Ombudsman

As the USS RUSSELL Command Family Ombudsman, I am the wife of a crewmember and an official volunteer appointed by the Commanding Officer to serve as a representative to establish and maintain communication between the Command and their families. Our sailors with their spouses and parents are welcomed to benefit from the support and assistance of the Command Family Ombudsman.

The Ombudsman is designated by the Command to serve as communication links between the Commanding Officer and Command family members, as well as trained information and referral specialists. I am your advocate ready to support, direct, and empower you with all the resources available. Please be assured that as Ombudsman I follow the guidelines of the confidentiality as required by the Navy Family Ombudsman Program. As Ombudsman, I am available to assist you during your transition to San Diego, CA and your tour onboard the ship.

Spouses and Parents of RUSSELL sailors are welcomed to become members of the Yahoo! Russell Families Online Group as it is our main vehicle of communication to families.  Official information from the Command and announcements from the Family Readiness Group (FRG) are disseminated through the Russell Group. It serves as a forum for family members to post questions or helpful solutions about Navy life or about living in San Diego, CA. Simply contact me to become a member. 

I am honored to serve as the RUSSELL Ombudsman and am looking forward to assisting you in making your transition and stay in San Diego an enjoyable one.  Should you or your family members have questions or concerns, I may be contacted either by e-mail or telephone between 7 am and 9 pm (Pacific Standard Time). For emergency situations, I am available 24 hours a day.  I look forward to meeting you!

With warm regards,

Ombudsman
USS RUSSELL (DDG-59) 
(619) 991-2681 
  ussrussellombudsman@gmail.com

 USS RUSSELL Ombudsman Roles and Responsibilities:

·     -    Serve as a liaison between Command families and the Command.

·      -   Keep the Commanding Officer informed regarding the general morale, health and welfare of Command families.

·     -  Communicate regularly with the Command and Command family members.

·      -   Establish and maintain an up-to-date and timely telephone tree to rapidly distribute and gather information. (This is especially useful during emergency situations or when a natural disaster or crisis strikes.)

·      -   Aware of services provided and contact information of the Fleet and Family Support Centers and other support organizations available to Navy Families (i.e. Tricare, PSD, and Housing).

·      -   Serve as a source of emergency and crisis information.

·      -   Maintain confidentiality.

·     -    Establish, maintain, or contribute to the Yahoo! Russell Families Online Group providing information to families.

Roles and Functions the Ombudsman DO NOT Assume:

The Ombudsman, by virtue of training and experience, must empower family members to help themselves. The Ombudsman maintains an up-to-date list of resources so family members can be referred effectively to the appropriate agency.

- Ombudsman responsibilities DO NOT include:

·       -    Providing childcare.

·       -    Transporting people.

·        -   Lending money.

·       -    Allowing people to stay with them in their home.

·         -  Doing for others what they must learn to do for themselves.

Confidentiality:

Every phone call and conversation is kept confidential. This will be honored unless you discuss one of the 5 reportable issues that MUST be reported to the Commanding Officer:

1.    -  Spouse abuse.

2.   -   Child abuse or neglect.

3.   -   Drug and/or Alcohol abuse.

4.    -  Suicide, potential or attempted.

5.   -   Threat of physical harm to yourself or another person.

IF YOU ARE A SPOUSE OR A FAMILY MEMBER OF A
USS RUSSELL CREW MEMBER AND NEED ASSISTANCE, YOU MAY CONTACT THE
OMBUDSMAN BY CALLING (619) 991-2681 or by emailing 
 ussrussellombudsman@gmail.com.


Family Readiness Group (FRG)

What is the FRG?

The Family Readiness Group plans, coordinates, and conducts social, informational, care-taking, and morale-building activities to enhance family readiness and enable the “Total Navy Family” to meet mission and military lifestyle challenges. The FRG is an All-Hands group that promotes friendship and mutual support among the members.

What are some of the functions and activities?

·         Any family support including emphasis on activities during deployments; mentoring of new family members; and assistance in times of personal, unit or area crises.

