R 262103Z FEB 18
FM CNO WASHINGTON DC
INFO CNO WASHINGTON DC
PASS TO OFFICE CODES:
INFO CNO WASHINGTON DC//DNS//
MSGID/GENADMIN/CNO WASHINGTON DC/N00/JAN//
SUBJ/COMMAND OMBUDSMAN AND FAMILY READINESS GROUP EMERGENCY READINESS AND
NARR/REF A IS OPNAV INSTRUCTION 1750.1G CH-2 NAVY FAMILY OMBUDSMAN PROGRAM.
REF B IS 2016 NAVY FAMILY OMBUDSMAN PROGRAM MANUAL. REF C IS OPNAV
INSTRUCTION 1754.5B ON FAMILY READINESS GROUPS.// POC/MAST,
CARRIE/CIV/OMBUDSMAN PROGRAM COORDINATOR/
EMAIL: CARRIE.MAST1(AT)NAVY.MIL/TEL: (202)433-4701//
RMKS/1. The purpose of this NAVADMIN is to highlight the importance of the
Command Ombudsman Program and Family Readiness Groups (FRG) in facilitating
communications in support of our Navy families and to identify key commander
responsibilities in order to make the most effective use of these valuable
resources. Command Ombudsman and Family Readiness Groups, when trained and
effectively implemented, bolster command readiness and resiliency during
routine operations and in times of crisis. This was a critical lesson
learned during the response to tragedies involving the USS FITZGERALD and USS
JOHN S. MCCAIN in 2017.
2. Enabling your Ombudsman.
a. Commanders enable their Ombudsmen by fulfilling all the requirements
set forth in references (a) and (b), including ensuring their ombudsmen are
trained and ready to serve Navy families.
Commanders will communicate with their ombudsmen regarding command,
installation, and region emergency response plans and ensure ombudsmen
understand their role during a crisis or disaster. Per reference (b),
commanders must ensure ombudsmen understand the role of the Casualty
Assistance Calls Officer (CACO) and how the two programs work together to
support affected families. For example, it is not appropriate for an
ombudsman to accompany a CACO on the official notification visit or to
contact the family about the casualty before CACO notification. However,
after the CACO notifies the family, an ombudsman may offer support to the
family through information and referrals.
b. Ombudsmen must be able to effectively communicate with command
families to provide support, especially during times of crisis. As such, per
reference (a), commanders will release command rosters listing current and
inbound personnel and families to their ombudsmen. Consent of the
individuals listed is not required when the ombudsman is performing official
duties. Commanders are also required to register their ombudsmen in the
Ombudsman Program Registry. Subject to Navy policy guidance, both
appropriated and nonappropriated funds are authorized to support the
Ombudsman Program. Communication equipment is an authorized expense, and
commanders may approve cell phones based on need and funding availability.
c. Advanced training is required for all ombudsmen and should be
conducted at the installation through Ombudsman assemblies and/or in
coordination with the Fleet and Family Support Centers (FFSC). Topics
include emergency preparedness and disaster response. Each region will
ensure appropriate roles for ombudsmen are included in region and
installation plans for disaster preparedness and when Emergency Family
Assistance Centers are activated.
d. The Fleet and Family Support Program provides a variety of services
to support and enhance the Ombudsman Program's effectiveness.
FFSC staff members are assigned as Ombudsman Coordinators and provide
training, serve as a source of information and referral, and help prepare
ombudsmen to participate in crisis response.
3. Family Readiness Groups: Per reference (c), FRGs, although considered
separate from the Ombudsman program, also serve as an integral part of the
support network for Service Members and families. This network also includes
ombudsmen, FFSC, chaplains, and other installation support services. To
facilitate communication, Commanders will designate an officer, senior
enlisted member, or civilian employee of the command as the official FRG
The command liaison will ensure FRG leadership understands their roles during
crises or disasters.
4. Ethics Reminder: If approached with inquiries regarding gifts or
donations, ombudsmen and/or FRG representatives should refer those inquiries
to the appropriate command Ethics Counselor.
5. Summary and Way Forward: Commanders must ensure all requirements per
references (a) through (c) are fulfilled and make every effort to encourage
and bolster participation in these programs. Based on recent lessons
learned, Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC) is currently reviewing
and updating program policies, curriculum, webpages, and the Commanders'
Guide. Please provide CNIC any recommendations you assess that will enhance
these valuable programs. Additional information about the Ombudsman Program
is available at www.ombudsmanregistry.cnic.navy.mil and www.ffsp.navy.mil.
6. Released by Vice Admiral K. M. Donegan, Director, Navy Staff.//