By Katie Glover, ACS Program Specialist
GRAFENWOEHR, Germany – For many families, command sponsorship within U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria is a once in a lifetime opportunity. But for others, something unexpected may occur — causing the family to return back to the United States prior to the service member receiving orders/PCS orders.
In specific situations, the service member may request an Early Return of Dependents (ERD). If approved, household goods and a vehicle may be shipped, the Soldier needs to move into barracks or bachelor quarters and airfare may be authorized, at the government’s expense.
USAG Bavaria’s procedure for requesting ERDs is now available on our website. The webpage hosts information about eligibility for requesting an ERD, checklists and required forms.
Service members and families are encouraged to keep open communication, and ensure all other options are exhausted before a service member decides to request an ERD. The garrison has many options, including:
To request an ERD, the service member should follow the checklist, and keep supervisors and the chain of command informed of the request. Once the Soldier has the required paperwork, they should speak with the orderly room, personnel shop or supervisor on the unit’s required routing. The packet is normally routed through either GEARS, or email (this varies depending on the unit’s internal Standard Operating Procedure).
Once the ERD is approved and completed, Soldiers forgo entitlements, such as OHA/Government Lease Housing and the COLA at “with dependents” rate. Under most conditions, Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) is authorized for the dependents’ new location. Family members will lose their Command Sponsorships status, once ERD orders have been issued.
For additional information and routing options, service members should speak with their orderly room, personnel shop or chain of command.