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NPS Welcomes New Ombudsman to Campus
U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Brian H. Abel

NPS Welcomes New Ombudsman to Campus

By MC2 Brian H. Abel

The Naval Postgraduate School officially appointed its newest ombudsman, Sasha Stevenson, to serve the university community early this month. And although NPS may be a unique environment for the traditional responsibilities of the Navy Family Ombudsman, Stevenson says she is looking forward to providing an invaluable resource to NPS families.

“Ombudsmen are the connecting link between the command and the service members' spouses and families,” said Stevenson. “We are also a source of information, and a friendly, trusting hand.”

“In the Navy, a command ombudsman provides our Sailors and families a critical command link tied to family readiness and support. In the course of my 28-year career, I’ve personally seen where a strong ombudsman program, both ashore and afloat, can help ensure that families have the necessary information to better manage the challenges of our military lifestyle,” added NPS Chief of Staff Capt. Mike Ward. “Even though we’re stationed here in Monterey, and our command revolves around a unique academic environment, our ombudsman will be an important part of the support system available to all NPS-assigned Sailors and their families. Please communicate this to your spouses, and I encourage you to reach out and take advantage of this great resource.”

In 1970, then Chief of Naval Operations Adm. E. R. Zumwalt created the Navy Family Ombudsman program, a volunteer appointed by the commanding officer (CO) to improve communication between commands and the families of the Sailors that served in them. Today, there are more than 4,000 Navy Ombudsmen serving throughout the world, sharing information and alleviating concerns while loved ones are away from home, or on deployment.

“We are volunteers appointed by the CO to be trained to disseminate information, such as official Navy and command information, command climate issues, and local community opportunities,” said Stevenson. “We also provide resource referrals and are instrumental in resolving family issues before they rise to require the command's attention.”

Stevenson says her experience in the local hospitality industry has provided her with a lot of knowledge about the local area, and is catching up quickly on Navy life and its benefits. For more information about the Ombudsman program or to reach Stevenson, e-mail ombudsman@nps.edu.


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