What The OMBUDSMAN Can Do For You
As a Sailor prepares to get underway and eventually deploy, one major point weighing on their mind might be the family they are temporarily leaving behind. A Sailor’s job may be stressful but their family’s situation is no easy task either.
USS Nimitz (CVN 68) Sailors and their families can rest easy, however, while they are in the hands of the command ombudsmen who are designated to act as a liaison between the command and families while the ship is underway.
“We are a team of volunteers with an extensive background as military spouses who have chosen this as an option to have a positive impact on Nimitz families,” said Amy Cleghon, Nimitz Ombudsman. “We assist families with requests for information and referral by advising them of the resources that are available to them.”
According to Lindsay Baldwin, Nimitz Ombudsman, a large role they play is to disseminate information up and down the chain of command. They keep Sailors informed of what’s happening at home and keep families informed of what’s happening at sea.
“One of our biggest roles is to advocate for our families,” said Baldwin. “We bring concerns to the attention of command leadership. We have thousands of resources available, so we can answer, or find the answer, to any sort of question and point family members in the right direction.”
An ombudsman can be a major comfort and stress-saver for Sailors and their families. Baldwin said they provide families of married or single members a point of contact in case of emergencies. They can also assist in getting them the information they need.
“Families need to know that we are a confidential source for them,” said Cleghon. “We are available to help them with the issues that we have. We pride ourselves on being a valuable resource for the families of the USS Nimitz and our goal is to ensure that we handle all requests for assistance swiftly, courteously and professionally.”
On top of being a liaison while the ship is out to sea, ombudsmen are also available to assist Sailors and their families prepare ahead of time for underway periods and deployment. They are urging family members to consider completing the pre-deployment checklist well ahead of time.
“Even though the deployment may be months away, the reality is that our Sailors are never home 100 percent of the time,” said Baldwin. “The things on the pre-deployment checklist should really be in order the whole time the family is on sea duty. Salty spouses know all too well that flat tires happen on duty days and that ‘two-week’ exercises can turn into nine month deployments. It’s important to be prepared at all times.”
This checklist includes everything families should consider or take care of before the ship goes out to sea. According to Cleghon, some of these essential items may include budgets, powers of attorney, identification cards, vehicle decals and wills.
“These things are just as important for the next few months as they will be during the main deployment,” said Cleghon. “Families can get a lot of this established now vice trying to take care of things during the brief in port periods that we are anticipating.”
More than anything, command ombudsmen want Sailors and their families to know they are there for anything, big or small, so families should not be shy about asking for help.
“Please don’t be afraid to reach out to us, even if it seems like a minor issue,” said Baldwin. “We like to handle the small things before they become big problems. We love what we do for the command and our families and it’s a pleasure to serve.”
For more information Sailors and their families can contact the ombudsman by email at email@example.com or by phone at (360)340-7040.
MEET YOUR NIMITZ OMBUDSMAN
Lindsay Baldwin is a native of Mesa, Arizona. Upon graduating high school she enlisted in the United States Navy and reported to RTC Great Lakes, as a part of one of the first female companies after the BRAC closure of RTC Orlando was announced. She went on to AE “A” School in Millington, Tennessee and then NAMTRAGRUDET in Jacksonville, Florida. After nearly a year of training, Lindsay reported to Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Department (AIMD) in Brunswick, Maine. There she repaired and calibrated the flight instruments of the P3C Orion. Her next command was the Red Lancers of Patrol Squadron Ten where she performed Organizational level maintenance. In 1998, Lindsay separated from active duty.
While stationed in Maine, Lindsay met Brett Baldwin, and they married in 1996. Over the course of their marriage, they have completed multiple PCS moves with a variety of TYCOMS. In 1999, they moved to Yokosuka, Japan to be attached to the forward deployed, USS Kitty Hawk (CV63). While there, Lindsay worked for Morale, Welfare, and Recreation. In 2002, the family became attached to the Easyriders of HSL-37 in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. During that time, Lindsay worked at Honolulu International Airport for HIS, a Japanese travel agency, as a translator and departure agent. Another PCS came in 2005, back to Brunswick, Maine, with the Tridents of Patrol Squadron Twenty-Six. While in Maine, Lindsay worked with Alzheimer’s patients in a Veteran’s Home, while pursuing her degree in Behavioral Neuroscience.
In 2007 the family moved to Pensacola, Florida and was attached to the Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training (CNATT). It was with CNATT that Lindsay first became an ombudsman. During her tenure as CNATT’s ombudsman, she also served as the secretary for the Pensacola Area Ombudsman Assembly. She held the position until May 2010, when the family departed for Washington to begin their tour with the Nimitz. In November 2010, Lindsay was asked to become the Vice-President of the Family Readiness Group and in May 2011, she was appointed as a Nimitz ombudsman. On 1 September 2011, at NAS Whidbey Island, Lindsay completed the training to become a Certified Ombudsman Instructor.
Lindsay and husband, Brett, have three children; Tristan 16, Robert 14, and Kiera 8.
Amy Cleghon began her Navy career in 1992 when she enlisted as a Hull Maintenance Technician. While on Active Duty Amy was stationed at Assault Craft Unit Four in Norfolk, VA and the USS Simon Lake in La Maddelena Italy.
In 1994 Amy had the opportunity to participate in one of the first programs to integrate female sailors onto combatent Navy ships. She was able to deploy on the USS Mt Whitney and the USS Stout as part of the initial group of female sailors and provide feedback on the process.
Upon exiting active duty in 1997 Amy began her civilian career as an employee of United States Joint Forces Command in Suffolk, VA where she held various positions in Adminstration, Physical Security/Force Protection and concluded her time there in 2007 as the Knowledge and Information Team Lead.
In 2007 Amy relocated for a PCS move to Great Lakes with her husband John and she focused her career in the staffing industry. Amy currently works remotely for CareerBuilder.com as the Performance Manager for the Professional Services division.
Amy has been a member of the USS Nimitz Ombudsman team since June 2011. Amy has also been active in volunteering for a variety of different organizations to include: Boys Scouts of America, 4H, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, CureSearch and Special Olympics.
Amy has been married to spouse John since 1998 and they have three boys Shane, 20; William, 16 and Hunter 13. They currently reside in Silverdale, WA.
A Letter From The Family Readiness Group
Welcome to Team NIMITZ! If you have a family member on the ship, then you are already a part of our Team.
The Team NIMITZ Family Readiness Group is a collection of family members with the goal of supporting each other and having fun while our sailors are stationed with the USS NIMITZ. We have informational meetings, social get-togethers, trips, and parties; we are always open to suggestions for activities, too! We invite you to attend our events, as they are fun, informative, and a great way to meet people and create a strong support network.
We would love to add you to our Monthly Newsletter list! Please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get connected, and provide your sailor's rate, name, and department, so we can verify your connection to the ship. Then, join our page on Facebook to connect with other people "in the same boat" at http://www.facebook.com/groups/teamnimitz/. Please let us know if you have any questions.
We look forward to welcoming you into our group!
Team NIMITZ Family Readiness Group