KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany -- Taking care of inbound Soldiers, civilian employees and their families throughout their relocation process can expedite their move and make a favorable impression when they travel to Germany. That's why U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz hosts its fifth annual Total Army Sponsorship Program Rodeo to give leaders and sponsors the tools they need to simplify newcomer transitions.

TASP Rodeo takes place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., March 22, at Armstrong's Club in Vogelweh Housing with registration from 8 to 8:45 a.m. The event is designed to promote U.S. Army in Europe's sponsorship programs by informing leaders of their responsibilities by provided the resources and tools necessary to create and maintain an effective sponsorship program within their units, said Debbie Galimore, Installation Sponsorship liaison and In-processing Training Center coordinator.

"TASP is a commander's program, and commanders are responsible for the program's implementation, leadership involvement and its success," Galimore explained. "This program is critical to Soldiers, civilian employees and family members to ensure they receive the services required to facilitate a seamless transition into and out of commands and installations."

The Total Army Sponsorship Program is accessible in Army Career Tracker Sponsorship Module to assist Soldiers during the transition to their new assignment. Commanders have the ability to guarantee the successful assignment of individual sponsors through the streamlined Sponsorship process found only in ACT. TASP ensures that incoming Soldiers are assigned Sponsors prior to reporting to their new installations. Obtaining a Sponsor reduces the stress of reporting to a new unit, enhancing resiliency and improving readiness among Soldiers and family members.

Typically, sponsors are assigned in a grade equal to or higher than the incoming Soldier or civilian employee. When feasible, sponsors should match newcomers' gender, marital status and military career field or occupational series as well. Effective sponsorship contributes to unit and individual resiliency, readiness, cohesion and esprit de corps. It also contributes to a stronger team, Soldier, civilian and family.

"Sponsorship is bridge to a successful integration into the community," Galimore said. "Since sponsors are the first impression of a new assignment, their support and assistance can make or break the relocation process for an incoming Soldier or civilian employee."

Communication -- early and often -- is the key to helping newcomers, said USAG RP Command Sgt. Maj. Brett Waterhouse.

"Communication between the sponsor and the inbound Soldier or civilian employee should start at least 180 days or upon receipt of assignment instructions prior to arrival," the CSM advised. "Sponsors should reach out to their inbound individuals to find out what their specific needs are and provide assistance whenever possible. Active communication will help newcomers and their families learn about their new community, while making transitions smoother and more predictable. This is especially important for Soldiers, civilian employees and family members who have never been to Germany and/or this is their first duty assignment."

The event features 14 booths from various agencies that will provide information and support. Passports will be given to attendees to be stamped after receiving training at each booth. After the event, passports will be given back to commanders and unit sponsorship coordinators to track attendance and training.

Agencies that will be represented at the TASP Rodeo include: Garrison Sponsorship, Community Reception, Unit Sponsorship, Civilian Personnel Advisory Center, Ramstein Gateway Reception Center, Child, Youth and School Services, School Liaison Officer, Army Community Service Sponsorship Training and Resources, Spouse Sponsorship, Regional Health Command-Europe, Housing, Community In-Processing and TRICARE. Representatives from these agencies will share vital information and resources with sponsors in an effort to improve their knowledge of community resources and make their sponsorship programs more effective.

New to the sponsorship rodeo is a USAG RP Leadership Executive Briefing that takes place from 8:30 to 9 a.m. The briefing will provide leaders with the importance of a successful sponsorship program within their units.

"We encourage leaders and sponsors to gather as many resources as possible at the TASP Rodeo to assist our newcomers' transition to Germany," said USAG RP Commander Col. Jason T. Edwards.

"Although it's a commander's program, the heavy lifting is performed by unit sponsors who have the enormous task of delivering accurate and timely information to their inbound personnel. The rodeo provides sponsors with training, resources and information to ease the transition process and give our newcomers peace of mind when they arrive. We are also looking at options on our USAG RP website to better inform and align expectations for an assignment here."

The event is free and open to all military and civilian leaders, unit sponsorship program managers and coordinators and Family Readiness Group leaders from Kaiserslautern and Baumholder communities.

For more information, contact Galimore at DSN 541-1011 or civilian at 0611 143 541-1011 or Sean Osborne at DSN 531-2404 or civilian at 0611-143-531-2404.