#BZFriday: OJAG Welcomes New Ombudsman

From Navy Judge Advocate General Corps Public Affairs In January 2017, Ms. Yoko Meusch became the ombudsman for the Office of the Judge Advocate General (OJAG). As ombudsman, Meusch is a […]

From Navy Judge Advocate General Corps Public Affairs

In January 2017, Ms. Yoko Meusch became the ombudsman for the Office of the Judge Advocate General (OJAG). As ombudsman, Meusch is a critical communication link between families and command leadership.

“I serve as the primary command point of contact for families and can provide information and/or make necessary referrals,” said Meusch.

Ombudsmen are spouses of active-duty service members who volunteer for the position and are appointed by the commanding officer. The ombudsman program was started in 1970 by then Chief of Naval Operations Adm. E.R. Zumwalt, Jr., as a way to improve communication between commands and the families of Sailors.

Volunteers are screened, selected and appointed by the commanding officer. An ombudsman is required to take the “Ombudsman Basic Training” course, which includes topics such as code of ethics, information and referral, crisis call and disaster. There also are multiple trainings provided through Fleet and Family Support Center, including “Military Saves Campaign,” “Navy Family Accountability and Assessment System,” and “Family Employment Readiness Program” courses.

Meusch, wife of Lt. Jacob Meusch, has 13 years of experience as a civilian employee on a U.S. military installation in Sasebo, Japan, and has seen how military service impacts the entire family.

“As the OJAG ombudsman, I want to ensure families stay connected to the command while keeping the command informed of the well-being of the families,” said Meusch.

Meusch welcomes feedback or suggestions on ways to improve the OJAG ombudsman program.

“I look forward to being able to help families in need and help them connect with the command,” said Meusch. “The wellness of the families affects the wellness of the service members, which affects the success of their command’s operations. Due to the nature of the Navy life, the families are frequently relocated and they sometimes feel lost or lonely in the new community. I think the ombudsman program is important to make sure that families are included in and connected to the command.”

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