Here is your basic guide to the Coast Guard’s Ombudsman program!
Read what it is, how to find your Ombudsman, how to become one yourself, and more.
What is the Ombudsman Program?
The Ombudsman program is a Coast Guard command program intended to improve communication between the unit command and the Coast Guard family members.
What do they do?
The Ombudsman and Regional Ombudsman Coordinators (ROC’s) work with the Commanding Officers/Officers-in-Charge (COs/OICs) to provide a better understanding of the welfare of the unit’s families.
The Ombudsman advocates for the needs of the unit families, and provides support and important communication during emergencies.
However, they are most often known for communicating information and providing support to families and spouses during deployments. (This is all done while maintaining OPSEC by communicating directly with spouses.)
The Ombudsman and ROC are in a unique position to know exactly what families and spouses need. They are usually Coast Guard spouses themselves!
The Ombudsman and ROC positions are filled by a volunteer that can meet the requirements for their respective titles.
How do I find my Ombudsman?
There are a few ways to go about finding your Ombudsman. All you need to know is your base location and the unit name/number.
Go to the website for your current base station. You can use the search bar and type in “Ombudsman”, or try “Work Life”. The Work-Life program is designed to better the quality of life for service members and their families.
Another search term you can use is “HSWL” which stands for Health, Safety, and Work-Life service center, which will have all of the information you need to get connected with your Ombudsman.
This link will lead you to a list of ROC’s and Regional Program Managers, which you can contact to find your local or regional Ombudsman.
You can also try searching on Facebook, where there is usually a group created by the Ombudsman or ROC for your unit or area.
Who can be an Ombudsman?
When being considered as a unit Ombudsman, there are three main requirements.
One, you must be the spouse of a service member who is in the specific unit or area you want to volunteer in.
Two, you must complete the Coast Guard Ombudsman Training (CGOT) and the Online Core Training, the later of which is to be taken again annually.
Three, be willing and able to adhere to the responsibilities of an Ombudsman, such as maintaining confidentiality, serving as a source during emergencies, and reaching out to the families in their unit.
Who can be a Regional Ombudsman Coordinator?
ROC’s are most often spouses or volunteers. The three main requirements are as follows:
One, facilitate, coordinate, and/or present the Coast Guard Ombudsman Training (CGOT) quarterly in their area of responsibility.
Two, provide additional support, resources, and keep a roster of the Ombudsman in their area of responsibility.
Three, be willing and able to adhere to the responsibilities of an ROC, such as maintaining confidentiality and hold annual meetings within their area of responsibility.
The main difference between an Ombudsman and an ROC? The ROC is usually in charge of multiple units consisting of multiple Ombudsman. Their region/area of responsibility is larger.
How do I become an Ombudsman?
Are you interested in becoming an Ombudsman?
You will need to contact your Ombudsman, ROC, or Unit Commander. They will direct you to a point of contact for completing the necessary training needed to become an Ombudsman.
Follow this link to read all about how to become an Ombudsman!
If you have additional questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to me! I’ll do what I can to point you in the right direction.