Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Resources & Definitions for New Navy Wives & New Navy Girlfriends

The Resources Navy Girlfriends & Navy Wives Are Looking For
by Stephanie Carroll
The Veteran Navy Wife

YOKOSUKA, Japan (July 3, 2009) 
Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Rick West 
has an Ombudsman's call. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication 
Specialist 1st Class Jennifer A. Villalovos/Released)

We recently had a new Navy Girlfriend post a question on our Facebook group regarding a need to know the basics of the Navy Life. We directed her to the official Navy Spouse 101 Class, which is very useful and I recommend all new Navy Girlfriends and Wives attend it, but it's hard especially for Girlfriends to get on base and others just are like me and want that info now! 

So I've decided to make this post the go-to guide to finding the official resources you want. It's touch online because so many people are writing and you don't know what information is accurate. Well this is your guide to the official information and resources the US Navy would give you. 

The information and resources I provide here are for the US Navy, but we'll work on getting some other countries guides up in the future. 

Quoted material is from the website being linked to and is used to provide the most accurate descriptions. If any links below are broken or inaccurate, please comment or contact us to let us know so we can fix it immediately. Thank You!

The Information Section of Orientation
Spouse 101 Presentation (Navy Spouse Orientation)
- via Google Docs or PDF. This is the presentation you would watch at the Navy Spouse Orientation. That doesn't mean it substitutes going though. The information on this presentation is meant to be used while a speaker presents, answers questions, and clarifies, but it still has a lot of the information you will need and want.

Unfortunately, it doesn't include a table of contents so you will have to skim it to find exactly what you want or just start from the top and work your way down. Also, I found that the majority of the links to online resources did not work, but all those resources and their links are listed below. 

Check this out for a description of what the Navy Spouse Orientation is all about.

Navy Services Family Line 
Navy Services Family Line publishes several free books that are what the US Navy calls essential for new Navy Wives & Navy Girlfriends and are often provided and Navy Wife orientations. One in particular is:

Sea Legs and COMPASS  (Get the free publications you would receive at orientation!)
This link will take you to the order form page on Navy Services Family Line. Sea Legs and COMPASS are two publications put out by NSFL that the Navy often provided at Navy Spouse Orientations.

A military recommended sight for help, information, and resources.

"Military OneSource is a confidential Department of Defense-funded program providing comprehensive information on every aspect of military life at no cost to active duty, Guard and Reserve Component members, and their families. Information includes, but is not limited to, deployment, reunion, relationship, grief, spouse employment and education, parenting and childhood, and much more."

If you want information on a program, search on this site to get the official scoop, but make sure to put your search words in quotations otherwise searching is a pain. ;)

"CNIC's job as an "enabler" is to thread a needle across these Enterprises, with the needle and thread equating to all the services our installations provide on a daily basis in support of the Enterprises. These services (Ports, Airfields, MWR and Housing, to name just a few) are how we support the "Fleet, Fighter and Family."

This is the website military members go to in order to get information about the military, but it can be useful to you too. It's very geared toward military members and their about section was difficult to navigate which is why I don't have a quote for you, but if you want to know what your military member knows . . . go here.

The Resource Section of Orientation
I'd read through these for informational purposes even if you don't think you need them. You never know, plus cool points for knowing what people are talking about. ;) 

Ombudsmen (Navy Girlfriends can Access)
All hail the Ombudsmen! This is the key person that keeps you in contact with the official people who know what's going on with your Sailor. When he's out of communication, this person will be the one to keep you updated if something were to happen and this is the person you contact if something happens to you and you need the command's help.

"An Ombudsman is an official representative of the Commanding Officer; he/she plays a vital role in establishing and maintaining current and accurate communication between the command and its family members."

*Hint: Sign up for the Ombudsmen's newsletter!!! That's where you'll get regular updates.

Family Readiness Group (FRG) (Navy Girlfriends Can Access)
These groups keep Navy Wives informed during deployments and detachments. They also coordinate activities and other events for families. It's a combo of support and social needs, because most Navy Wives struggle to form friendships that can be useful when their loved ones are away.

Note: FRG's are rumored to be full of caddy women. That doesn't mean all groups are like that and the US Navy is working to make sure that's not the case. The fact is these groups might serve as your lifeline. Don't forgo this vital resource because of silly rumors.

The official center to support the family members of the fleet. 

