Seaman Recruit Curtis Phillips and his wife Ashley Payne have been together for just shy of four years, yet Payne is not allowed to live with her husband in Japan as ordered by U.
Naval Forces Japan in a directive that does "How to get married in the navy" provide command sponsorship for the spouses of lower ranking - and usually younger - enlisted sailors. Under a longstanding Navy policy sailors stationed overseas and in Hawaii cannot gain command sponsorship for their spouse or children until they achieve the rank of E Phillips is a seaman apprentice, or E However, Payne says they were overwhelmed when they found out Phillips was headed to Japan without her.
They have seen each other for about 25 days since Phillips joined in Octoberand have spent only three days together as husband and wife.
If the spouse "How to get married in the navy" a servicemember is granted command sponsorship, the government pays for travel costs and shipping of household goods and provides on-base housing, an increase in the cost-of-living allowance and other benefits. Without it, on-base housing is denied. Spouses like Payne are still technically allowed to come and would still collect an off-base housing allowance, but the sailor and spouse are left to foot the bill for everything else.
In addition, without command sponsorship, there are fewer employment options on-base for spouses, lower priority on medical care, and no enrollment of children in the base schools. But the allowances that sailors like Phillips receive for being separated from their families nearly matches off-base rents in places like Sasebo. Were Payne to accompany Phillips unsponsored, the couple would be unable to afford rent and utilities, let alone the cost of her plane ticket and the shipping of their household goods.
Yet according to data provided by officials in Sasebo, there are family housing units either at Sasebo Naval Base or in surrounding base controlled areas.
Out of those units, are currently vacant. Navy officials in Yokosuka declined to comment on the availability of family housing at that base near Tokyo.