It's important to be on both the Ombudsman list when your sailor is assigned to a ship or command, and also on the FRG list especially when your sailor is deployed.
The Ombudsman is a volunteer, appointed by the commanding officer, to serve as the official liaison and information link between command leadership and Navy families. Often there are two comprising an Ombudsman Team.
- Go to http://www.ombudsmanregistry.org and use the links there to contact your ombudsman, or
- Search on Facebook (i.e. USS Iwo Jima Ombudsman) and make a friend request with your sailor's name, rate (i.e., E2) rating (occupational specialty), and your relationship.
FAMILY READINESS GROUP (FRG)
FRGs are a means of community support and assistance within a Navy unit or ship. They serve as another means of communication between the command and the sailor's family members. They plan monthly meetings and fun get-togethers during deployment, and most important, plan the events leading up to homecoming.
To locate yours, you can
- ask your ombudsman for the FRG contact info
- search Navyformoms.com for a group for your ship or unit, and ask the members
- search Facebook to see if the FRG has a page. When you find it, make a friend request that includes your sponsor's (sailor's) info (rate, rating, and your relationship) and be approved.
Here's the full description of an Ombudsman from the Navy: US Navy Ombudsman Program Overview
"The Ombudsman is a volunteer, appointed by the commanding officer, to serve as an information link between command leadership and Navy families. Ombudsmen are trained to disseminate information both up and down the chain of command, including official Department of the Navy and command information, command climate issues, local quality of life (QOL) improvement opportunities, and “good deals” around the community.
They also provide resource referrals when needed. They are instrumental in resolving family issues before the issues require extensive command attention. The command ombudsman program is shaped largely by the commanding officer’s perceived needs of his/her command. The command ombudsman is appointed by and works under the guidance of the commanding officer who determines the priorities of the program, the roles and relationships of those involved in it, and the type and level of support it will receive."
Good read from Navy Live, the Official Blog of the U.S. Navy: Ombudsmen Make a Difference in the Lives of Navy Families.