"FFSP provides services through Fleet and Family Support Centers, such as relocation assistance, new parent support, deployment services, clinical counseling services, financial management counseling, family employment services, family advocacy and the transition assistance programs."

Navy Marine Corps Relief Center (NMCRS)
This is an awesome resources but can only be utilized by military members and Navy Wives. They provide a variety of financial guidance and assistance, emergency loans, awesome volunteer opps for Navy Wives wanting work experience, with reimbursement for childcare and gas, etc.

The American Red Cross also offers assistance  and I know that if the NMCRS can't, they send people to ARC. The ARC would probably be the place a Navy Girlfriend might go for emergency financial assistance, but it's always based on the situation.

"The Red Cross helps military members, veterans and their families prepare for, cope with, and respond to the challenges of military service. Emergency communications, training, support to wounded warriors and veterans, and access to community resources help an average of 150,000 military families and veterans annually."

"CYP provide high quality educational and recreational programs for children and youth. Teams of caring, knowledgeable professionals plan developmentally appropriate programs that are responsive to the unique needs, abilities, and interests of children."

"The Navy’s Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) is a quality of life program that supports Sailors who have family members with chronic medical, dental, mental health, developmental or educational conditions and require special care and services."

"The Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) Department's mission is to provide quality, varied programs of wholesome and constructive recreation/leisure activities for Navy personnel and their family members. These programs contribute to the mental, physical, social, and educational enrichment of the participants."

DEERS Defense Eligibility Enrollment Reporting System
You must be enrolled to receive benefits such as those provided by Tricare.

Military Healthcare Insurance.

These guys provide marriage and religious services and counseling. The US Navy offers Catholic and Protestant services on base.

On base grocery stores.

On base department store.

YMCA for the military.

". . . we provide hands-on, innovative, specialized programs and support services to military service members and their families with a particular focus on junior-enlisted men and women — the individuals on the front lines of defending our nation. Programs are offered at no or low cost and require no dues or membership fees."

Help when natural disasters occur.

"The mission of the Emergency Management Department is to develop, implement, and manage the Navy's premiere installation all-hazard emergency management program  capable of preparing for, responding to, recovering from, and mitigating against both natural  and man-made events . . . "

Navy Programs are directed by region, like Northwest, Southwest, etc. As far as my experience goes, I never really needed to know anything about this, but you will hear people say Navy Region Northwest or Southwest all the time, so it's probably a good idea to know what they are talking about. 

This is probably important if you wanted to know "whose in charge around here?" You could find phone numbers and contact information for the department heads by searching through your region.

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About Stephanie Carroll
U&E Founder & Author
Buy Her Book A White Room!
Photo by Randy Enriquez
I dated and married my husband in 2004 when I was 19. I felt like an outsider for the first half of our marriage. He didn't understand what I needed to know about the Navy, and I didn't know what to ask.

After ten years of learning in the Navy, I founded Unhinged & Empowered. I wanted to spread the knowledge that I needed when I was new, to reveal what took years for me to learn.   
Cover Design by Jenny Q
In addition to being a Navy Wife, I am also a novelist. I write historical women's fiction.

My first novel A White Room debuted in 2013 and is about a woman forced to sacrifice her own ambitions of becoming a nurse to marry a man who can save her destitute family. He moves her to a strange, small town where she slowly succumbs to madness until she stumbles on an opportunity to nurse to the poor despite the fact that her husband prosecutes unlicensed practitioners.

Learn more at and connect with me @CarrollBooks on Twitter, Facebook, or on Pinterest!

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  1. This is incredibly helpful. Info I didn't know how to ask for, but is great! 47days into a deployment as a Navy Girlfriend is making me feel like a basket-case sometimes because there's so much that I don't know. This will help with my curiosity and need for knowledge. Questions that I don't want to bother my man with right now. Thank you, thank you!

    1. Thank you for commenting Amanda,

      I'm so glad it was helpful to you.

      Don't worry about feeling like a basket-case, that's normal. We are all coming unhinged during deployments. Just remember that you have every right to go through the emotions you are having and they are not symptoms of insanity. They are the steps you take to get through a deployment. The fact that you are going through them at all instead of running away is what shows you are a strong and empowered woman. Be proud every time you break down or feel like you are going crazy. That's what dedicated Navy Wives and Girlfriends do. ;)

      Don't be afraid to ask questions. That's what this blog is here for and we're happy to answer them. =)


I love, love your comments and questions! Just remember to not mention any security info about your Sailor! Thank you!

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