TSC Names Two Ombudsmen to Assist Spouse and Families of Staff and Students

Story Number: NNS170810-03Release Date: 8/10/2017 9:24:00 AM
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By Brian Walsh, Training Support Center Public Affairs

GREAT LAKES (NNS) -- Training Support Center (TSC) Great Lakes have named two ombudsman for the command; one focused on staff and the other with new accession student spouse and family responsibilities.

Angela Santos and co-ombudsman Heather Beaudet were appointed by Capt. Mark Meskimen, commanding officer of TSC.

"TSC ombudsmen are valuable assets to the command," said Capt. Mark Meskimen. "They are crucial in facilitating communication between the command and family members, fostering a better understanding of the needs and viewpoints of the families, and providing information and assistance to family members within the command. We have recently expanded our ombudsman role to include our newest students, most of these families are brand new to the Navy and what better way of providing that communications path then through our ombudsman."

Unlike prior years, TSC ombudsmen will have an added responsibility of assisting spouses and family members of students.

"The reason we now have a student ombudsman is so that the students that have Spouses and families have a representative to assist and help educate them about life in the Navy and the resources that are available to them," said TSC Command Master Chief Randall Reid. "Due to the number of Sailors at our command, it would be a huge undertaking for one ombudsman so we felt it necessary to have two. The ombudsmen are our link to the families and the issues that they are dealing with and they're role are vital in making sure the Command is running smoothly, we couldn't do it without them."

In many cases, new Sailors and their families have no idea about life in the Navy or are aware of the tools that are available to assist them with life in the Navy and the Ombudsman is their link to those tools and resources.

"I volunteered to be ombudsman because I want to help Sailors and their families," said Santos. "Extra focuses of mine will be the distribution of resource information and assisting to improve community and command events; all of which would in turn help the families. I understand the struggle and the confusion that can occur while we support our service member and the ombudsmen program was created to help families become resourceful and to help navigate through the 'bumpier' parts of life."

This volunteer position is filled by the spouse of a service member to serve as the primary communications link between the families and the command.

"I will be working mainly with staff families, but will also work alongside my co-ombudsman to support all families of the command," Beaudet said. "As ombudsmen, we are a direct communication link that distributes information released by the command to the families. We also offer support and resources to the families when the need arises. My goal as an ombudsman is to be a trusted and reliable representative of the command. I also hope to be able to offer the tools and resources the families will need along their journey."

The ombudsman program is one of many programs provided by the Fleet and Family Support Program, which enhances Sailor readiness and family preparedness, thereby contributing to mission readiness. The program is committed to promoting self-reliance and resilience, not dependency, and empowers Navy families to meet the unique challenges of the military lifestyle.

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