Dual-military couples and married junior enlisted troops serving overseas face obstacles and challenges that civilian spouses do not, particularly when it comes to command sponsorship, reports Stars and Stripes. Command sponsorship grants legal residence overseas and gives a service member’s family access to military benefits and services. However, service members in dual-military marriages have found that they cannot always get command sponsorship for their newborns, even though children born to service member-civilian marriages receive sponsorship at birth.
The rules regarding command sponsorship can sometimes exacerbate the many challenges already facing military couples, especially for newly married junior enlisted.
“We have junior sailors often not granted command sponsorship because they came on unaccompanied orders,” Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Rachel Thao, who has also faced challenges receiving command sponsorship, told Stars and Stripes. “They go home on leave, but they can’t bring their spouses out, even paying out of pocket.”