Military Support Programs

FFSC encourages commands to take advantage of FFSC’s Command Representative Program. An FFSC staff member is assigned to serve as a direct link between FFSC and your command. The FFSC command representative can significantly improve the flow of information and customize services to meet your command needs. Whether your command requires support during a crisis, command leadership training, counseling, advocacy, or deployment readiness assistance, FFSC stands ready to serve your command.

--> Command Support Programs

--> Deployment Readiness

--> Relocation Assistance

--> Transition Assistance Program

--> Retired Activities

--> Ombudsman Program

--> Inter-Cultural Relations

--> Navy Gold Star Program


Command Support Programs

Whether your command needs support during a crisis, training for command leadership, or an FFSC Command Representative specifically assigned to serve the needs of your command, FFSC is here to support your command by providing:

  • The 21st Century CONSEP (Career Options and Navy Skills Evaluation Program
  • Crisis Support
  • Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) POC Training
  • FAP Command Leadership Training
  • FFSC Command Representatives
  • Leadership Spouse Training
  • Leadership Training
  • Ombudsman Training and Support
  • Operational Stress Control (OSC) Brief
  • Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) Support
  • Suicide Prevention Briefs
  • Training and Workshops at Your Command

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Deployment Readiness

Deployments are an inevitable part of military life. Despite the challenges of separation and change, deployments can be managed. Information and skill building is key to managing the deployment. Working in concert with Command Leadership, the Family Readiness Group and Ombudsmen, the FFSC will help provide the necessary information and practical skills that allow active duty and family members to cope with deployment challenges.

Years of experience and knowledge about the deployment process make it possible to design a series of informational programs and support services. Over the years, FFSC has provided assistance in three stages of the deployment cycle:

  • Pre-Deployment
  • During the Deployment
  • Reunion and Homecoming

FFSC offers a variety of workshops that address the challenges associated with military deployment. In general, these education programs deal with information needs that develop during the three phases of deployment: pre-deployment, during the deployment and homecoming and reunion.

Deployment & Mobilization WorkshopsFFSC offers a variety of workshops that address the challenges associated with military deployment. In general, these education programs deal with information needs that develop during the three phases of deployment: pre-deployment, during the deployment and homecoming and reunion.

Kids & Deployment
This program (approximately one hour) is generally presented through the Command Family Readiness Group and would be scheduled after the Command has left for deployment. The class addresses the typical reactions of children to the deployment and provides parents the opportunity to discuss unanticipated, real-life situations that have developed since the deployment began.

Couples Pre-Deployment
A 60-minute program for couples and geographic bachelors. It suggests ways to cope, communicate, and keep in touch while apart. It also encourages financial planning for deployment through budgeting, allotments, and savings.

Deployment Readiness Brief
Participants will learn successful coping skills and how to avoid deployment pitfalls at this single-session, two-hour program. This class will assist Sailors and family members in adjusting to the changing demands of the Navy’s Fleet Response Plan. Attend one of the classes at your nearest FFSC or commands can include this brief in their training programs at their command. Commands can include this brief in their training programs at their command.

Financial Planning for Deployment
A pre-deployment program offered at Commands that addresses the many financial issues deploying Sailors or Marines must prepare for.

Families who have been managing on their own during long deployments face a major adjustment when members return home. Often, beneath the excitement and anticipation is stress about reintegrating the returning member into family life. FFSC's Homecoming program helps those at home "make a good thing better" by addressing concerns in a discussion format.

After many months of separation, the feelings and emotions associated with homecoming are overwhelming. With so many positive feelings surrounding the anticipated reunion, what is there to learn that could possibly make this event even better?

The experienced staff at Fleet and Family Support Centers has capitalized upon many homecoming experiences and offer a few observations and common questions that family members usually experience.

Anticipation of homecoming

  • You may wonder whether your partner has changed over the long separation.
  • You now remember all those decisions you had to make on your own and whether they were the "right" ones — now with the benefit of hindsight.
  • Even though you really want him/her back, will you miss the freedom and independence that you enjoyed during the deployment?
  • Will the kids adjust easily to the other parent?
  • You've not done all the things you wanted to over these many months, will he/she want to "go and do" or just sit back and relax.

