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NEWS | Nov. 1, 2010

First-term Airman’s sponsorship experience creates lasting impression

By Elsa Summers Military and Family Readiness Center

Airman 1st Class Krista Kerry from the 437th Logistics Readiness Squadron didn't expect too much from her sponsor. She had heard from other Airmen who graduated before her from technical school that their sponsors didn't seem too interested in helping them out. But that was before she met her 437 LRS sponsor, Staff Sgt. Alanda Caldwell.

"When I called her, she was extremely nice. You could tell she cared about me as an individual. She gave me three phone numbers where I could reach her; her work, home and cell number. Anytime I had questions, she answered them. It felt almost like I was talking to a really close friend. She made me feel right at home even before I came here," said Airman Kerry.

Sergeant Caldwell's extra effort made Airman Kerry feel welcome, especially coming from basic and technical training. Sergeant Caldwell gave her a positive first impression of the base and what it would be like to be a first-term Airman at Joint Base Charleston. That first impression was reinforced after her arrival when Sergeant Caldwell met her off base and had her follow her to the dorm room she had waiting for her.

"She even had her two children with her. It showed me no matter how busy she was, her troops came first," Airman Kerry said.

Sergeant Caldwell volunteered to be a sponsor but recognized that she could use a little help brushing up on her sponsorship skills. Although she has been a sponsor before, this was the first time she sponsored an Airman reporting to JB CHS.

"I attended the Sponsorship Training Class to get a refresher. There are so many agencies on base I forgot about because I have been here so long. It's important to get newcomer's connected with the right people so they can adjust properly," Sergeant Caldwell said.

Sergeant Caldwell helped Airman Kerry with base in-processing and even got her signed-up for the Military and Family Readiness Center's newcomer's tour.

For anyone looking to make a lasting impression as well on a newcomer, the Sponsor Training Class is held the first Wednesday of the month from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. at the Military and Family Readiness Center on JB CHS-Air Base. Sponsor training can be conducted at the unit level at the commander's request for groups larger than five.

The Defense Department has also launched an online sponsor training and resource tool intended to boost the quality of the sponsor program. Through the e-Sponsorship Application and Training site, or e-SAT, sponsors are trained and equipped to provide top-notch assistance to families. The site offers sponsors a one-stop-shop resource for information, including training, links to relocation resources and an e-mail function designed to facilitate communication between sponsors and incoming families.

The e-Sponsorship Application and Training site can be found at or Plan My Move at