The ETS Sponsorship Program, established in partnership with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Defense (DoD), exists to sponsor service members through the transition process from military to civilian life.
The program centers on a personal relationship between the service member, who is leaving the military, and a sponsor, who is trained and VA-certified, and perhaps equally important, empathetic and dedicated to helping the service members and family members.
ETS -Expiration of Term of Service- should be an exciting opportunity for the service member who is opening the door to the next chapter of life. Yet, often, the stresses associated with walking through this door are challenging. The ETS Sponsorship Program (ETS-SP) ensures that the service member - and the family - do not walk alone. Our sponsors, who live in the community, will not only walk through the door with the service member, but will continue to coach and guide throughout the transition process.
This program builds a much-needed bridge between the VA, the U.S. Armed Forces, and the states and communities where Veterans begin new lives. Our program engages the destination community and the chain-of-government from the federal to the local level to bring all potential stakeholders into a cohesive and coordinated network focused on the success of each program participant.
➥ News and Annoucements
1 October 2021 - ETS Sponsorship Program Announces BG (ret) Mike Eastman as Next Executive Director
23 September 2021 - VA makes strides to provide practical resources for transitioning service members
5 August 2021 - VHA partnership improves transition to civilian life for service members
The ETS Sponsorship Program assists service members in transition by providing instrumental, informational, and emotional support.
A controlled research project has determined that the support provided by the ETS Sponsorship Program effectively mitigates stressors and enhances the reintegration process for the transitioning service member.
- Approximately 200,000 service members transition to civilian communities annually, including 80,000 from the Army.
- Studies indicate that 44% to 72% of service members experience high levels of stress during transition from military to civilian life.
- There are approximately 45,000 non-profit organizations registered with the IRS to support Veterans and their Families.
There is no process in place currently that seamlessly reintegrates the service member into the civilian community. There is no connection between the myriad of programs available and the Veteran who needs them. The ETS Sponsorship Program works closely with its partners in an attempt to fill this void.
The ETS Sponsorship Program connects the service member to the relevant and applicable programs and organizations that are available. Through personal relationships formed with the service member and family, our program, working closely with the VA and community partners, will make a difference in the reintegration of service members and their families.
The ETS Sponsorship Program assists service members in transition to civilian life and the post-military community of their choice. Coordinating the services of the VA, private, nonprofit organizations and local government, the ETS Sponsorship Program connects transitioning service members with local sponsors. Sponsors are trained and certified to build relationships and resiliency. The goal is to set conditions for service members and sponsors to achieve purpose and prosperity, reduce stress and risk, and engage together for continued service to the Nation.
What areas do the sponsor assist with ?
- Legal concerns
- Service benefits
- Medical and mental health care issues
The ETS Sponsorship Program will develop and deploy a new standard in service member transition that can be expanded across the nation. ETS Sponsorship will accomplish this through a certification program offered by the VA for sponsors.
The ETS Sponsorship Program will be introduced to the service member when they participate in the Transition Assistance Program at the service member’s final duty station. The service member will have the opportunity to request a sponsor from the city they will be moving. The process will be coordinated with partners in specific cities, such as Syracuse University Institute for Veterans & Military Families and America's Warrior Partnership.
Service member: Once a sponsor is requested, the connection will be made to the ETS Sponsorship Program. Using the address they will relocate to, the service member will be connected to an ETS Sponsorship Program trained sponsor. Should there not be a sponsor available in the city the service member will soon call home, we will do our best to find partners available to assist the Soldier.
Sponsor: When an individual, military or civilian, volunteers to be an ETS Sponsor, they will undergo training and, upon graduation, they will be certified as an ETS Sponsor.
The sponsor receives the name and contact information of the new service member from ETS Sponsorship. The Sponsor initiates contact with the service member and the relationship forms. The Sponsor will share information with the service member about resources – to include benefits and other opportunities. The sponsor will stay connected and continue to support the service member throughout the transition process until the service member is successfully transitioned to their post-military home.
Effective execution of the ETS Sponsorship Program is dependent upon the relationship between the transitioning service member and the trained sponsor.
The ETS Sponsorship Program has been implemented for transitioning Soldiers in pilot programs in New York City and Ft. Drum. The first state pilot program will be implemented in Texas in December 2019. The Program will begin with the Army and transition to the other Services as the Program expands.
The program will grow as Soldiers transition throughout the country. The ETS Sponsorship Program and VA management team will rely on a growing roster of Sponsors and Veteran Service Organizations to scale the program nationally.
At the individual level, the Sponsor relationship is a personal and community anchor. Our goal is that our current transitioning Soldiers will serve as Sponsors for future generations of transitioning Service Members.
The ETS Sponsorship Program (ETS-SP) is led by the national etssponsorship.com team in Washington, D.C. and coordinated through the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN). The ETS-SP engages state and county governments to insure tha chain-of-government has the opportunity to lead the service-to-Veteran transition experience at the local level. ETS Sponsorship Program pilots are being launched across the country.
The ETS Sponsorship Program Certificate of Incorporation
SAM 117482139 / 90X34