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Ombudsman Program: Ombudsman Recognition


ombudsman logoThere 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 time
  • 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 appreciation
  • Photograph of command with signatures and personal notes of thanks
  • Command items such as a hat, keychain, t-shirt, etc.
  • Flowers
  • Recognition lunch or dinner at the command, club, or restaurant
  • Posting the ombudsman’s picture as part of the command leadership pictures
  • 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.”