It is the commanding officer’s responsibility to ensure that the ombudsman is thoroughly oriented and prepared to begin carrying out his/her duties. The CO should ensure that the ombudsman has the appropriate materials and equipment.
Before officially appointing an ombudsman, the CO must have a completed Application to Volunteer as a Coast Guard Ombudsman, CG Form 6078 [Application Form CG-6078] signed by the servicing HSWL Family Advocacy Specialist.
Commanding Officer Requirements
An ombudsman is considered an official Coast Guard volunteer and as such a CO must:
Command Meeting and Orientation
Once you have decided to appoint an ombudsman, you should schedule a command meeting to complete required paperwork such as the volunteer agreement and clarify roles and expectations. During the orientation meeting it is recommended that the XO, CMC and command point of contact meet with the newly appointed ombudsman as well. For a list of discussion topics click here [Orientation Meeting].
COMDTINST 1750.4 (series) requires that the command ombudsman receives adequate equipment, material, and funding support. Every unit with an appointed ombudsman will establish a funding line item to support their ombudsman program. Use of appropriated and non-appropriated funds is authorized for this purpose. For reimbursement, the ombudsman must document expenses and provide receipts as well as submit a Claim for Reimbursement for Expenditures on Official Business, OF 1164. Ombudsmen must be acting in an official capacity and reimbursements must be pre-approved by the command. ITAs may be issued per COMDTINST 12570.3 (series) and ombudsmen must have an appointment letter. Additional Information on ITAs. The following items may be reimbursed:
- Child care, not to exceed local Child Development Center (CDC) rates.
- Mileage, Parking, Tolls, paid at current government reimbursement rate for privately owned vehicles.
- Travel Expenses, incurred during participation in training, conferences and other approved events, provided it was approved in advance and an ITA was issued. Travel expenses will be paid in accordance with Joint Federal Travel Regulations.
The command may provide the following equipment to the ombudsman:
- Electronic equipment such as computer/Internet, etc.
- Use of administrative office equipment such as copier/fax, etc.
- Cell phone.
To ensure that a new ombudsman has all of the necessary information and materials, it is helpful for the command to give the ombudsman a Welcome Packet. The content of the Welcome Packet should include everything newly appointed ombudsmen need to successfully carry out their duties and responsibilities. The packet may be customized with command-specific information but should include the following content.
In accordance with COMDTINST 5500.13 (series) Chapter 5, access to Coast Guard IT user accounts are not authorized for unit Ombudsman.
USCG commands may email unit roster information (i.e., dependent names, addresses, and phone numbers) to their officially appointed ombudsman provided they abide by the following provisions:
• Transmitted as a password protected attachment within the email and
• The e-mail must be encrypted, digitally signed and the password to the protected attachment must be provided to the recipient via separate correspondence.
In addition to the appointment letter, DD-2793, and CG-6078, it is recommended that commands maintain a DHS Non-Disclosure Agreement on each officially appointed ombudsman. This form should be completed in its entirety.
Current Coast Guard Ombudsman Training and additional social media guides does meet this training requirement. However, it is recommended ombudsmen take the DHS Protecting Personal Information training (course # 810015) that is available in the AUX LMS system.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact your Area Regional Ombudsman Coordinator, HSWL RP Ombudsman Coordinator.
Online Core Training must be completed within 30 days of receiving notification of access. In addition, ombudsmen must attend Coast Guard Ombudsman training within three months of appointment. Ombudsmen shall contact their respective Health, Safety and Work-Life (HSWL) Regional Practice (RP) Ombudsman Coordinator for training schedules.
A variety of training opportunities exist for Coast Guard Ombudsmen. Training begins with the CO guidance. The Coast Guard Ombudsman Program Instruction COMDTINST 1750.4 (series) and the Coast Guard Ombudsman Training manual should be read by ombudsmen prior to taking on this volunteer role.
Ombudsman training is required of all ombudsmen. It provides information to properly execute the duties required. Ombudsman training is approximately 16 hours long and includes:
- Program overview
- Ethical Standards
- Program Management
- Representing the Command
- Communications Link
- Resource and Referral
- Crisis Response
Ombudsman training is coordinated by the HSWL RP Ombudsman Coordinators and is offered quarterly in various locations within each district. Commands are authorized to issue ITAs for ombudsmen to attend training. Commands shall work with the HSWL RP Ombudsman Coordinator to prepare the ITAs.
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