JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO, FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas — Military members and their families needing passports and visas will see few changes at the Fort Belvoir, Virginia, passport office, despite an administrative move Oct. 1.
Management of the Passport Services Division at Fort Belvoir officially passed from the Army Headquarters Services within the Office of the Administrative Assistant to the Secretary of the Army, U.S. Army Headquarters Services, Directorate of Executive Travel, to one of Army Materiel Command’s major subordinate commands, U.S. Army Installation Management Command.
None of the passport office’s 31 civilian employees were relocated from Fort Belvoir to JBSA, said Angela Johnston, chief, Passport Services Division.
Army officials decided the office should remain at Fort Belvoir because of its proximity to Washington, D.C., where numerous military members require passports and visas for official travel. The office has a fleet of three vehicles that can deliver items to U.S. embassies and other federal buildings in the area.
In the first three quarters of fiscal year 2019, the Passport Services Division issued 137,344 passports and 25,534 visas for active-duty military and family members. The office also has been affected by the challenges of operating during the coronavirus pandemic and handling the summer surge of military members and families moving worldwide.
The transfer from HQDA to IMCOM is part of the Army’s modernization and cost-effectiveness efforts.
In 2019, then-Army Secretary Mark Esper ordered an examination of the Passport Services Division and other Army operations to determine the most suitable placement for command and control in an effort to reduce the size of HQDA. The intent is to place authorities, responsibilities and resources at the lowest level of command competent and capable of managing them.
AMC, a four-star command, assumed control of the Passport Services Division and designated IMCOM to oversee the division’s resources and personnel. The move synchronizes passport services functions with similar logistical and installation support activities under AMC in support of Army priorities.
Although the office’s mission remains unchanged, the transfer required about a year’s worth of coordination and administrative changes.
For information on DOD passports, visit https://passportmatters.army.mil/.