NORFOLK (NNS) -- A Navy Reserve command ombudsman was recognized as one of the top ombudsmen in the Navy.
Shannon Baumgartner, the ombudsman for Navy Operational Support Center (NOSC) Fort Carson, was selected from all Reserve commands under Commander, Navy Reserve Force as the recipient of the 2019 Mrs. Sybil Stockdale Ombudsman of the Year Award.
The award recognizes those who serve as inspirational Ombudsmen and embody the ideals of volunteer service and commitment to Navy Sailors and their families. Four Ombudsmen, selected this year from U.S. Fleet Forces Command, U.S. Pacific Fleet, naval shore activities and Navy Reserve Force, were formally presented their awards during an award luncheon in Washington, D.C., Oct. 10.
“Mrs. Baumgartner is an expert at finding family resources such as Comfort Crew kits for children of deployed Sailors,” wrote Cmdr. Asa Kim, former Commanding Officer of NOSC Fort Carson in his nomination for Mrs. Baumgartner. “She maintains a family readiness center within the NOSC, providing helpful information and resources to Sailors and families.”
Nominated by their commanding officers, each of the award recipients are recognized for maintaining the highest standards of professionalism and creating a healthy sense of community by being positive role models for command members and their families.
“I feel so humbled to have been chosen for this award,” said Baumgartner. “Supporting our military and their loved ones is my first and foremost desire, and is rewarding in and of itself. I count it a privilege to express my gratitude for their sacrifice by supporting them and their families through the Ombudsman program. It is my way of saying thank you; thank you for helping protect our country, my family and myself.”
Baumgartner has served as NOSC Fort Carson’s ombudsman since January 2013. One of her most significant projects has been the coordination of care packages consisting of more than 1000 pounds of nonperishable food and hygiene items shipped to deployed Sailors. Her nomination also noted that she communicates effectively through monthly contributions to the command’s plan of the month, checks in regularly with deployed Sailors and their family members, and communicates prior to and following Reservist deployments.
“Mrs. Baumgartner is always ready to lend a hand at command events such as the annual Rocky Mountain Navy Chief Petty Officer Association Sea Services Picnic and contributes to the NOSC Facebook page,” Kim said. “She ensures that families of deployed members are invited to these events to help keep them in contact with fellow Navy personnel in the remote location that NOSC Fort Carson is in.”
In 1970, Adm. E.R. Zumwalt, Jr., then Chief of Naval Operations, created the Navy Family Ombudsman Program to improve communication between commands and the families of Sailors who served in them. The Ombudsman is a volunteer, appointed by the commanding officer, to serve as a liaison between command leadership and Nav
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