COMMAND OMBUDSMAN AND FAMILY READINESS GROUP EMERGENCY READINESS AND RESPONSE

UNCLASSIFIED

ROUTINE

R 262103Z FEB 18

FM CNO WASHINGTON DC

TO NAVADMIN

INFO CNO WASHINGTON DC

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NAVADMIN 046/18

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 
RESPONSE//



REF/A/DOC/OPNAV/02SEP14//

REF/B/DOC/CNIC/01JUL16//

REF/C/DOC/OPNAV/31MAR11//

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 
command liaison.
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.//

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