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Office of Work-Life Programs : Ombudsman Program - Wanda Allen-Yearout Ombudsman of the Year Award Program

Mrs. Allen-Yearout was a driving force in establishing the Coast Guard Ombudsman Program and symbolizes voluntary commitment to the Coast Guard mission by supporting our members and their families. This award honors Wanda Allen-Yearout for her service to the Coast Guard.

The Wanda Allen-Yearout Ombudsman of the Year (OOY) Award Program annually recognizes a unit ombudsman that has demonstrated the greatest commitment serving as a Coast Guard Ombudsman.



Eligibility Requirements:

1.  Have served as an ombudsman for at least six consecutive months at the nominating command by 31 December 2023. Their service must have started on or before 1 July 2023.
2.  Be registered and have command assignment in the Coast Guard Ombudsman Registry.
3.  Have successfully completed Coast Guard Ombudsman Training
(CGOT) or approved alternative.
4.  Be compliant with reports in accordance with REF (A).


Please Note:  Nominations must be in compliance with this policy to qualify for consideration. Regional Ombudsman Coordinators will assist commands with screening nominations for award eligibility and ombudsman program compliance.


Ombudsman of the Year Sample Documents: 

  • District Commander’s endorsement that all eligibility requirements and selection criteria have been met, (sample)
  •  The nomination, in standard memorandum format, using 12-pitch Times New Roman font, with one-inch margins, not to exceed two pages, (sample) – OOY sample memo document
  •  Biographical information, to include information about the spouse and family, and (sample)
  • A draft citation. (sample)

Selection Criteria: 


  1. Enhanced connection between the families and command.
  2. Served as a principal source of preparation, assistance, and support to Coast Guard families during times of local or national emergency, mobilization, deployment, evacuation, and crisis.
  3. Assisted in identifying unit family support needs and provided appropriate information regarding referral services to address family concerns.
  4. Promoted a healthy sense of community for the families and command through the accomplishment of special projects that bring value to those served. These activities represent the profound impact possible when a force working for the greater good marries effectiveness and efficiency. They provide a model for community building that other ombudsmen may follow and are a credit to the Coast Guard.
  5. Exemplified the highest standards of professionalism and confidentiality. 


Nomination Process

The Coast Guard Ombudsman Program Manager in Commandant (CG-1K12) solicits electronic OOY nominations via ALCOAST message annually.
2. Commands that wish to nominate an ombudsman must submit the most current Ombudsman Activities Questionnaire. Additionally, the OOY Nomination Worksheet outlines the selection criteria and will assist commands in identifying the best candidate.   
3. Commands that share an ombudsman may submit one nomination for the shared ombudsman. The most senior command should solicit the other units for amplifying information and will make the submission.
4. Commands that have more than one Ombudsman; it is at the Commands discretion to submit one or all as a joint nomination.
5. All commands within the geographic boundaries of a District who desire to nominate their ombudsman must submit nominations to their respective Regional Ombudsman Coordinator (ROC) for Atlantic Area, Ms. Lori Gordy and for Pacific Area, Mr. Ryan Fahlenkamp by 16 February 2024. The ROC will review nomination packages for alignment with policy and tracking. All nominations will be screened for Award eligibility and Ombudsman Program compliance.
6. The ROC will forward all screened nomination packages to the appropriate District Command Master Chief by 1 March 2024 for a panel selection. 
7. District Command Master Chiefs (CMC) administer the District OOY process and convene a District OOY selection committee in accordance with applicable District instructions and,
   i. Chair the OOY selection committee and tally individual scores to determine the District nominee. The District CMC will only vote in the event of a tie.
   ii. Upon selection the District CMC shall notify the District Commander, the sponsoring Flag Officer, and the Commanding Officer of the District’s OOY.
   iii. Submit to their respective Regional Ombudsman Coordinator (Atlantic or Pacific) one ombudsman nomination package to represent all units geographically within the District.
   iv. Ensure the following additional information is included in the nomination package
       a. District Commander’s endorsement that all eligibility requirements and selection criteria have been met, (sample)
       b. The nomination, in standard memorandum format, using 12-pitch Times New Roman font, with one-inch margins, not to exceed two pages, (sample)
      c. Biographical information, to include information about the spouse and family, and (sample)
      d. A draft citation. (sample),
8.   The District CMC must forward scanned PDF of signed nomination, endorsement, and all required information to their respective Regional Ombudsman Coordinator, for Atlantic Area, Lori.A.Gordy@uscg.mil; for Pacific Area Ryan.J.Fahlenkamp2@uscg.mil no later than 15 March 2024. The ROCs will forward packages to CG-1K12.
9.  A Coast Guard Headquarters selection panel will meet to review the District nominations and select the 2023 Wanda Allen-Yearout Ombudsman of the Year.
Recognition Commandant (CG-1K112) will announce the OOY by message traffic. The Ombudsman of the Year and their spouse will be invited to Coast Guard Headquarters and will be presented the award, conditions permitting.
All Districts should announce their OOY via message traffic and hold an appropriate recognition ceremony.