There are many ways to recognize and appreciate ombudsmen. Recognition is
vitally important as ombudsmen may volunteer for a variety of reasons but
they stay involved because they are appreciated and respected.
Each ombudsman is unique and will respond to different types of recognition
and appreciation. Try to personalize recognition, if possible. Remember that
informal recognition is as important as formal recognition.
Ombudsman Appreciation Day is 26 March
Commands are authorized to celebrate
the event at any time during the month of March or as soon as possible
thereafter. Although not required, many Districts hold an area-wide recognition event,
often in conjunction with Ombudsman Appreciation Day.
There are many ways to recognize ombudsmen including an individual command
event or token of appreciation, or a base-sponsored event for all area
ombudsmen. First and foremost, the command must remember that an ombudsman
is a volunteer.
Volunteer recognition is not an event, but an ongoing interaction. When
volunteers are asked why they volunteer, none say “to receive recognition,”
yet lack of recognition or appreciation is often one of the reasons
volunteers give for leaving an organization.
General guidelines on how commanding officers/commands may recognize
ombudsmen include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Personally support the program, especially with their
- Value the ombudsman’s opinion and advice
- Let ombudsmen know they have done a good job, in writing
or in person, and look for opportunities to provide official
recognition at command functions and in publications
- Celebrate Ombudsman Appreciation Day in an appropriate
and timely way.
- Present a personally-written letter of commendation or
certificate of appreciation at the end of service
- Work with local government/mayor's office to declare an honorary Coast Guard Ombudsman Day
Appropriate tokens of appreciation include:
- Plaque inscribed with name, date, and message of
- Photograph of command with signatures and personal notes
- Command items such as a hat, keychain, t-shirt, etc.
- Recognition lunch or dinner at the command, club, or
- Posting the ombudsman’s picture as part of the command
- Providing the ombudsman with name tag and business cards
- Sending a birthday card
Finally, the simplest and most often appreciated token of recognition a
commanding officer can provide to their ombudsman is simply saying “Thank
you for a job well done.”