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Command-sponsored dependent

Definition A command-sponsored dependent is a family member of a military servicemember, such as a spouse or child, who has been officially sponsored by the servicemember’s commanding officer to accompany them on an overseas assignment. This status often enables dependents to receive certain benefits including healthcare and access to military facilities. The command sponsorship can […]


A command-sponsored dependent is a family member of a military servicemember, such as a spouse or child, who has been officially sponsored by the servicemember’s commanding officer to accompany them on an overseas assignment. This status often enables dependents to receive certain benefits including healthcare and access to military facilities. The command sponsorship can also influence the duration of the servicemember’s tour in that specific area.

Key Takeaways

  1. A Command-sponsored dependent refers to a military service member’s spouse, child or other dependent who is authorized to accompany them on an overseas assignment, specifically under the sponsorship of the service member’s command.
  2. Being a Command-sponsored dependent offers certain benefits including access to government-funded travel, housing, and medical care. It also ensures command-sponsored dependents are included in the service member’s Orders, can take full advantage of military services, and have a well-documented status in the host country.
  3. The number of Command-sponsored positions can be limited depending on the location and the nature of the assignment. Therefore, military service members may need to obtain approval for their dependents to become command-sponsored.


The term “Command-sponsored dependent” is significant in military operations as it refers to the family members of military personnel who are authorized by the commanding authority to accompany them in overseas deployments or assignments.

This authorization assures the dependents, which may include spouses, children, or other family members, guaranteed access to services and certain benefits in their new location such as healthcare, housing support, education facilities, and various other community services.

Being recognized as a Command-sponsored dependent aids in providing a balanced and productive environment for servicemen and women and their families, as it assures the welfare and support for their dependents during their deployment period.

This is crucial in maintaining morale and stability among military personnel.


Command-sponsored dependents refer to the family members of military personnel who have been officially authorized to accompany them on overseas assignments. This status is particularly relevant for long-term assignments in foreign countries.

The purpose behind the command sponsorship is to ensure that military families can stay together while a servicemember is fulfilling their duties overseas, hence promoting a mentally and emotionally balanced environment for them. Being a command-sponsored dependent comes with numerous benefits too.

This includes the necessary logistical support such as housing and medical care, as well as access to support services like education for children and job assistance for spouses. The military brings these support systems under its umbrella for the welfare of the dependents and the smooth functioning of their lives in a foreign land.

This helps the servicemember to focus more on their responsibilities, knowing that their family is well cared for.

Examples of Command-sponsored dependent

U.S. Army in Germany: An American soldier stationed in Germany by the U.S. Army might receive a command-sponsored dependent status for their spouse. This status provides their spouse with legal protection under the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), giving them access to variety of facilities and services such as military hospitals, commissaries, and Department of Defense (DoD) schools for children.

U.S. Navy in Japan: Another example could be a U.S. Navy officer stationed in Japan. With command-sponsored dependent status, their dependents not only get SOFA protection, but are also eligible for space-available travel on military transportation, both for relocation and for leisure travel while they are stationed abroad. Furthermore, cost-of-living adjustments and other incentive pays are also structured according to the dependent’s status.

Air Force in South Korea: A U.S. Air Force personnel stationed in South Korea can bring their family over on a command-sponsored tour. Their dependents will have access to benefits like military postal service facilities, military banking facilities, and military medical and dental care. It also allows the dependents to be included on Emergency Evacuation Orders, if necessary. Moreover, this status facilitates obtaining visas and other necessary documents for dependents to live and study in the host country.

FAQs about Command-sponsored dependent

What is a Command-sponsored dependent?

A Command-sponsored dependent is an immediate family member of service personnel – such as a spouse, a child, or a parent – who is officially registered and approved by the command to accompany the service personnel during their military assignment overseas. This specific sponsorship offers several benefits like access to housing, medical care, and other services.

What are the benefits of being a Command-sponsored dependent?

Command-sponsored dependents are entitled to multiple benefits such as relocation expenses, housing allowance, healthcare benefits, and access to military support facilities like commissaries and DoD schools. These benefits aim to make the transition to a new location smoother for military families.

Can all military personnel have Command-sponsored dependents?

No, only service personnel who are on Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders can have Command-sponsored dependents. The number of dependents who can be sponsored is also limited and varies depending upon the specific overseas assignment and the command policies.

What is the process to become a Command-sponsored dependent?

To become a Command-sponsored dependent, a service person must apply for dependent sponsorship through their command and provide necessary documentation for their dependent. The approval process may take several weeks and is contingent on various factors, including the applicable command policies and the terms of the service personnel’s overseas assignment.

Related Military Operation Terms

  • Tricare: This is the health care program primarily for the entire military community.
  • BAH (Basic Allowance for Housing): This is an allowance given to eligible soldiers to help with their housing costs.
  • PCS (Permanent Change of Station): This refers to the assignment or relocation of a military personnel to a different location.
  • DEERS (Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System): This is a database that lists individuals who are eligible to receive military benefits.
  • Family Separation Allowance: This is a benefit provided to service members who are separated from their dependents for an extended period due to military orders.

Sources for More Information

Here are some reliable sources that contain more information about the term “Command-Sponsored Dependent”:

  • Military.com is an online news and information service for the military community that includes various military terms.
  • Military OneSource is a program funded by the Department of Defense that provides a range of free resources and information to military personnel and their families.
  • Department of DefenseThis is the official website of the Department of Defense. It covered wide range of topics including military operations and terminology.
  • Stars and Stripes provides independent news and information to the U.S military community, including active-duty servicemembers, DoD civilians, veterans, contractors, and their families.

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