Some Suggestions on How to Find an Ombudsman
(1) Ask your Sailor to email her name and email address to you.
(2) If you’ll die of old age before he does that for you, then ask other moms of your boat if they know her name/email.
(3) If that doesn't work, there's a discussion group about Ombudsmen... perhaps they've had a post with your girl on it.
(4) Finally, do this......
Once your sailor gets to his boat, I highly recommend getting in touch with his Ombudsman (think "Team Mom"). She's the information clearinghouse between the Command and the families of the crew (this includes parents). She'll release info about deployments and arrivals. She's also the "go-to-girl" for questions you have, rather than calling the ship's office.
Each boat should have its own website, and the Ombudsman is usually found there. If not, contact the ship's office for her info. She will want to know your son's emergency contact information (just in case). There is a separate Ombudsman for the Blue and Gold crews.
Another group to contact is the FRG (Family Readiness Group). This is the informal association of crew families and is mostly comprised of crew wives. The FRG should have regular meetings where they plan social events for the crew and disseminate other information like the on-base recreation programs, continuing ed classes; plus benefits and programs offered by the Navy for families.
My son’s submarine FRG and Ombudsmen send me a monthly newsletter which has an article by the Captain, notices of command changes, a calendar of upcoming events (official and social), crew birthdays, greetings and farewells to crew members, new baby notices, promotions, etc., etc. It's unclassified, so I email it to the grandmothers and aunts. It's so helpful, that I email it to Son! He's said, "I don't get it... Mom isn't even in the Navy and she knows more about what's happening on my boat than I do."
Funny story: I once got a call from the Blue crew's Ombudsman and we wound up talking for 30 minutes about stuff. She giggled when I told her Son is wigged out 'cuz I'm getting to cyber-know the wives of his commanders. While we were in Texas, my husband had a name for the ability of moms to network quickly and widely, and use that network to keep tabs on each other's kids. He called it "The Mama Mafia." When Son freaked that I knew his Master Chief's wife, I told him, "The Mama Mafia has gone global. You only thought you were getting away from me. Now I can find out what you're up to anywhere in the world!"
Another mom in the Sub Moms discussion group “Roll Call…” didn’t know where to find the info I mention above, so I helped her out by doing some Googling:
- I Googled "uss columbia" - and found a link to "USS Columbia SSN-762"; those containing "navy.mil" are official USN sites. So, I clicked that one...
- On Columbia’s page, I clicked "Commanding Officer" - and read about the Captain.
- Then I clicked "Home" to see what the home page was - it took me to “Commander, Submarine Force of the US Pacific Fleet” page, and wrote down the phone number at the bottom of the page.
- Clicked on "squadrons and submarines" at the top of the page - discovered that the Columbia is in Squadron 7, and wrote down that phone number
- Clicked on "Information" at the top of this page, but found a dead end – But I also found two phone numbers which might be helpful!
- So, next I Googled "USS Columbia Ombudsman" - and saw a link for "Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet" (this would be the boss of the Pac Fleet Sub Commander); I clicked that () and hit PAYDIRT! On his page, found the link to "Welcome Aboard" which is tons of helpful hone numbers for new arrivals and family members. Also, found "Contact Us" which has many phone numbers of duty officers, etc.
The next step is to start calling phone numbers and asking for the contact info of your sub’s Ombudsman (and Family Readiness Group, if they have it).
If the first call isn't very fruitful, keep going. (Don't forget that Chaplains are on your side too). Eventually, you'll ferret out the contacts you're looking for… be tenacious and you'll get what you need. And in the process, I learned a lot about the Columbia and the Pacific Fleet - including the Wikipedia article on her!