What is an Ombudsman?
(Reference OPNAVINST 1750.1G)CNIC Program
· The Navy Family Ombudsman is a military spouse who has acquired and demonstrated the skills and knowledge to successfully navigate the Navy lifestyle, and in turn, volunteer to help others do the same.
· An ombudsman is a valuable resource of information and a point of contact for Navy families. The Ombudsman's major role is a bridge between the command, its family members, and community resources. Your ombudsman acts as a two-way communicator, a referral agent, and interpersonal helper for all family members of your command.
· The Ombudsman program allows the Service member to be more focused and productive at work because their families have a safety net.
· A Command Ombudsman is a part of the Command Support Team (CST) which includes Commanding Officer (CO), Executive Officer (XO), Command Master Chief (CMC), Chaplains and spouses, who care for the welfare of other Navy families.
· Must be the spouse of an active duty or selected reserve command member. Candidate will preferably have experience with extended deployments and display maturity and good judgment. Waivers are authorized if spouse volunteer cannot be filled for this role. Refer to Enclosure 1 of the OPNAVINST 1750.1G for guidance. All waivers need to be routed through the Chain of Command from a Unit to the NOSC and the RCC before CNRFC submits to CNIC for approval.
Ombudsman Job Description
Commanding Officers tailor the Ombudsman program to fit the needs of their Command. Therefore, job descriptions vary slightly from Command to Command. Most Command Ombudsman:
· Disseminate information to families
· Provide and make referrals to military and civilian support organizations such as FFSCs and Navy Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS)
· They serve as the primary communication link between families and the command and channel official information from command leadership to families.
· Serve as a primary point of contact for families
· Represent command families
· Advocate for families, using knowledge of the system, to access the appropriate level of chain of command for intervention and forward suitable requests or grievances
· Maintain a Telephone care line
· Develop and distribute a hard copy of electronic newsletter
· Brief at Command Indoctrinations, Deployment events and FRG’s
· Establish and maintain a telephone/e-mail rooster
· Assist CIAC duties with all Individual Augmentees
Ombudsman Should Not:
· Transport people in their privately-owned vehicle
· Provide child care
· Lend Money
· Allow people to stay with them in their home
· Do for other what they must learn to do for themselves
· Every command Afloat and Ashore, is required to appoint an Ombudsman
· Fleet, Force, and Regional Commanders shall appoint an Ombudsman for their staff only
· At a minimum, an Ombudsman is to be appointed for each NOSC
· Small commands with few family members, or tenant commands, may arrange with one or more other commands to share Ombudsman services of the other or host command
· Ombudsman for Reserve Units is authorized but not required and shall only report to his/her CO
· Add Ombudsman to the Ombudsman Registry once appointed by the Commanding Officer using this link: Ombudsman Registry
· Complete DD 2793 Volunteer agreement for Appropriated and Non Appropriated Funds with your Ombudsman
· Ensure Ombudsman receive Required OBT training within 6 weeks of appointment. All must be appointed in writing by the CO to attend OBT training
· Online Webinar Orientation is required if they cannot attend OBT within 6 weeks of appointment
· OBT training/conferences need to be budgeted by the NOSC CO annually to support their Ombudsman Program
· Ensure Ombudsman receive updated rosters to include incoming sailors and families
· Ensure Command Support Team CO/XO/CMC communicates regularly with Command Ombudsman
· Ensure your Ombudsman receives adequate equipment, materials, and funding support to accomplish the job you are requesting of them
· Establish specific funding to support your Ombudsman Program; reimbursable items may include childcare, mileage, parking, tolls and communication equipment when used in an official capacity. Command –owned equipment may be issued to the Ombudsman at the discretion of the CO
· Childcare by any provider but not to exceed the local rate of a CDC
· The Ombudsman must document their expenses and submit SF 1164 iaw OPNAVISNT 1750.1G enclosure (7) Please maintain all your receipts for documentation
· Other support, Administrative support such as paper, envelopes, pens, copier service or clerical assistance should be budgeted or offered by the command
· Newsletter expenses shall be assumed by the Command for production and delivery.
Commands shall establish an Ombudsman Appreciation/Recognition Program to recognize the volunteer’s contributions. Some general guild lines may include for their services:
· Support Program especially their time by thanking them
· Value Ombudsman opinion
· Award in writing at official command functions
· Celebrate Ombudsman Appreciation Day September 14th
· Issue an official Command Nametag
· Purchase Ombudsman pin and present to them upon OBT graduation
· Include Ombudsman in the POD/POW
· Ombudsman Recognition Dinner with LOA or plaque
How Does Funding Work?
(This Program is not funded by Yellow Ribbon.)
Squadrons and NOSC Commands use OMN&R funds for the Ombudsman Program this is to include the following:
· Ombudsman to attend OBT Class- Per diem, Travel & Lodging
· Ombudsman Conferences – Per diem, Travel & Lodging
· Unit OBT is funded by CNRFC N7 through CNRFC N8 approval.
· Units must submit request via the NOSC to the RCC on a SF-182 ~ 15 days prior to class start date (Electronic Version accepted)
· CNRFC N5 will review and forward to N7 for LOA funding approval via CNRFC N8
· Once approved the NOSC needs to coordinate the LOA for the Ombudsman to attend either by DTS or ITO for the Unit
Why a Local FFSC is needed?
· They provide Ombudsman Basic Training and support to the area Commands and Ombudsman
· They arrange speakers and trainers for Advanced Training and Ombudsman Assemblies
· They provide support to area Commands and Ombudsman in the performance and utilization of all areas of the Ombudsman Program
· They encourage and invite COs and Command Support Team members to regularly attend Ombudsman Assembly meetings
· Ombudsman Orientation Training (OOT) is required if OBT cannot be met, OOT is a 90 minute webinar that is completed online.
· CNIC website for all training sites can be located via this link on the Ombudsman Registry
· Navy Reserve OBT classes for those who live in remote or isolated areas with no FFSC available. Completed in partnership with CNIC. Locations are listed on the CNIC link.
· New (e-OBT) an electronic conversion of Ombudsman Basic Training, e-OBT fulfills the training requirements per OPNAVISNT 1750.1G CH-1.
· Advanced Training after OBT
· Certified Ombudsman Trainers (COT)
· Assist Commands and Ombudsman with updated resources and information
· CNIC Database to officially register all Command’s Ombudsman
· Provides venue for Reserve Ombudsmen to submit required quarterly worksheets
For more information on this program please contact the Program Manager at CNRFC Family Support code N5: