VICENZA. Italy -- United States Army Garrison Italy conducted the second Total Army Sponsorship Program Rodeo April 13 at the gym on Caserma Del Din.

The event, an Installation Management Command-Europe initiative, is designed to help Soldiers, civilians and family members learn more about sponsorship resources from their garrison agencies.
"Based on last year's experience, the event was planned for 600 attendees," said Jeanette Mitchell, installation sponsorship liaison. "This year, there were 450 after less than three hours."

Sixteen organizations provided information to let community members know how strongly the USAG Italy Command Team feels about good sponsorship. The lot included primary agencies such as the Directorate of Human Resources/Inprocessing, Army Community Service, Housing, First Sergeant Barracks Program, Medical Command, Airport Liaison, and Finance -- all available to visitors after an initial presentation at the U.S. Army Europe TASP booth.

In addition to the mandatory booths, there were also some optional booths, such as Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers, Army Substance Abuse Prevention, Civilian Personnel Advisory Center, Child and Youth Services Employment Readiness, and Spouse Sponsorship representation. Also, participants had the chance to see some outside agencies including the Education Center, Religious Services Office, and Outdoor Recreation.

At this year's TASP, one of the ACS briefers was Steve Mendiola, USAG Italy Army Emergency Relief officer.

"I truly believe that it was an eye-opener for some who have been here for some time, and this time took the time to hear, listen and understand what we are doing here at ACS," he said.

"ACS involvement was a pleasure -- to be able to give firsthand (information) to all of the assigned service members about all of our services."

After opening remarks by Garrison Commander Col. Steve Marks, attendees received a 15-minute presentation at each station, getting the TASP Passport stamped at each. Before completing their visit, Soldiers had to return the passport to the outprocessing booth.

"It was really helpful and a great experience to help incoming members to our community," said
Kim Shumpert, DHR Central Processing Facility, who helped at the outprocessing booth. "Soldiers visited mandatory booths, but if they (wanted) additional information, there were the optional booths."

Jenise Jestler, University of Maryland, also thought that the event was supportive.
"It's a great opportunity for the whole community -- for Soldiers, but also for their families, to find out what it is offered. People are always busy, and when you are new, you don't know where to start. This is a way to move forward," she said.