Correct form leads to sponsorship, success in the States
December 26, 2013
SCHWEINFURT, Germany (Dec. 26, 2013) -- With fewer than 800 Soldiers remaining in Schweinfurt, the scramble to translate birth certificates, renew passports and apply for visas has been met with new vigor as the garrison moves steadily toward closure in September 2014. Among the shortlist of things to do for the military personnel division is helping Soldiers find a sponsor.
The military personnel division, or MPD, provides services to Soldiers and their dependents upon their arrival or departure from an installation. Greg Bleiler, who is the garrison's military personnel division chief, said the first thing to do upon receiving orders to a unit in the U.S. is to apply for sponsorship.
The U.S. Army sponsorship program helps Soldiers and their families adjust to their new home by providing a sponsor to help with the transition. Some of the sponsor's duties include confirming transportation and lodging arrangements, meeting the Soldier and the Soldier's family upon arrival and assisting with in-processing.
A sponsor's mission is to make a Soldier's move as smooth as possible. But it's not automatic. Soldiers in need of a sponsor must first complete the DA Form 5434. They then must email the completed form to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hand written or typed PDF copies are no longer accepted. Soldiers filling out the sponsorship form must use the digital DA Form 5434, which will correctly connect the Soldier with a sponsor and ultimately set him or her up for success, said Bleiler.
"Coming to Germany was easy because of EASI-GATE," said Bleiler.
EASI-GATE is a component of the sponsorship program in Europe. The EASI-GATE website provides Soldiers with real-time information such as gaining-unit data, family travel decisions and other important data concerning their new assignment to Europe.
"When Soldiers arrive at Ramstein or Frankfurt, they are provided with transportation all the way to their new communities. Then they meet with their sponsor and get taken care of," Bleiler said.
But PCS-ing to the States is not like that. There are differences, said Bleiler.
"The sooner [a Schweinfurt MPD official] gets the DA Form 5434, the sooner he can contact his counterparts in the States so they can begin the process of finding a sponsor for the departing Schweinfurt Soldiers."
Bleiler also suggests taking adequate time to fill out the form correctly. He pointed out that incomplete forms or inaccurate information is often responsible for delays in the process.
Soldiers or family members in need of assistance should make an appointment at Bldg. 40 at Conn Barracks. Visit or call the Customer Service Desk at DSN 353-8805, CIV 09721-96-8805.