After the homecoming is over

  • The military member doesn't seem to appreciate all the little things done while he/she was gone. Why not?
  • He/she may seem more distant sometimes and wants to be alone a lot. You may want more family time. What's that all about?
  • You may have made a lot of nice changes to the house. Why didn't your spouse notice them?
  • You thought he/she would want to spend more time with the kids.
  • Seems like the "homecoming high" ended so quickly, especially since you had such anticipation.

Managing Separation Successfully
This workshop may be offered to Family Readiness Groups shortly after a command leaves on deployment. The workshop is designed to assist non-deployed partners in understanding and dealing more effectively with separations due to deployment. The presentation is intended to provide a supportive environment for participants to discuss their emotions, normalize their reactions and identify coping strategies.

Deployment Readiness for Parents
A program for parents and children age 4-16 that helps prepare parents and children for separation. Parents are presented with suggestions for maintaining communication with their deployed spouse, as well as information on children’s typical reactions to deployment. Meanwhile, the children participate in “hands-on,” age-appropriate activities that help them understand and cope with deploymen.

Singles Pre-Deployment
A 60-minute program for singles that includes information on financial planning, vehicle storage, and communication with friends and family members.

Return and Reunion
An onboard program for active duty personnel that prepares service members to re-enter the family and community. FFSC staff conduct a variety of 45- to 60-minute workshops onboard the ship as it transits to home port. Workshops include Car Buying, Money Management, Returning to Children, and Reunion for Couples.

Individual Augmentee Support
Individual Augmentees (IAs) are Sailors who support or “augment” another Navy, Marine Corps or Army command. Sailors usually go to their IA assignment on temporary or TAD orders and return to their current or “parent” command once they complete their assignment. Assignments vary in length from a few months to a year or more. FFSCs provide IA family member case management support while the Sailor is deployed. Please contact your local FFSC for more information on this service.

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Relocation Assistance

FFSC offers one-on-one consultation from experienced FFSC staff including extensive information and referral services.

Overseas Transfer Workshop
Will you be transferring overseas soon? This helpful, single-session workshop is a great way to prepare yourself and your family for this challenging adventure. Information will be provided on household goods and auto shipment, financial planning, travel arrangements and passports, personal security, and culture shock. Open to active duty members, spouses, and dependents 12 years and older.

Smooth Move Workshop
Transferring to a new duty station? This single-session workshop offers tips to help make your move as "painless" as possible! Topics include hints on shipping household goods, travel and financial planning, entitlements, family preparation, and ways to reduce relocation stress. Open to all active duty, retiring, and separating military personnel, and their famiies.

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Transition Assistance Program (TAP)

TAP Workshops Transition GPS is a five-day mandatory DOD workshop for retiring or separating military members making the transition to the civilian sector. The workshop provides instruction on skills identification, resume preparation, interview techniques, and veterans' entitlements. Uniform of the day is required. Spouses are welcome to attend as space permits.

Classes are Monday from 6:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Tuesday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Transition GPS 5-Day Workshops are available for Executives (E-9, CWO4/5, O-5 and above), retirees and separatees. Contact your command career counselor for a QUOTA, your Transition GPS class location, and workshop PREREQUISITES to attend Transition GPS.

For additional information please call 757-444-3522/6089 or Fax 757-444-6095

Assessing Higher Education
This two-day workshop is geared towards transitioning service members who plan to pursue higher education. The courses are designed to assist participants in developing educational goals and to assist with the admission process. Course curriculum includes instruction on identifying information related to federal financial aid; Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), online resources to assist in college and program selection; information on Veteran support clubs/organizations at certain institutions; college progression and associated costs; and best practices on adult and virtual learning.

Career Planning
Whether you are looking for a job or information on career planning, learning through self-assessment will enhance your chances in finding satisfying employment. In this three-hour workshop, you will be guided through career choices based on life goals, personal skills, abilities, preferences, and work values. 

