What is the ETS-SP?

The ETS-SP stands for the Expiration Term of Service Sponsorship Program (ETS-SP).

How did the Program get started?

ETS-SP was established in partnership with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to sponsor service members through the transition process from military to civilian life. The ETS-SP is grounded in a personal relationship between the transitioning service member and their matched sponsor living in the community where the future Veteran will reside. 

What formal agreements does the ETS-SP have with the Department of Veteran Affairs?

A Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) has been entered into between the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs through the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), and the Expiration Term of Service Sponsorship Program (ETS-SP), a Washington D.C.-based 501.c4 nonprofit corporation. The MoA sets forth a structure in which both entities work in a mutually beneficial manner to advance and improve the quality of life for our Nation’s Veterans. The goal of this partnership is to facilitate improvement in the quality of life and overall well-being of transitioning Service members (TSM) and Veterans by addressing needs across social determinants of health such as economic stability, employment, and health literacy. The partnership aligns with the priorities of both Parties in facilitating mental health resiliency and positive health outcomes.

The VA/VHA have also signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the ETS-SP. 

Who can have a sponsor?

Any service members/Veterans who are transitioning to a civilian community.

What if I am undecided on my final destination?

  • You will choose your final destination and determine the logistics involved in getting there; your sponsor will mentor and assist with resources and guidance.
  • If you do not know your final destination, you will be connected to an ETS sponsor who will assist you in the decision making process.
  • When you choose your new community, you will be connected to a local sponsor.

Why should I have a sponsor ?

  • Connect with someone who can share knowledge about your new community with you and your family.
  • Develop relationships and engage in shared networks in your new community.
  • Gain insight into resources that will help you thrive during transition.
  • Make the transition less stressful for you and your family.

How will the sponsor work with me ?

  • Sponsors will contact you at least once a week via email, text or phone.
  • Sponsors will meet with you in person (or teleconference) at least once a month.
  • Sponsors will share their knowledge of the local area and available resources with you.
  • Sponsors will guide you in identifying goals and developing action plans to achieve these goals.

How can I be sure that my sponsor and I will work well together?

  • Every sponsor is certified by the VA.
  • Service members, Veterans and sponsors work directly with the ETS-SP Regional POC who assists on the journey.
  • ETS-SP is successful only with a solid relationship between you and your sponsor and wants your relationship to work!

Who can be a sponsor?

Anyone- military or civilian- who cares about our service members and veterans and is willing and able to commit the time.

What does the training look like?

  • Sponsors participate in three virtual training sessions, typically about 2 hours long and conducted on weeknights.
  • Upon graduation, sponsors are certified and matched with a transitioning service member.
  • Sponsors participate at least quarterly in one-hour virtual professional development classes, offered monthly.

What are the sponsor’s responsibilities?

  • Sponsors contact the Veteran at least once a week via email, text or phone.
  • Sponsors meet the Veteran in person (or teleconference) at least once a month.
  • Sponsors guide the Veteran in identifying goals and developing action plans to achieve these goals.
  • Sponsors share their knowledge of the local area and available resources with the Veteran.
  • Sponsors, who are trained and caring, make ETS-SP effective and unique in its mission.

Who will help me on this journey?

Throughout the journey with the transitioning service member, the ETS-SP leadership and regional contacts serve as a network of support for our sponsors. They provide tips on building relationships and guidance along the way. Sponsors are not alone!