A point of contact (POC) is the first place to begin.
Most common Point of Contact options:
- Exceptional Family Member Program Family Support staff member (EFMP)
- School Liaison (SLO)
Best practice is to begin contact at least 8 weeks before the potential date for the event, to allow time for installation access pass approval, and for time to publicize an event or training.
All visitors are required to have a sponsor who is a military ID card holder OR an installation access pass. Your POC often serves as your sponsor, although they may suggest someone else who can assist.
An access pass may admit you for one day or one event, several days, or be a longer-term access pass that you renew on a regular basis. For convenience, see if you can apply for a longer-term access pass. Your POC or the installation’s Pass and ID office should be able to get you the appropriate forms and information.
Tips for your first contact:
- Be prepared to give a brief introduction about your parent center, the services you provide, and your role. Some military-connected professionals may not be familiar with Parent Centers.
- Present yourself and your Parent Center as potential partners that can offer civilian services and resources that complement what their programs do.
- Be specific about what your workshop and training will cover. You might ask “Do you think your families will benefit from this?”
When you have agreement to schedule an event, be sure to ask:
“Will I need access to the installation, or is there an off-installation site we can use?” [Potential sites may include community centers in off-installation housing complexes, or other military offices that do not require installation access].
If installation access is needed, you can ask:
“What do I need to do, and which documents will I need, to gain access to your installation?”
NOTE: each installation’s procedures will vary-but most will require:
- Sponsorship by an authorized ID Card Holder (your contact or other designated individual)
- ID: either a valid military ID, or (prior to 10/1/2020) a state driver’s license or ID, current passport, or other ID valid for that installation (contact visitor’s center for list of valid IDs). Beginning 10/1/2020, all installation visitors must have a valid military ID or a REAL ID-compliant ID.
- If you are planning to drive your car onto the installation, make sure that you have a current vehicle registration and proof of insurance. If you will be driving a rental car, you may provide a copy of your rental agreement.
- You may need to fill out a form to request access, which sometimes needs to be filed well in advance of your visit and processed by installation security. This is one reason to allow ample lead time for your event. Alternatively, some installations have you fill out the installation access request on the day of your visit, so plan accordingly.
We encourage you to ask:
“What is your usual procedure for publicity? Can this training be included on any calendars or in the installation newspaper? What posters, flyers, etc. would you like me to provide? What’s the best way to get them to you without requiring a separate time for me to access the installation? [such as, USPS, send e-documents, etc.]
- Your ID (see above)
- Valid vehicle registration or vehicle rental agreement
- Contact information (phone # and name) of your sponsor, and the location and time where you will meet (just in case)
- Approved installation access document, if you have it
Meet your sponsor. They may meet you at the gate or you may need to go to the Pass and ID office or Visitors Center to obtain your final paperwork. It’s always a good idea to confirm before you go! Especially with military personnel – changes in threat levels in the nation, dignitaries and more can take precedence. Or they just may be out sick or their schedule has changed.
At the gate you will be asked to roll down your window and show your ID cards. Everyone in the vehicle must have valid ID and either a sponsor present or an approved installation pass.
Show your ID card and continue to the location of your meeting, training, individual assistance, etc.
We’re here to answer any questions you have about procedures, programs, and staff on any installation. Just give us a call (253) 442-3214 (Eastern Time Zone) or email us at email@example.com!