Ombudsman Program in Support of Warriors in Transition

Wednesday July 16, 2008

What is it?

The U.S. Army Medical Command (MEDCOM) Ombudsman Program is an avenue for warriors in transition and their Families to resolve issues, concerns and complaints arising during their transition process. MEDCOM established the Ombudsman Program in April 2007 and to date the program consists of 48 Ombudsmen located at 29 sites. Several sites will soon be added in Europe. Ombudsmen also provide services to remote sites as well as Community Based Health Care Organizations. Ombudsmen are located at Army military treatment facilities (MTFs) and serve as independent, impartial and confidential advocates between MEDCOM, the Soldier and their Families, and the MTF commander by acting as communicators, facilitators and problem solvers.

How do ombudsmen impact warriors in transition?

Since inception in April 2007, Ombudsmen have assisted nearly 7,000 WT and Family members. Ombudsmen resolve complaints, assist in obtaining accurate information and act as the advocate for warriors in transition and their Families who are faced with complex, often overwhelming issues such as their healthcare, pay, physical disability processing, reserve-component medical retention and transition to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

What types of problems do ombudsmen solve?

For example, the Family of one wounded Soldier requested he be transferred from Fort Hood, Texas, to Walter Reed Army Medical Center, which was closer to their home. Ombudsmen arranged the transfer and the Medical Command's Medical Assistance Group arranged for his mother to receive counseling. The mother of a Soldier with a back injury requested that he receive neurology care. Womack Army Medical Center worked with the Soldier and his Family to schedule a neurology appointment and an MRI scan while he was on leave from deployment in Afghanistan.

Why is this important to the Army?

Apart from war itself, the care of our warriors in transition and their Families is the top priority of the Army. The Ombudsman Program, along with the Wounded Soldier and Family Hotline (800-984-8523) are integral in bringing issues to the attention of Army leadership as well as identifying trends or patterns which must be addressed by senior leaders.

Resources:

Wounded Soldier and Family Hotline: 800-984-8523

Overseas DSN: 312-328-0002

Stateside DSN: 328-0002

Email: wsfsupport@conus.army.mil

INFORMATION YOU CAN USE

- 2008 Strategic Communication Guide - Read the 2008 Army Strategic Communication Guide for key messages and updates

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A CULTURE OF ENGAGEMENT

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SOCIAL NETWORKING

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WAR ON TERROR NEWS

  • Twin suicide attacks kill 28 Iraqi army recruits (WP)
  • Suicide bombers kill 35 Iraqi recruits (NYT)
  • U.S. troops pull out of Afghan base after attack (ABC)
  • Afghan fight drawing foreign Jihadis (CSM)
  • Pakistan post was not in U.S. records (NYT)
  • Costly weapon-detection plans are in disarray, investigators Say (WP)

OF INTEREST

  • Airman who lost GI son to war deploys to Iraq (AT)
  • Gates warns of militarized policy (WP)
  • Defense Secretary Gates wants to spend more on U.S. diplomacy (LAT)
  • Bin Laden's driver testifies about Guantanamo abuse (MH)
  • Drinking water, food sources drying up (WT)

WORLD VIEW

  • High crime rate a 'misperception': U.S. commander (JT | Story)
  • Iraqis convicted of Allawi assasination plot (SP | Story)
  • Australia better off out of Iraq - Joel Fitzgibbon (SDT | Story)
  • Hezbollah prisoner swap under way (AJ | Story)
  • U.S. troops poised to cross Afghan border for raid on bases (TO | Story)
  • NATO troops build up on Pak-Afghan border (DT | Story)
  • Diplomat's presence marks softening of U.S. stance towards Iran (GRD | Story)
  • U.S. troops start exercises in Georgia (MT | Story)

WHAT'S BEING SAID IN BLOGS

  • From nation building to net roots (AOD)
  • Basra could become another Dubai, says U.K. general (TT)
  • Did the AFP incorrectly label military photo?; Not In Iraq (AP)
  • When the Soldier's away, the blogger will be silent? (AAWL)
  • By the end of the day.... (OMV)
  • In sync (N2G)

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Events

July 26, 2008: 60th Anniversary of the Integration of the Armed Forces

SENIOR LEADERS ARE SAYING

"The Army's unwavering commitment and a key element of our Warrior ethos is that we never leave a Soldier behind on the battlefield or lost in the bureaucracy."

- Surgeon General and Commander LTG Eric Schoomaker, U.S. Army Medical Command.

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

"We want to grow scientists and engineers here in America. It's real important that we are creating future generations that are literate in science, math and technology because that's fundamental to our way of life."

- Dr. Michael Doyle, eCybermission program manager, informing students about programs the Army has to offer at a technology conference in Florida

Army showcases technologies at student conference

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