Being a better sponsor

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Larissa Greatwood
  • 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Imagine arriving in a foreign country for the first time to start the next leg of your military career. Not only is the long flight exhausting, but carrying multiple bags, maybe children and pets and trying to figure out the next step can become extremely stressful.

Once situated in a dorm room or temporary living facility, what is the next step? These circumstances and many that arise before arrival can become much easier to handle with the help of a sponsor.

During a tour at Ramstein, many Airmen may have the opportunity to assist newcomers to their unit. It’s important to set them up for success so their transition is as smooth as possible. The Airman and Family Readiness Center provides a sponsorship training class once a month to teach potential sponsors the importance of taking care of their own.

“The purpose of the sponsorship training is to provide newly appointed sponsors a guide to assist new arriving personnel in [the Kaiserslautern Military Community],” said Roderick Dailey, 86th Force Support Squadron Airman and Family Readiness Center community readiness specialist. “It’s important to train sponsors to become great sponsors to ensure they are able to help make transitions as seamless as possible.

“I hope the sponsors who attend this class create and maintain a tradition of being a great sponsor so when the newcomers become sponsors, they remember how positive their experience was and they provide the same or better experience for others,” he continued.

The class provides attendees with a checklist of items to take care of before a new member arrives as well as the sponsor’s duties once they’re officially on station. During the class, potential sponsors learn how to answer most if not all questions a new member may have when coming to the KMC.

“Taking the class, I learned about what my sponsor could have done for me when I first got here,” said Staff Sgt. Amanda Iarossi, 86th Medical Squadron MRI technologist. “I think the training is super beneficial and will help me become a good sponsor. [The training] organizes everything and gives us the tools to assist [the newcomer] in a more straight forward way.”

Iarossi said the training as well as her experience of arriving to Germany will help her become a helpful and effective sponsor.

“It is extremely overwhelming when first arriving here,” she said. “Especially having a family, it was hard to balance in and out-processing, work and taking care of my family. My sponsors were pretty good about helping me, but things can always be better. I want to make sure I take care of them as best as I can.”

To sign up for sponsorship training, contact the AFRC at DSN 480-5900 or commercially at 016371-47-5900.