If you have been in or around the military as long as I have, there are some things you remember fondly and others that weren’t so great. One of the best things our family encountered was our “sponsor.” The member of your unit who started sending you information about your new assignment before you arrived. The sponsor was assigned to help make the transition from one installation to another as smooth as possible.
Back in the day the sponsor loaded up packets of information and mailed them off to you. There were maps, directions to various locations on the installation, local lore, things to do and what ever else was available. Gaining the knowledge of their experience before you arrived was invaluable.
Today much of what a new arrival is looking for can be found on line. The “sponsors” have faded away and been replaced by friends who may already be stationed in the area or Realtors® who know the area installation themselves. No matter what you find on-line the personal connection and knowledge still say more than a cut and dried outline you find in the in-processing handbook.
Knowing what you should consider before you arrive, learning more about what is available both on and off the installation and hearing real world experiences are important. Had our sponsors not told us about how easy it was to bring our pets to Okinawa or to leave our electronics at home when we went to Germany we might have given up our family pets or destroyed our stereo as soon as turned it on.
We were then able to take our personal experiences and pass them on to the next group of incoming personnel at every stop we made. That is the great part about blogging, passing along those experiences to anyone who finds themselves with orders to the area. Sure I can send you to list of canned links about the installation or I can tell you a story now and then about what it’s like to stand in line for your ID card, or walk the trails or play a round of golf to me that is what being a sponsor is all about.
If you are relocating to Fort Belvoir, Quantico, Fort Meyers, the Pentagon or any of the Military District of Washington I’d be glad to be your sponsor. I may not know what is happening when you get to your desk but I can give you more than just a list of links to help you make the transition.
My online relocation guides: