Military Mondays: All About The Ombudsman | Anchors Aweigh

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Military Mondays: All About The Ombudsman

It's Monday, which means everyone is not so secretly mourning the passing of another weekend come and gone. On a slightly more positive note, Monday also means it's time for another installation of Military Mondays!


Today, I am going to shed some light on a really funny word called "ombudsman". When Parker was assigned to his first training squadron, I remember being so confused when I got a call from someone who introduced herself as the ombudsman. Fast forward 4 years, and I am now the ombudsman for Parker's squadron. Ahh, military life. So here's the skinny:

The ombudsman is a communication link between the Commanding Officer and family members, appointed to provide support and information to military families. 

8 Facts About The Ombudsman:

1. The ombudsman is almost always a military spouse and can be either an officer or enlisted spouse. 

2. Every squadron or company is assigned an ombudsman.

3. The ombudsman is not a professional counselor but is there to be a listening ear and source of knowledge for any family members that need help, guidance, or just want to talk. 

4. Most everything said to the ombudsman is confidential. Exceptions are any type of abuse or suicidal thoughts, which have to be reported. However, the same rule does not apply to the chaplain. Anything said to the chaplain is completely confidential. 

5. "Ombudsman" is the most common term for this role, but you will also see the Marine Corps use "Key Volunteer" and the Army use "Family Liaison Officer". 

6. Ombudsmen are mainly Information & Referral Specialists, meaning they can get you to the resources you need for any and all situations. 

7. The ombudsman is sort of the "fix-all" go-to person for the families. The ombudsman will be called for anything from car trouble to financial issues to grief or depression. 

8. The ombudsman is a volunteer. Although this can become a busy job, they are not paid. They fulfill this role because they want to help. The ombudsman is usually appointed by the commanding officer, and in some cases interviewed before being offered the role. 

In a nutshell, the ombudsman is a really great resource for families. Especially for spouses who might be having trouble adjusting to military life or struggling with deployment, the ombudsman can help. The cool thing about the ombudsman is they have been around the military block and have gone through the different stages of military life that you might be going through. We all need a little help every once in a while, and the ombudsman is there to do just that!




8 comments :

Sarah Russo said...

I love your military Mondays! They're always so interesting and so helpful. I'm a new-ish Navy spouse and pretty clueless :) My husband is in grad school right now, but we'll be back stateside next summer and back on the submarine, which means lots of Navy lingo and stuff to know. Thanks for all of your insight!

Sarah @ www.anotheryearanothercity.blogspot.com

Katie said...

What a good lesson for me! I have never heard of an Ombudsman, in the Air Force they just call it a Key Spouse. Just goes to show, 9 years in the military and I'm still learning new things! :)

Katie
navigateandthrive.wix.com/home

Bailey Kay Young said...

I love this post! You make a great ombudsman, even for Army fiancees who live thousands of miles away! ;) Hope you had a great weekend!

Jen said...

I know for the army the Family Liaison Officer is typically a service member. We had an FRSA (Family Readiness Support Assistant) who is a civilian that works with the FRG leaders.

Jenn @ Lost in the Right Direction said...

I didn't know about this! Definitely good to know!

Ashley @ A Cute Angle said...

Very interesting. I love this Military Monday posts. How cool that you spend extra time helping Parker's squadron. VERY cool!

Ashley
acutelifestyle.blogspot.com

Janelle Cook said...

The Air Force is boring and just calls it a Key Spouse! That said, two years in, I have yet to meet one or even HEAR about one! haha, we must be slackin' over here! :-/

Stephanie said...

In the Army, these were just the FRG leaders. At our unit there were several different levels of this person. I was one for our squad before we left, so I would call about 4 or 5 different families periodically. It is interesting to see what is so different from each branch, but also each installation within a branch.

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