USS McCampbell
"Relentless in Battle"
Message from Ombudsman
McCAMPBELL Crewmembers, Family and Friends,

I’m the USS McCAMPBELL’s Ombudsman. As a member of the Command Leadership Team, I am here to provide a vital link between our families and the ship. Whether you are currently assigned to McCAMPBELL, or a prospective crewmember, I can help with any needs that you may have. There are many resources available to us, both in Japan and CONUS, and we are here to assist. Please feel free to contact me at:
Warmest regards,

Family Readiness


The Command would like to meet all USS McCampbell Family members to discuss any concerns or issues that you may have.

As your command Ombudsman, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to Yokosuka, Japan and to the USS McCAMPBELL family. As many of you probably already know, ombudsmen are here to assist Navy families. For those of you who may not be familiar with this program the following information will be helpful to you. We act as a liaison between the command and the families, and we communicate information about command and community resources to families.

You can talk to us about anything and it will be held in the strictest confidence, within the guidelines defined in OPNAVINST 1750.1E - the Navy Family Ombudsmen instruction.

We communicate with our families in different ways. One of those ways is through the McCAMPBELL FAMILY GRAM, our Ombudsmen Newsletter. You can start getting a newsletter by contacting us and being put on our mailing list.

Your Command Ombudsman
241-3425 DSN
046-896-3425 calling from off base
011-81-046-896-3425 (calling direct overseas from United States)
219-803-4113 ( long distance in United States)

About Japan

Japanese houses compared to American ones


Japanese houses don't have cellars or basements. It is apparently prohibited by laws. What a waste of space in crowded cities like Tokyo. No wine cellar, no additional place to store food, but since they don't normally have central heating, so they don't need central heat. Japanese houses have no attic or loft. That may also look like a waste of space, but actually, they are often built on 3 floors instead of 2, so the attic is just an additional floor right under the roof (which means freezing in winter and stifling in summer).

Many new Japanese houses have flat roofs with a terrace on the top. This is a creative gain of space - convenient to dry the laundry. As it rains much less in Tokyo than anywhere in Northern Europe, that's fine. Walls are thin (about 10cm) and hollow. It's almost possible to destroy them with a kick or a small hammer. That is because of earthquakes and gives a feeling of "paper house" to the habitations. This is in sharp contrast to the American stone or brick walls thickened by an additional layer of thermo insulation (glass fiber...) and plaster, which Japanese houses almost never have.

As I mentioned above, central heating is uncommon and so is floor heating (this is because they have wooden floors everywhere instead of tiled floors, so cold on the feet in winter). Japanese heat themselves mostly with portable "gas heaters", not fixed electric or fuel radiators. American houses have air conditioning, because summers are hot enough in the South are very dry in the southwest, so that the shade and thick walls are enough to keep it cool inside. All Japanese houses (except in Hokkaido) have air conditioning in almost every room, as it would be unbearable during the muggy summer without it. Windows and doors normally open by sliding, especially in slightly older (can be very old in Japan) or traditional buildings. Window frames don't have partition in the middle.

Rooms and utilities

On top of the lack of cellar and loft, Japanese houses very rarely or never have pantry, study room (probably only big houses anyway), utility room, garage. Japanese rarely have a dishwasher or tumble dryer (even though they make the 2 in 1 models with washing machines now, if space is an issue). The bathroom is usually small because it is limited to the bath and shower space, without "dry ground", nor furniture (for the towels, soap, cosmetics...) or sink to brush your teeth, make up or shave. Everything is outside the bathroom, sometimes on another floor (e.g. on the landing between 2 rooms or next to the entrance hall).


Japanese houses in big cities very rarely have a garden. The architecture is very standardized, all in concrete, and only the color of the fakes bricks or painting differentiate them. This is true from the Northern tip of Hokkaido all the way through the 3000km down the Southern reaches of Kyushu. Needless to say that American architecture vary not only by geographical region but equally inside a same city of village, due to the quick evolution of styles in time.

Eating Out In Japan...

Entering and sitting down

Many restaurants in Japan display plastic or wax replicas of their dishes at the entrance. They usually look very similar to the real dishes. When you enter a restaurant, you will be greeted with the expression "irasshaimase" ("please come in"), as it is usual in any Japanese store. Waiters and waitresses are generally trained to be extremely efficient, polite and attentive, and will usually immediately lead you to your table. If they don't, you can assume that it is okay to sit at any table. While a majority of restaurants in Japan are equipped exclusively with Western style tables and chairs, restaurants with low traditional tables and the customers sitting on cushions on the floor, are also common. Some restaurants feature both styles side by side. In case of a traditional Japanese interior, you are usually required to take off your shoes before stepping onto the seating area or even at the restaurant's entrance.


After you sit down, a glass of water or tea will be served for free and later refilled. You also receive a wet towel (oshibori) for cleaning your hands. If chopsticks are not already set, you can usually find some in a box on the table. Most often, they are wooden chopsticks that need to be separated into two before usage. In case of some restaurant types, for example izakaya or Chinese restaurants, it is common for all people at one table to order and share various dishes. At restaurants that serve set menus, bowl dishes (e.g. domburi or noodle soups) or Western style dishes, on the other hand, each person usually orders and eats one separate dish.


The bill will be given to you upside-down when you receive the meal or after you finish eating. In most restaurants, you are supposed to bring your bill to the cashier near the exit when leaving in order to pay. Some restaurants, especially cheaper ones, have different systems for ordering and paying. At some stores, you may be required to pay right after ordering, while in others, you are supposed to buy meal tickets at a vending machine near the store's entrance and to hand them over to the staff in order to receive a meal. In restaurants in Japan, it is not common to pay a tip. When leaving, it is polite to say: "gochisosama deshita" ("thank you for the me

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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

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.

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.

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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