Career Technical Training
This two-day career track is designed for transitioning service members interested in a technical trade or vocational field.  The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facilitates this program to assist participants in defining technical career goals, identifying required credentials (licenses and certifications), finding technical training opportunities, and utilizing VA education benefits. Upon completion of this course participants should be able to select a technical school and determine licensure requirements for their desired occupational trade. 

Boots 2 Business (Entrepreneurship)
This two-day track called “Boots to Business” is training provided by Small Business Administration (SBA) Partners, which may include Small Business Development Centers, Service Corps of Retired Executives, Veterans Business Outreach Centers, and Women Business Centers to focus on feasibility analysis for business planning for transitioning service members interested in self-employment.  Participants will walk away with a completed feasibility study of their own business concept that will serve as the basis for launching a new venture and for future business planning efforts.

Effective Resume Writing
These days, only a top-notch resume will get you an interview. Learn how to market your skills, knowledge, accomplishments, and experience with an impressive resume. This single-session workshop also includes tips on translating military terminology.

The Federal Employment System
In this single-session workshop, gain the advantage in your job search with the federal government by learning how to find vacancies and job listings, complete the application process, and how to understand standard qualifications and testing requirements. 

Interview Techniques
Want to feel more confident at your next job interview? This single-session workshop teaches you how! Topics include positive answers to difficult questions, dressing for success, and the importance of body language and positive attitude. Interview follow-up and salary negotiations are also discussed.

Job Network
Job Network is a monthly, one-hour employer panel comprised of three human resource personnel. Ask local and national employers what they like to see on resumes and how to prepare for interviews. Find out about open positions, their application process, and what benefits are available. Transitioners,
separatees, and military family members are invited to attend.

Job Search Strategies
Learn more about the crucial steps in the job search process. This single-session workshop covers everything from assessing the hidden job market to finding a job long-distance, including job searching on the Internet. Many of the resources and services available to job seekers are also discussed, including major employers in the Hampton Roads area and the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC).               Link to Job Search Strategies Class Schedule

VA Disability Benefits Review
This day-long workshop sponsored by the Virginia Department of Veterans Services and FFSC is for service members who are within 60 days to six months of retirement or separation. Class participants will learn how to review service medical records; identify medical conditions that may lead to a compensable disability rating; request vocational rehabilitation benefits and training; and complete their application for submission.

In order to accurately complete the application forms, please bring the following:

  1. Medical records (original and 1 copy)
  2. Copies of:
  3. Marriage certificate
  4. Children's birth certificates
  5. Dependents social security numbers
  6. Divorce decree or death certificate for any previous marriages
  7. Bank account and routing information.
  8. Call your local FFSC to register for a VA Disability Benefits Review Workshop:

    JEB Little Creek - Fort Story, 757-462-7563
    NAS Oceana, 757-433-2912
    NAVSTA Norfolk, 757-444-2102

    The 21st Century CONSEP (Career Options and Navy Skills Evaluation Program)
    The Standard for Career Readiness, this 16-hour course was developed to provide Navy Command Career Counselors and Fleet and Family Support Center (FFSC) staff the opportunity to guide first-term and mid-career Sailors through their career opportunities available in the Navy and in the civilian sector. CONSEP is Military Life Cycle (MLC) tool designed to enable Service Members to identify their skills and talents, develop long-term professional and personal goals, plan for personal financial stability, research civilian skills and qualifications, and establish long-term planning objectives. The below modules can be presented in its entirety or by individual modules by FFSC Staff or Command Career Counselors. FFSC staff can provide this training at commands upon their request.

    Module 1:  Personal and Professional Assessment
    Module 2:  Navy Career Options
    Module 3:  VA Benefits
    Module 4:  Financial Planning
    Module 5:  Civilian Career Options
    Module 6:  Developing a Professional Network

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    Retired Activities Office

    Our mission is to provide assistance to retirees, surviving spouses, active duty personnel contemplating retirement, and family members. We extend our offer of assistance to Navy/Marine Corps retirees and their families as well as those from all other branches of the military including retired reserves. We provide direct assistance, counseling, and current information on retiree-related matters, or in many cases, find an agency or resource to resolve a retiree's problem.

