Col. Dave Hall
In this week's Commander's Corner, USAG-Yongsan Commander Col. Dave Hall talks about the importance of being a good sponsor.

First impressions count. For new Soldiers, Civilian Employees and their Family Members, the difference between a good move and a bad one may come down to information.

If you have the privilege and opportunity to be a sponsor, you have a heavy responsibility, but it can be a rewarding as well. Being a sponsor means that you will be the first impression for our future community members.

You need to be able to tell our inbound community members what to expect on a tour of duty in the Republic of Korea.

Korea is a great assignment for both military and civilians. This is the message you <i>must</i> get out. Moreover, an assignment to USAG-Yongsan is unquestionably the best option for serving in Korea, and I say this not just because I'm the Garrison Commander.

USAG-Yongsan has a lot of distinctions to herald. We just won $750,000 for our <a href="http://www.army.mil/-news/2008/05/08/9051-yongsan-claims-750k-acoe-prize/">third place victory</a> in the Army Communities of Excellence competition. That's third out of 179 Army installations worldwide. We also won $75,000 for an <a href="http://www.army.mil/-news/2008/06/27/10425-usag-yongsan-wins-antiterrorism-award-for-gate-renovations/">antiterrorism renovation project</a>. Our Child Development Center received a <a href="http://yongsan.korea.army.mil/sites/news/2008/0118/process.html">highly coveted accreditation</a>. We have a vibrant community with excellent good neighbor relations with our Korean allies. The list goes on.

This is the kind of information you need to share as a sponsor. You must set our newcomers up for success. But don't worry; we're not going to leave you without the resources to accomplish this important sponsorship mission.

We provide you with all the necessary tools to be a good sponsor. On the <a href="http://yongsan.korea.army.mil">USAG-Yongsan web site</a>, you will find a welcome guide with information about Korea, the Garrison, housing, ration cards, spouse networks and pets. There are many links you can send to inbound personnel.

Next week, July 25, look for the special "Morning Calm" Welcome Guide newspaper. You'll find that this is publication full of great information for newcomers. This edition of the newspaper, along with a welcome packet that you can pick up at Army Community Service, is a perfect combination to mail out to the person you are sponsoring.

Another tidbit of information you can pass along is a link to some welcome videos produced by the <a href="http://imcom.korea.army.mil/">Installation Management Command-Korea</a> that are posted to You Tube. You'll find videos posted for both inbound <a href="http://www.youtube.com/imcomkorearegion">Soldiers and Civilian Employees</a>. This is a super resource.

For inbound spouses, there is a wealth of information at the <a href="http://www.afsckorea.org">American Forces' Spouses' Club homepage</a>. Visitors can download the latest version of "<a href="http://www.afsckorea.org/news/seoul_survivor_2008_2009_final.pdf">The Seoul Survivor</a>." This book is the ultimate guide for family life at USAG-Yongsan.

Great sponsorship is the key to a smooth move, not only here at USAG-Yongsan, but anywhere in the Army. It applies to both Soldiers and Civilians. You cannot share "too much" information. Send a physical welcome packet. Share our USAG-Yongsan web site and all of our links. Communicate regularly through e-mail. Even set up a telephone call to talk to your newcomer and answer questions.

Bottom line: This is how you would want to be treated before arriving at your new duty station. <i>Take this mission seriously!</i>

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16