Commentary | March 26, 2021

Spouse of retired Coast Guard officer at the heart of Coast Guard Ombudsman’s origin story  

By Keisha Reynolds, MyCG Writer

In the early 1980s, Wanda Allen-Yearout wrote a letter to Adm. James Gracey, the 17th Coast Guard commandant, requesting that a family representative program be established as a connection between commands and families. Allen-Yearout got the idea after attending a Navy Ombudsman training while conducting research for her Master’s thesis on the topic of Childhood Development and Family Relations specific to military families. 

In 1986, her request was granted. The first iteration of the Coast Guard’s Ombudsman Program will celebrate 35 years on  March 26, 2021. Hear a first-hand account of Allen-Yearout’s experiences building the program and why she thought it was important to have these valuable people resources as an essential part of the Coast Guard family. Also learn how her dedication to this effort eventually led to the establishment of the Wanda Allen-Yearout Ombudsman of the Year Award, named in her honor. Experience what it means to Allen-Yearout to have witnessed how her initial efforts transformed into an ombudsman force that is now 350 strong and growing. 

For a transcript of the video, please click here