    The Retired Activities Office welcomes walk-in clients, phone calls, and e-mail to either of our two Hampton RAO branches. Hampton Roads RAO branches include the Norfolk Naval Station office and JEB Little Creek-Fort Story. These offices are staffed entirely by volunteers and are open for business between the hours of 1000 and 1400, Monday through Friday. They are closed on all federal holidays.

    Services Provided:

    • Provide Survivor's Benefit Plan and Veterans Service Group Life Insurance Counseling
    • Provide Casualty Assistance to Survivors
    • Assist with applying for veterans benefits on the death of a veteran
    • Prepare Condolence Letters
    • Assists with applying for survivor benefits for veterans with post-military civil service careers
    • Provide retirement and veterans brief to civic groups

    All Retired Activities staff members are volunteers & additional volunteers are always welcome to help support the office and veterans.

    • Provide Information On Programs, Rights, And Benefits When Requested. Provide Assistance to Resolve Conflicts Between Retirees And Various Government Agencies.
    • Find Resources to Resolve Retiree Questions/Concerns Outside Our Expertise/Purview.
    • Provide Location/Addresses and Phone numbers Of Various Federal/State/Local Agencies or Officials
    •  Conduct An Annual Retiree Seminar

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    Ombudsman Program

    Most command leaders agree: an effective ombudsman can be a priceless asset. Ombudsmen play a key role in linking commands and families to ensure accurate, timely communication.

    FFSC provides training, consultation, and support to command-appointed ombudsmen:

    • Ombudsman Basic Training is required for all ombudsmen.
    • CO, XO, CMC/COB spouses, and Chaplains are also encouraged to attend.
    • Advanced trainings are provided to address current issues and better prepare ombudsmen for their duties.

    The Role of the Command Ombudsman
    The Navy Family Ombudsman is vital to the welfare of the command's families, and in this unique role, as an officially appointed volunteer, the duties are wide-ranging. The Ombudsman has been trained to know when to provide information, when to be a referral source and how to be receptive to family members when they call.

    Ombudsmen serve as the primary communications link between the families and the command, and the channel of official information from the command to the families.

    Disseminate timely and critical information, regularly, through newsletters, care-line/info-lines, telephone trees, and e-mail.

    Supply information about and referrals to military and civilian support organizations like, Fleet and Family Support Centers, American Red Cross, Navy and Marine Corps Relief Society, Chaplains, medical facilities, and legal assistance offices. These organizations are valuable resources in obtaining assistance for command family members.

    Provide support to family members seeking professional assistance and refer them for counseling. Ombudsmen, in their official role, are not counselors or social workers.

    Act as an advocate for the command families, using knowledge of the system, can help access the appropriate level of the chain of command for intervention and forward suitable requests or grievances while exercising confidentiality.

    Support command-sponsored groups and activities and advertise support group activities, as permitted by the command.

    Navy Ombudsman Basic Training
    This training consists of 9 modules that help official command ombudsmen and command leadership team members work effectively with their commands. Workshops provide resource avenues for helping families through crisis and daily living. Open to Ombudsmen, COs, XOs, Chaplains, CMCs, COBs, and their spouses.

    Navy Ombudsman Advanced Training
    This training provides guidance, additional resources, and training by subject matter experts on various topics to assist with the varied challenges of commands and family members. Both new and experienced Ombudsmen are encouraged to attend.


