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United States Army
ACS Relocation Readiness Program
Zama-shi, Kanagawa Ken Japan 228-8920
Moving is a way of life for service members and their families. Resources like MilitaryINSTALLATIONS, Plan My Move and Military OneSource provide important information to help make moving easier. But, for many newcomers, a sponsor adds that personal touch. A sponsor is assigned by a newcomer's gaining unit and helps the newcomer before, during and after a move. If you haven't been assigned a sponsor, you can request a sponsor through your new unit. Units try to match sponsors and service members by rank and family status. We also recognize that the service member isn’t the only one affected by a move, so spouses can also receive training to become a sponsor.
To help prepare sponsors for success, the Sponsorship Program provides training and access to important information and resources. The Sponsorship Program helps sponsors fulfill their duties including:
· Contacting the service member and family with an introductory email
· Staying in contact with the service member throughout the moving process
· Sending information about the new community and duty assignment, responding to questions and providing information about resources
· Confirming transportation and lodging arrangements
· Helping with post office arrangements
· Meeting service members and family members upon arrival
· Going with service members to unit check-in point
· Introducing service members to the Military and Family Support Center and loan closet, if it’s available
· Familiarizing service members and families with the installation and key locations, like the commissary
Note: Responsibilities may vary based on service-specific policies and guidance.
Overall, the Sponsorship Program aims to do the following:
· Provide newcomers with a sense of belonging
· Ease the transition for inbound service members or civilians and their family members
· Increase productivity of service members and loved ones
· Help newcomers make informed decisions
· Cultivate new friendships
· Improve morale
For more information on the Sponsorship Program, contact your installation’s Relocation Assistance Program office or, in the Marine Corps, the Information and Referral office.
Installation youth sponsorship programs facilitate the integration of military connected youth to new surroundings during moves. Primarily directed to preteen and teenaged youth, installation youth programs give youth information and materials on programs and services available at their new location. Where available, youth can exchange emails, talk on the phone or chat online with other youth. The youth program staff at your new installation can offer more information on the youth sponsorship program. Families with children may also want to visit Military Kids Connect, an online community for military children and youth. The site offers games, videos and links to teen-led installation tours.
Incoming soldiers and civilians should request a sponsor by submitting a completed DA Form 5434, Sponsorship Program Counseling and Information Sheet. A sponsor will be assigned within 10 working days upon receipt of the DA Form 5434. For more information, see the Major Unit Listings.
Most newcomers will arrive at Narita Airport, Haneda Airport or at Yokota Air Force Base. Usually, the sponsor or another representative of the unit will meet the newcomers at the airport, escort them to the base, arrange for lodging and assist them through the in-processing stage. During COVID-19 safety postures, be sure to follow the guidance received from your sponsor.
A P.O. box can be assigned once PCS orders are received so that newcomers can start forwarding their mail. Please contact your sponsor for assistance setting up a P.O. box.
Army Community Service offers Japan-specific sponsorship training monthly to all individuals who are assigned as sponsors. This training provides valuable information to sponsors so that they can best facilitate a smooth move for incoming personnel. Additionally, all attendees to the Japanese-specific sponsorship training receive a sponsorship card that can be exchanged for a free round-trip ticket on the MWR Narita shuttle bus for the purpose of meeting incoming personnel.