What is an
An ombudsman is an official volunteer who is appointed in writing by the
commanding officer to serve as a link between commands and families that
help to ensure Coast Guard families have the information necessary to meet
the challenges of a military lifestyle. Ombudsmen are able to provide
resource referrals so that family issues may be resolved before requiring
Additionally, an ombudsman allows Coast Guard members to better achieve
mission readiness by knowing their family members have an available resource
when issues or emergent situations arise.
Benefits of the Ombudsman Program
The commanding officer is responsible for the well-being of all personnel in
the command. The morale and mission readiness of Coast Guard personnel is
directly related to the health and well-being of their families. Ombudsmen
provide a great benefit to command leadership as well as to Coast Guard
members and their families when running an effective program.
An effective Ombudsman Program:
- Ensures a responsive and accurate source of information
between commands and families.
- Provides effective resources and referral for families.
- Offers proactive information and education resources,
newsletters, telephone/email trees, and briefings.
- Supports a positive spokesperson and role model for
- Offers assistance and support during natural and
The Role of the Ombudsman
The roles and responsibilities of the ombudsman may vary slightly from
command to command. The program should be tailored to meet the needs of an
In general, ombudsmen:
- Serve as a liaison between the command and command
- Keep the command informed regarding the overall health,
morale, and welfare of command families.
- Regularly communicate and distribute information to and
from the command and command family members.
- Provide information and referral to assist command
families with any concerns or issues.
An ombudsman should not:
- Transport people in their privately-owned vehicle.
- Provide childcare.
- Lend money.
- Allow people to stay with them in their home.
- Hold an office or leadership position in a Spouses' Club.
- Be Victim Advocates or attend Victim Advocacy Training.
- Be CISM Peers.
The primary guidance for the Coast Guard Ombudsman Program is
COMDTINST1750.4 (series). The purpose of this policy is to provide program guidance and
assign responsibilities for the Coast Guard Ombudsman Program which requires
that commanding officers ensure that command family members have access to
the services of an ombudsman.
The Commandant will appoint, in writing, one or more ombudsmen-at-large to
represent all unit ombudsmen and report on active duty and reserve family
concerns. The ombudsman-at-large will write reports of any field visit and
provide them to the Commandant as requested, with a copy to the Director of
Health, Safety and Work-Life (CG-11). The ombudsman-at-large is responsible
for advising the Commandant on matters affecting Coast Guardsmen and their
families. The ombudsman-at-large will report directly to the Commandant.
Ombudsman Program Manager CG-1112
CG-1112 serves as the program manager and is responsible for developing
program policy and promoting program management efforts. In addition, the
program manager is responsible for supporting the initiation of
collaborative efforts between Coast Guard units with DoD and other federal,
state, and local agencies, including both public and private, to ensure
maximum use of resources for family support services to Coast Guard members
and their families.
Regional Ombudsman Coordinators
The Atlantic and Pacific Area Regional Ombudsman Coordinators (ROCs) address
ombudsman program service delivery and implementation issues in their
respective areas. For their respective areas the ROCs market and promote the
value of an ombudsman to all units within their AOR and advocate for the
support of the duties related to the ombudsman program.
Health, Safety and Work-Life Service Center
Health, Safety and Work-Life Service Center provides direct oversight to the
HSWL Regional Practices (HSWL RPs) to ensure the implementation of standard
operating procedures, standardized ombudsman training curricula, and
adherence to Coast Guard policy.
Ombudsman Coordinator for your AOR
The Ombudsman Coordinator in your AOR plans, manages, and implements the
Coast Guard Ombudsman Program. The coordinators facilitate, coordinate
and/or present the standardized Coast Guard Ombudsman Training at least
quarterly in their area of responsibility. Additionally, Ombudsman
Coordinators provide advice and support to the command and their ombudsmen.
Click here to locate your HSWL RP Ombudsman Coordinator.