    1. What is the Ombudsman Program?
      It is a command operated program intended to improve communication between the command and a sailor's family members. Most importantly, it keeps members informed about command policy and the command aware of family concerns. A major function of the Ombudsman is providing information and referral services to the families.
    2. How do I become an Ombudsman?
      You can apply for this position when the command advertises for volunteers or request to be placed on a standby list of volunteers for future consideration when a position(s) becomes available. Volunteers are screened, selected and appointed by the Commanding Officer. A board, which can include the Command Master Chief, Executive Officer, current Ombudsman, and/ or other command members, as directed, may assist the CO.
    3. What training is provided to the Ombudsman?
      Ombudsman, with command support, receive Ombudsman Basic Training (OBT). OBT is a detailed course that provides required knowledge and skill development necessary to perform effectively as the Command Ombudsman. Ombudsman continues their education via additional local training.
    4. Is financial support available to Ombudsman?
      The command, budget permitting, may provide supplies, equipment, and reimbursement for such expenses as childcare and mileage.
    5. Will being an Ombudsman help further my spouse's Navy career?
      One of the best tools is the Navy Family Ombudsman Program Manual. The command is required to provide one to the Ombudsman. If they do not have one in stock, they can contact their supporting Fleet and Family Support Center to obtain one.

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    Inter-Cultural Relations

    FFSC provides training and support for foreign-born spouses to help ease the transition to a new culture.

    Foreign-Born Spouse ConnectionFeeling lonely, homesick, or isolated? Just want to talk to someone from your part of the world? Join other foreign-born military spouses,
    network, and share resources, discuss the American way of life, develop friendships, receive monthly newsletters, and learn about the many resources available to make your new life experience positive. The group meets every 4th Friday from 10 a.m. to noon. Call 433-2912 for more information.

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    Navy Gold Star Program

    Embracing and reassuring Survivors that they are continually linked to the Navy Family through a unified support program that enables them to remain an important part of the Navy for as long as they desire.

    Losing a loved one is the most difficult time anyone can experience. The Navy Gold Star Program connects survivors to the resources that will assist them along their path to resiliency.

    Navy Gold Star Program demonstrates the Navy’s commitment to Families of the Fallen. The goal of the program is to provide dedicated services and support to Survivors using a multi-agency approach in or near their communities. Navy Gold Star connects and serves our Surviving Families during and/or immediately following the casualty assistance process.

    Navy Gold Star is an inclusive program – regardless of your loved one’s military branch, location, or manner of death. Our commitment to you is that regardless of the branch of service, we will provide you with support and help you locate your branch’s survivor services. Navy Gold Star support coordinators provide dedicated outreach and support when, and for as long as, you desire. Our coordinators are located all over the United States and are ready to help you in any way they can.

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    Services and Support

    Navy Gold Star Coordinators will:

    • Assist with State and Federal survivor benefits; Increase community awareness of Survivor needs
    • Arrange for estate and financial planning; Coordinate Survivor events with community partners
    • Serve as resource locators for Families; Participate in Memorial events throughout the State
    • Partner with local Gold Star Family Associations; Form support networks for Families

    Assistance for Surviving Families

    In 2014 the Navy Gold Star Program was established and expanded throughout the US to create local relationships with Gold Star Families. Navy Gold Star Coordinators are the link to the long-term survivor assistance process that allows us to assist survivors with issues or questions that may surface months or even years after the loss of their loved one.

    Maintaining a connection with Survivors allows us to reach them with critical information such as upcoming Memorial events, the release of new benefits, or the issuance of posthumous award that can result in changes with state leadership and legislation.


    Personnel eligible to participate in the NGS program include the widow, parents and the next of kin. The term "widow" includes widower ; the term "parents" includes mother, father, stepmother, stepfather, mother through adoption, father through adoption, and foster parents who stood in loco parentis; the term "next of kin" only includes children, brothers, sisters, half-brothers, and half-sisters; and the term "children" includes stepchildren and children through adoption.

    If you are a Gold Star family member and would like to connect with a Gold Star Coordinator or learn more about the program, please contact us so we can better serve you and your family.

    Navy Region Mid-Atlantic Gold Star Coordinators

    Beth Hundley: CT, NH, RI, MA, ME, VT, NY 860-694-1257 (O)

    Melissa Black: VA, WV, KY 757-322-9182 (O)

    Julie Boesel: WI, IL, MI, IN 847-688-3603 (O)

    Diana Burleson: NJ, PA, DE, OH 732-866-2110 (O)

    Samantha Blackwell: VA, NC 757-492-8282 (O)