help sponsors build sponsor packages for newcomers. A sponsor's job is to make a move as easy for newcomers as possible.

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. – Whether it is  the first move or just the latest of many, a move to a new base can be one of the most stressful parts of a military career, full of uncertainties affecting every aspect of life. That’s where unit sponsors come in.

The unit sponsor’s job is to assist newcomers with their move, serving as a direct representative of the unit, the installation, the local community and the commander. Sponsors provide a “bridge of information” to the new assignment so that newcomers have their needs met, transition smoothly and settle in quickly.

Unit commanders are responsible for assigning unit newcomers a formally-appointed and trained sponsor. Kris Heick, relocations subject matter expert at the Nellis Airman and Family Readiness Center, said a sponsor is crucial no matter the newcomer’s history.

“Each move, regardless of a person’s rank or family circumstance, has a different dynamic,” Heick said. “Even if you’ve moved several times, there’s always at least a little ‘tweak’ based on the location that makes it different.”

The sponsor’s job is to make the move as easy for the newcomer as possible. Sponsors’ responsibilities include supplying information on the local area, assisting with transportation and lodging arrangements (including daycare and pet care arrangements if needed), greeting them on arrival, showing them around the base and local area, and helping with settling in and in-processing the base.

The DoD has established a single point for sponsorship training, the eSponsorship Application Training program, or eSAT. Not only does eSAT provide clear instruction on the sponsor’s role and responsibilities, it also has many tools to simplify getting information to the newcomer.

According to eSAT, two-way communication is the most important part of being a sponsor.

Sponsors should begin working with the newcomer within five days of being assigned, then continue regular contact until the newcomer and any family members with them are settled.

This communication is essential to the newcomer’s resilience and adaptation. A poorly-sponsored newcomer arrives unprepared, frustrated by misinformation, may incur increased debt, and ultimately suffers needlessly. This has direct mission impact.

The Airman and Family Readiness Center is the focal point for sponsors to locate resources, offering everything from base guides and school data to information about special needs support and financial assistance. However, Heick said it is critical for sponsors to talk to their newcomer first about what they’ll need.

“Sometimes we have people come in asking for sponsor information and I’ve asked them to tell me about their newcomer, and their answer is something like, ‘well, he’s a Tech Sergeant,’” she said. “To me, this is a sponsor who hasn’t asked enough questions.”

Many factors, from career experience to family status, affect the newcomer’s interests and concerns. For this reason, the sponsor the unit assigns should have the same marriage status and career experience.

More information on sponsorship is available through the Airman and Family Readiness Center, at 702-652-3327 (Nellis) or 702-404-0864/0865/0867(Creech), including information on how to contact or request a sponsor. Sponsors can obtain comprehensive training and certification through the eSAT website, http://apps.mhf.dod.mil/esat.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Charles Larkin Sr.

First sergeant provides health, welfare for warriors

U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Charles Larkin Sr. Master Sgt. Phelipe Salinas speaks to his athletes during the 2014 Warrior Games at the Garry Berry Stadium in Colorado Springs, Colo., Oct. 2. Salinas is the first sergean...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photograph by Airman 1st Class Rachel Loftis

Armory: A home for weapons

U.S. Air Force photograph by Airman 1st Class Rachel Loftis Senior Airman Jaime Romo, 99th Security Forces Squadron armorer, puts a M-240 rifle away after clearing the weapon at the 99th SFS armory at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev...
 
 
DT2

57th MXG locked, loaded

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Siuta B. Ika Airman 1st Class Maurice Isom, 757th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Strike Aircraft Maintenance Unit weapons loader, tightens the connection between an inert missile and an aircraf...
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Stan Parker

Nellis Open House returns Nov. 8-9

U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Stan Parker The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds perform the Diamond Clover-Loop Opener to kick off their performance during the final day of the Artic Thunder air show at Joint Base Elmendorf-Ric...
 
 
New-pg3-photo

Nellis AFB hosts Simon Sinek

Simon Sinek, an internationally renowned speaker and author, uses a metal detector to locate a mine set up by Explosive Ordinance Disposal Airmen at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Oct. 1. Sinek’s visit also included interaction...
 
 
DT2

From Airmen to Rangers: RAC first step to coveted Ranger tab

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas Spangler Ranger Assessment Course students wait for their turn to complete the water survival portion of the course at the Municipal Pool, Las Vegas, Oct. 2. Airmen from any Air F...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin