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What is an Ombudsman? An ombudsman is a valuable resource and point of contact for families who have needs best cared for by another Navy spouse. The Ombudsman ...

  • ... IS someone who will listen!
  • ... IS a bridge between the Command, its family members and the resources of the community.
  • ... CAN refer Navy families to various support agencies for assistance.
  • ... ACTS as a two-way communicator, a referral agent, and interpersonal helper for family members.

The ombudsman ...

  • ... IS a person with whom you can discuss a problem in confidence.
  • ... PROMISES to treat the problems you discuss in a confidential and professional manner, and can make sure you are informed about services and opportunities available to you.
  • ... IS a person the Command has instructed and trained because they CARE very much about making your life easier. The Command wants family members to have a contact person for just about any question they may have through the Navy Ombudsman Program. If we don't know the answer, we will provide you with a resource that can answer your questions.


In 1970, then-Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, recognized issues and concerns that are unique to Navy families. In response to those issues, he established the Navy Family Ombudsman program. This volunteer program, governed by OPNAVINST 1750.1D, is designed to provide better communication between Navy families and Navy officials.

The Ombudsman is a vital resource to assist the command in discharging the commanding officer's (CO's) responsibilities for the morale and welfare of the command's families.

The Command Family Ombudsman program belongs to the command and is shaped by the CO's perception of the needs of the command. The ombudsman is appointed by and works under the CO's guidance. The CO determines the priorities of the program, the roles and relationships of those involved in it, and the type and level of support it will receive. These decisions greatly influence the effectiveness of the Command Ombudsman program in serving the needs of the command and its family.


The Ombudsman is the link between the command and the Navy family. This is especially true in deploying commands, where the Ombudsman is the primary point of contact between the families at home and the command during deployment. As a spouse, it's important to get acquainted with your local Ombudsman. The Ombudsman is not a counselor or a social worker, but can show you the direct route toward finding solutions by helping you get the assistance you need.



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Last Updated: October 15, 2018

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