National Domestic Violence Awareness Month – The risks & resources

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month — observed every year to raise awareness, promote the resources that are available, renew our commitment to building healthy relationships, and promote offender accountability.

Graphic for Dialouge with the MCPOCG series.

Communities of Practice – Info-sharing helps ombudsmen serve commands and families

Coast Guard ombudsmen serve as a valuable link between commands and families, helping commanding officers/officers-in-charge better understand the welfare of the families of their members, while at the same time helping families prepare for emergencies and cope with the challenges of a military lifestyle – duty, deployments, transfers, etc.

From the Homefront

From the Homefront: Janet Cantrell uses past experiences to shape new goals

Cantrell, wife of Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Steve Cantrell, is using her past to guide her present. Her experiences as a Coast Guard spouse for almost 28 years serve as a constant reminder of how she wants to help military spouses today.

Graphic for Dialouge with the MCPOCG series.

Dialogue with the MCPOCG: Welcome to the Family!

Nothing gives me greater joy than recognizing the hard work and accomplishments of the men and women who make up our Coast Guard workforce. I recently had the honor of watching one such group in action – The Guardian Spouses at Training Center Cape May, New Jersey.

Coast Guard Team Kodiak ombudsmen and command staff from Coast Guard Base Kodiak, Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak, Coast Guard Cutter SPAR, Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley and Coast Guard Cutter Munro pause for a photo after an appreciation luncheon in Kodiak, Alaska, April 4, 2014. The Ombudsman Program is a Coast Guard-wide program established to serve as a link between commands and families to help ensure families have the information necessary to meet the challenges of a military lifestyle. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Diana Honings)

Building stronger communities is key to surviving any hazard

As America’s maritime first responders, the 2014 Coast Guard Directive states, “responding to natural, man-made, and other disasters is a fundamental Coast Guard capability.” This is a reflection on the skill and competence of personnel protecting the communities they serve, as well as those of their families. Ms. Sedonia Cheatham, a native New Orleanian, is a prime example of a Coast Guard spouse and ombudsman who has acted on this know-how to the betterment of her community.

Amanda Gornik is the ombudsman for the Coast Guard Cutter Spencer, homeported in Boston. Photo courtesy of Amanda Gornik.

From the Homefront: Ombudsmen share their secrets to success

Every Coast Guard ombudsman has a list of favored resources and services that are as distinct as the families they serve. Families’ needs, whether on cutters, at stations or “geobaching,” are diverse and ombudsmen are prepared to respond. This week, I asked them to open their toolboxes and share the resources they find most useful for Coastie families.

The Coast Guard Sandy Hook base sign becomes surrounded by flood waters, Nov. 1, 2012, after Hurricane Sandy devastated the area near Sandy Hook, N.J. Coast Guard facilities were destroyed after flooding over the area. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Luke Clayton

Hurricane Preparedness Week: Superstorm Sandy inspires new Ombudsman

As part of Hurricane Preparedness Week May 25 – 31, the article below highlights how the Ready Coast Guard and Ombudsman programs play a vital role before, during and after a disaster hits your area.     Written by Elaine […]

The Coast Guard Foundation honored seven exceptional Coast Guard spouses from District 8 at a dinner attended my Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp and Mrs. Papp. Photo courtesy of the Coast Guard Foundation.

From the Homefront: Honoring Coast Guard spouses

Spring is a time of renewal so it is only fitting we take this opportunity in the opening days of the season to renew our appreciation for our military spouses. Over the past several weeks, Coast Guard spouses across the country have been honored by a variety of sponsors for their selfless work supporting Coastie families and, in turn, allowing their loved ones to focus on supporting Coast Guard missions.

Mrs. Linda Kapral Papp speaks at a Coast Guard Yellow Ribbon Program breakfast in Seattle May 26, 2011. The Yellow Ribbon Program supports military familiies before, during and after oversees deployments. U.S. Coast Guard Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley.

Yellow Ribbon Program: Supporting Coast Guard Reserve families

One of the most exciting times in the Coast Guard Reserve is getting the call to action. Deployments put training and proficiency to the test. They are also one of the most stressful times for Reserve members and their families. Fortunately, the Coast Guard Yellow Ribbon Program is there to help!

Military spouses celebrate at the 2013 Military Spouse of the Year luncheon. From left, Debbie Leavitt, spouse of the master chief petty officer of the Coast Guard; Shelley Kimball, 2013 Coast Guard spouse of the year; Mary Jane Currier, spouse of the vice commandant of the Coast Guard; and Morgan Knauss, ombudsman for Aviation Training Center Mobile. Photo courtesy of Shelley Kimball.

From the Homefront: My superheroes

To me, ombudsmen are the superheroes of the Coast Guard. They step up and are willing to extend a hand in time of need, no matter what it is. One of the first things I do at a new duty station is to find my ombudsman. I make sure that he or she has my contact information right away. I do it when I don’t need help, when the waters are calm. Because you know as well as I, as soon as something happens in your personal life or in our Coast Guard lives, things get crazy. That’s not the time I want to be scrambling around looking for my superhero.

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