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My Coast Guard
Commentary | Jan. 19, 2024

Recognize your Ombudsman

By AJ Pulkkinen, MyCG Team writer

Nominate your Ombudsman for the Wanda Allen-Yearout Ombudsman of the Year Award.  

The Wanda Allen-Yearout Ombudsman of the Year Award program annually recognizes an ombudsman that has demonstrated the greatest contribution to the families and Coast Guard members while serving as a Coast Guard ombudsman. The tireless and selfless volunteer service of Coast Guard ombudsmen keeps families informed about available services and programs, easing the stress for all.  

Don’t miss the opportunity to recognize the hard work and contribution of your Ombudsman by nominating them as the 2023 Wanda Allen-Yearout Ombudsman of the Year.  


To be eligible, your ombudsman must have served as an ombudsman at your unit for at least six months by Dec. 31. See ALCOAST 024/24 for eligibility criteria and nominating procedures. 

In your nominating memo, you should specify how the nominee has: 

  • Enhanced connection between the families and command 
  • Served as a principal source of support to Coast Guard families during times of emergency, mobilization, deployment, evacuation, and individual or command crisis 
  • Assisted in identifying needs for support services and providing appropriate referral services to address family concerns and issues 
  • Promoted a healthy sense of community for the families and command through special projects that bring value to those served 
  • Served as a model for community building which other ombudsmen may follow and are a credit to the Coast Guard 
  • Demonstrated the highest standards of professionalism and confidentiality 

You must submit your nomination by Jan. 26 to your Regional Ombudsman Coordinator (ROC) — Lori Gordy at 757 670-5886 for Atlantic Area units and Ryan Fahlenkamp at 510-437-3782 for Pacific Area units. Get more information on the Coast Guard Ombudsman Program website. 

The ROCs will review, screen and forward all nominations by Feb. 16 to the appropriate District Command Master Chief (CMC) who will coordinate the selection of their District Ombudsman of the Year. The Office of Work Life will then host a selection panel to determine which of the District Ombudsman of the Year earns highest billing as the 2023 Wanda Allen-Yearout Ombudsman of the Year. 

The 2022 Wanda Allen-Yearout Ombudsman of the Year winner, Ms. Jenna Hall, provided vital assistance and support to over 1,200 active and reserve members and 2,500 family members for Sector Houston-Galveston and 14 outlying Coast Guard units. She partnered with Sector Houston-Galveston's Administrative Division to embed a Family Check-In Form into the annual verification process, resulting in 80% of the unit families regularly receiving pertinent information and resources. She also recognized that units in the area need additional ombudsmen and within a month, recruited more volunteer ombudsmen to support the families of those CG units.