Command Sponsorship

Disclaimer: Please be sure to go through the proper channels when creating a Command Sponsorship Packet. This page is only meant to act as a guide and is for educational purposes only.

Eighth Army Korea Command Sponsorship

Command Sponsorship (CS) is for service members and DoD Employees, we will call them sponsors from here on out, who wish to bring their families with them to an overseas assignment. Sponsors must complete a packet that will be sent to the overseas gaining unit. There, the commanders will either approve or deny the packet within 72 hours. If a sponsor does bring their family to Korea, whether they are Command Sponsored or Non-Command sponsored, their assignment in Korea will last 2 years instead of 1.

Villa

Lots of Beautiful Homes Offbase. There are not many single family homes. This is a 3 floor villa with one family living on each floor with community roof access.

If a CS packet is denied, don’t give up. Ask why then see if there is any way to resubmit the packet. Usually, it is EFMP paperwork that hasn’t been updated or a miscommunication with the actual needs of an EFMP family member v. suggested needs given by a doctor. Be sure that everything in an EFMP file is updated and accurate based upon the needs of the family members.

Go to the 8th Army CSP Facebook page to get the most up to date graphic of CSP openings in Korea.

In 2007, we were all packed and ready to go to England. Can you believe it? The land of green hills and Doctor Who! I was devastated when we received a denial of our Command Sponsorship Packet because of my EFMP status. At the time, I was managing my Fibromyalgia through exercise and motrin but my doctor wanted to be sure that I had everything I may need while in Europe. So, he wrote down trigger point injections, weekly chiropractor visits, physical therapy, narcotics etc. The list was a mile long of treatments I didn’t need but I thought I was filling out my EFMP correctly and I ended up scaring the bejesus out of our gaining unit and getting our family denied 3 years in the England countryside.

Be honest, truthful and reasonable with an EFMP packet. Don’t lie, put down only the treatments you are currently using, don’t fluff it up. Korea has wonderful healthcare but the Camp Humphreys hospital is years away from completion and getting care offpost can be difficult with the language barrier.

There are also other options to coming to South Korea if a family is willing to pay for the move out of their own pocket. NonCommand Sponsored (NCS) families have less benefits than CS families but coming here is still an option.

All families coming to South Korea must be aware of their benefits. Please google the following matrix when making command sponsorship decisions.

Google:  Camp Humphreys Command Sponsorship versus non-command sponsorship matrix

CSvNCS

I can’t provide the actual documentation because of how quickly things change in Humphreys. Be sure to google the matrix yourself, it’s about 6+ pages long.

Why was a Command Sponsorship Packet Denied?

Base Closures
No room for new families as the base shuts down or is handed over to the ROK. This is true for most US bases near the DMZ, such as Camp Casey. US Forces are consolidating it’s troops to Osan and Humphreys and giving more land back to the ROK near the DMZ and Seoul.
EFMP
Medical facilities are not able to provide the specialized care dependents may need. There are limited specialists in all fields, including speech therapy and prenatal care.
Available Billets
A commander has a limited number of command sponsorship slots and may not have room for a new family in their company. Go to the 8th Army CSP Facebook Page to see what slots are currently available.
Good Conduct
It is important to not have any marital disputes or police records while having served in the military to improve the chances of being approved.

There are many nuances to the command sponsorship approval process and many more reasons, than those listed, for why a family may be denied. One of the biggest mistakes that people make when they try to receive a Concurrent Travel Command Sponsorship is waiting too long to get started. As soon the service member sees that they are on assignment for South Korea it is imperative to get to a Levy Brief and start the Command Sponsorship process right away. I have seen soldiers try to fight their new assignment and wait until the last minute to start their packet. They end up only being successful in making their families travel later to catch up with them.

Fun Fact: Jumping up and down in an elevator can cause it to come to an emergency stop and get stuck. I called the onbase number and my realtor called 119. Two firetrucks showed up; one after fifteen minutes, the other after thirty minutes. I’ll never know whose phone call worked fastest but it’s something to think about when living offpost.

How to Complete a EFMP Packet

Start Early!
Don’t wait until a month away from PCSing to begin the packet. Families will find themselves applying too late to receive concurrent travel orders and risk shipping household goods over and paying for any extra weight above 25% (the allowed weight for single soldiers) if the CS packet is denied. Start as soon as the assignment shows up in the ERB, preferably 6 months out. Each prospective unit will have a list of documents needed to complete a CS packet. The 501st MI BDE in Yongsan spells out exactly what a service member needs to do to complete a packet. Eight Army Korea also provides a list of documents for soldiers applying in the states and for those who are already here.

