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The Ombudsman Program

What is the Ombudsman Program?
The Coast Guard Ombudsman Program is a Coast Guard wide program established to serve as a link between commands and families.
The ombudsman program assists commanding officers/officers-in-charge (CO/OIC) with understanding the welfare of the command's families and helps families to successfully navigate the unique lifestyle of the military.
The Coast Guard's philosophy of developing healthy, self-reliant families is epitomized through the Coast Guard Ombudsman Program.

What is an ombudsman?
Ombudsmen are usually spouses of Coast Guard service members attached to the Command who volunteer in an official capacity for the command and are trained to:
  • Assist Command families with in- formation and referral.
  • Facilitate communication between the Command and families.
  • Provide readiness support during deployments, emergencies or crises.

What does an ombudsman do?
Coast Guard Ombudsmen are key resources for all family members, especially before and during deployments, relocation, crises, and other major life events.
Family members may contact the ombudsman regarding a variety of concerns to ask for information, receive guidance or referrals, or just discuss their concerns with a caring individual. Your ombudsman:
  • Maintains and provides information on Coast Guard benefits and community re- sources.
  • Provides official and accurate command information.
  • Is available for emergency assistance and routine requests.
Although ombudsmen are bound by the Ombudsman Code of Conduct to be professional and maintain confidentiality, there are some sensitive and life threatening issues that must be reported to the Command and the proper authorities:
  • Suspected child abuse and neglect.
  • Alleged domestic abuse.
  • Alleged sexual assault.
  • Suspected and/or potential suicidal risks.
  • Suspected and/or potential homicidal, violent or life endangering situations.

Who may volunteer?
Spouses of service members assigned to the command may volunteer to be ombudsmen for the command.
Potential Ombudsmen must have NO record of family violence and time to fulfill the responsibilities. Attributes of the ideal candidate include:
  • Coast Guard life experience, in- cluding deployments.
  • Prior volunteer experience.
  • A basic understanding of Coast Guard benefits and resources.
  • Patience, good listening skills, and respect for confidentiality.
  • A positive attitude toward the Coast Guard and the command.
If you are interested in becoming an ombudsman, contact your Commanding Officer, Officer-in-Charge, or Command Master Chief.

Commandant Instruction 1750.4E - Ombudsman Program
The Ombudsman Handbook
Theresa's Spouse Handbook
USCG Spouse Handbook
Sea Legs
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