By NC1(SCW) Robert A. Wetzel, NAVFAC HQ Command Career Counselor
New orders: Just the first step in many changes for you and your family. The finish line is your new command, ready and waiting for you. No? Your command didn’t know you were coming and/or your command knew you were coming but hadn’t received some critical piece of paperwork? Many of us have been there, done that. So, let’s discuss a few ways that you and your new command can help ensure this entire experience is a good one.
First, when you receive your orders, read each and every page. This will help you understand and complete any requirements before you transfer.
Next, log onto your Self-Service Record on the Navy Standard Integrated Personnel System (NSIPS) and complete the “Prospective Gains Questionnaire.” This will provide your new command with some useful information about you and your family. This information includes marital status, children, pets, pack-out specifics, etc. There’s even a link at the end to edit your personal contact information (e.g., new address, phone numbers, email, etc.).
Okay, so after updating your information, your sponsor should be contacting you as soon as he/she is assigned. Who are sponsors? Any E5 and above at a command may be a sponsor, and each sponsor completes special training through the Fleet and Family Service Center (FFSC). The sponsorship coordinator manages each command’s program, and he/she assigns sponsors to new individuals and families joining the command.
Your sponsor will now go into the Self-Service Record in NSIPS and “Accept” this assignment using the “Sponsor Agreement.” This helps your sponsor get to know you by viewing your orders and your questionnaire responses. Your sponsor should then send you a Welcome Aboard package and welcome letters from the commanding officer and other key people in the command. The package contains information about the area, including the base, housing, schools, medical, shopping, etc.
By completing all steps in the transition process, from new orders to new command, the transition itself should be a smooth one. For questions related to the sponsorship program, contact your command career counselor, sponsorship coordinator or leadership. Other references to look at include the Navy Personnel Command’s website or the Sponsorship and Indoctrination instruction OPNAVINST 1740.3C.
For CIMS technical issues, contact the NSIPS Help Desk:
Toll Free: 877-589-5991
Fax: Comm: 504-697-3007/0342, DSN: 647-3007/0342