Order Medical Records ASAP
I was lucky enough to enjoy offpost medical care with John Hopkins Family Health in Maryland. But when it came to getting my command sponsorship, I had to have medical records for the whole family ordered ahead of time. Luckily Hopkins was really fast and professional but I wouldn’t have been surprised if I had to wait a full month.

Make Medical Appointments with Doctors and Begin EFMP Paperwork Right Away
I had Michelle Tornabene with EFMP at Ft Meade and she made the process simple and straight forward with detailed emails and quick response times. She was a rock star and I hope everyone has as great an experience with EFMP as I did. Appointments can be hard to come by, so make them as soon as possible and be sure to keep them.

Don’t lie on Medical Paperwork

IMG_2784

Offpost Emergency Contact. Be sure to get these phone numbers as soon as possible. This magnet was still good as of July, 2016.

It may be tempting to say that a child doesn’t actually need speech therapy or that a heart condition isn’t really a big deal. Even though South Korea is a technologically advanced country with amazing medical care, everyone here mostly speaks Korean. There are a few English speakers outside of base, like the realtors, but on a whole many people won’t understand you, including emergency personnel. That means there are only enough billets for certain medical conditions as Humphreys has trained medical personnel for. For English speaking families living offpost calling the local 119 for emergency care isn’t a viable option, operators often speak only Korean. Families must call Camp Humphreys for an English operator to translate for emergency services. Be realistic in the needs of yourself and your family.

Get a titre for Adult dependents and make an appointment for Vaccinations

My EFMP coordinator was on the ball. After I finished my EFMP packet she made appointments for me to get my MMR and other antibodies checked and to have vaccinations done for the family. Service Members are separate for medical outprocessing so families need to be sure they have everything they need before leaving for South Korea. Some vaccinations, like Japanese Encephalitis, are more difficult to get on the peninsula than in the states.

My family received; Japanese Encephalitis, Typhoid and Hepatitis A. My youngest was really unhappy with all the shots. He screamed at the top of his lungs for fifteen minutes and after the shots were done he stopped right away and asked “Is that it?” Thankfully my oldest was more brave and he came out like a champ. It will take two visits, a month apart, to complete the Japanese Encephalitis.

IMG_0865

Honey Badger Don’t Care!

After Submitting paperwork at any level, keep checking back

This is true for anything in the bureaucratic snarl that is the backbone of the Army. After submitting the CS packet to South Korea, check back in a week. If there is no response after 3 business days, it’s possible that the packet is missing a document and is stuck on someone’s desk or there was a Korean holiday. Be polite, kind and patient when checking up on the CS packet.

It took a little over a month to put our packet together which included waiting for paperwork and getting appointments. It took another 2 weeks for our packet to be reviewed and approved in South Korea. South Korea is required to respond within 72 hours but we checked back in a week to find that there was a form missing in our packet. They don’t call to tell you if there is anything missing so make sure you check up on it!

 

~Sig

See anything I need to fix? Am I missing something? Email me at SigFlipsTheTable@gmail.com or leave a comment.

Updated August 6, 2017 – Added 8th Army CSP Facebook Page

Updated: July 24, 2016 – Typos, wording

2 comments

    • Linda on August 28, 2016 at 11:01 am
    • Reply

    Hi,
    Thank you for the great info.
    What EFMP service is avaliable in camp humphreys? Will I still be able to receive command sponsor if I need couseling for anxiety and depression?

    1. The Camp Humphreys clinic is limited in the services it can provide. Certain specialties (like OB/GYN) aren’t always availablre and there are limits to what medications are available at the pharmacy. When I went in for a refill of a namebrand drug that no generic existed for yet, the doctor and I had to fill out a form explaining why I must use this certain medication and why other treatments were ineffectual. We were able to convince the higher ups to special order it but they could have just as easily as denied it and made me go through all of my previous trials and tribulations with IBS.

      There is an EFMP office on base Click Here for their page and the TMC has top notch doctors and nurses who are very courteous and professional. It’s important to determine for yourself how serious your condition is and how quickly you may require care. There are amazing hospitals in the area that have medical care on par with US hospitals, if not better. And I know that 121 at Yongsan has facilities with more specialties, including Behavioral Health (Click Here for Brian Allgood).

      Ask yourself: If you need care, how often may it be required? Yongsan is an hour+ away from Humphreys depending on traffic. Will you have to drive there multiple times a month?
      How quickly do you need to be seen? Korean hospitals have wonderful ER’s but you may be more comfortable waiting a few days for an appointment at Osan or 121.
      I hope this helps!
      To answer if you will be approved or not, it really depends on the gaining unit. There are a lot of factors that a gaining unit has to analyze before granting approval. Give it a try and if you are denied then ask why and try again. Make sure to start the process as soon as possible.

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