·         Coordinating deployment farewells and homecomings.

·         Assisting with command sponsor programs such as welcoming new families and facilitating family member attendance at orientation sessions.

·         Unit family networking including unit family phone trees, web sites, newsletter content, unit information and education briefs, and other communications that foster command, unit member, and family member relationships to enhance family readiness.

·         Social events, like holiday and children’s parties, and activities.

To contact a member of the Family Readiness Group Board, please call or email the USS RUSSELL Ombudsman.



American Red Cross Emergency Communications Services

If there is a family emergency (i.e. death or serious illness of a family member) or other important event (i.e. birth of a child) and you need to contact a sailor onboard the USS RUSSELL, you will need to contact the ship’s Ombudsman as well as the American Red Cross. The Red Cross will assist in verifying the emergency with local agencies (hospitals, police, etc.). Such verification is both essential and mandatory if a service member is to be able to receive emergency leave and financial assistance to assist in getting home.

Examples of family emergencies include (but are not limited to):

·         Injury, hospitalization or death of someone in the service member’s immediate family.

·         A disaster or event (such as hurricane, flood, fire, earthquake, etc.) that affects the family and which disrupts normal communication between the service member and their family.

How to Contact the Red Cross to send an Emergency message:

·         Active duty service members stationed in the United States and their immediate family members may call the Red Cross Armed Forces Emergency Service Centers for help seven days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The toll-free telephone number (877) 272-7337.

·         Other family members who do not reside in the service members’ household, members of the National Guard and Reserves, retirees and civilians may access Red Cross services through their local Red Cross chapter, which is listed in the local telephone directory and at American Red Cross online at www.redcross.org/where/where.html.

·         Overseas personnel stationed on military installations should call base or installation operators or the on-base Red Cross offices.

·         At overseas deployment sites, contact the American Red Cross deployed staff.

When calling the Red Cross to send an emergency message to a service member, it is helpful to have the following information:

Service Members:

·         Full Name (Last, First and Middle Initial)

·         Rank/Rating

·         Branch of Service (US Navy)

·         Social Security Number

·         Military Address: (USS RUSSELL DDG-59, FPO AP 96677-1277)

·         Information about the deployed unit and the home base unit (for deployed service members only. USS RUSSELL DDG-59 Homeport: San Diego, CA)

Family
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is an Ombudsman?
Every Command has an Ombudsman who is a spouse of a sailor at the Command. The Ombudsman serves as the liaison between the command and the families. The Ombudsman is the point of contact for the families. He or she can assist families with navigating through Navy life through resources and information.

How can an Ombudsman help me?
Navy Family Ombudsmen are key resources for family members, particularly during deployments. Ombudsmen maintain current resource files with information on military and civilian community agencies that can help families solve a variety of problems, and successfully meet the challenges they face before, during, and after deployments. In addition to providing referral information, Ombudsmen can facilitate communication between the Command and family members. Ombudsmen may publish or contribute to command newsletters or maintain care lines, which have recorded messages with information for command families that can be accessed 24 hours a day. Ombudsmen can also assist families in contacting the Command for a variety of reasons.

What is the role of the COMNAVSURFPAC Force Ombudsman?
The Force Ombudsman provides oversight and guidance for all the Surface Ship's Ombudsmen in the Pacific Fleet Area of Responsibility. You can contact the Surface Forces Ombudsman at (619) 301-6983 or send an email to surfaceombudsman@gmail.com

What is an IA assignment or tour?
An IA is an Individual Augmentee. A Sailor may receive orders to go IA and this means that he or she will deploy as an Individual, not with their command. Sometimes an IA will deploy and be stationed with another branch of the Military. http://www.ia.navy.mil/

What is NFAAS?
Navy Family Accountability and Assessment System. This is how the Navy will track your family and assess your needs during an emergency. https://www.navyfamily.navy.mil

How can I find out more about medical, dental or Navy family resources?
Contact your Command Ombudsman. He or she will guide you to your resources.

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