Sponsorship Program supports Airmen

  • Published
  • By Marisa Alia-Novobilski
  • Air Force Materiel Command

The Air Force Materiel Command is revitalizing its expanded command sponsorship program to better support the transition of both uniformed and civilian Airmen into organizational units.

Sponsorship plays a key role in newcomer acculturation and has positive impacts on mission.

“Effectively onboarding new team members is a priority in Air Force Materiel Command. Sponsorship serves as a vital commander’s program by creating a link between personal/family resilience and the organization,” said Gen. Duke Z. Richardson, AFMC Commander, in a recent memo to the team.

All uniformed servicemembers are provided a unit sponsor during a permanent change of duty station. AFMC’s sponsorship policy also includes all civilian new employees to the organization, whether they are accepting their first civil service assignment or are transitioning from another unit.

“This approach ensures each civilian going through a job transition will receive support. Whether they are brand new to the Air Force or moving down the hall, each civilian will have a friendly face to help them settle in their new position and the organization as they get started,” said Lindsay McNeely, AFMC Human Resources Specialist. “AFMC has the largest civilian workforce in the Department of the Air Force. It’s important we take the time to help them transition smoothly so they can effectively execute our missions.”

The role of a civilian unit sponsor will be assigned on a volunteer basis, and if there are no volunteers available, the sponsorship role will default to the civilian’s supervisor. Sponsors will be provided with an AFMC Sponsorship Checklist, which identifies areas of support that a sponsor might be asked to provide such as identifying local and community resources; assisting with directions and other information prior to the newcomer’s first day of work; meeting the new employee on their first duty day; and other items as needed. The specific support civilian sponsors will provide depends on the needs of the new employee.

Uniformed servicemember sponsorship will continue to follow Air Force guidance, with sponsor assignments remaining the responsibility of the unit commander. For servicemembers, sponsorship support extends to their authorized dependents and beyond the workplace, ensuring military members and their families are settled in the new area following a change of duty station.

AFMC human resources teams will monitor the success of the civilian sponsorship program through an assessment provided to all command newcomers 30-days after duty begins. Based on the responses, processes and checklists may be refined to improve the program and resources.

The uniformed member sponsorship program is monitored by the DAF Sponsorship Survey provided to all military members during Newcomer Orientation.

“Line of Effort #2 in the AFMC Strategic Plan is ‘Strengthen Our Team.’ The revitalization of our sponsorship program directly ties into this LOE. This process supports our new employees through job transition, helps build unit resilience, and enables them to be effective faster in their new positions,” said Jeffrey Nelson, AFMC Military and Family Readiness Chief.

For more information on sponsorship, see DAFI-36-3009. Additional resources are available at Military OneSource.

The AFMC Civilian Sponsorship Checklist is available at Sponsorship Checklist. Internal AFMC audiences can view the policy memo at AFMC Sponsorship Policy Memorandum_CC Signed.pdf.