Three years ago, I sat in a classroom a lot like this one not expecting to learn anything but hoping, at the very least, to connect with other spouses. After nine years of marriage, five deployments, one unaccompanied tour, and an OCONUS move, I could not imagine there was much left for me to learn but I was wrong. So very wrong.
For the first time, I understood WHY my Sailor deploys. I had always been supportive of my husband’s job but for the first time, I felt a new understanding; a renewed sense of pride. I was able to see just how important the Navy and our Sailors are on a global scale. It was an enlightening experience. I also learned about the CONUS move; something I had never done before but was expected to do in the next month. The Mentor who taught the moving section was incredible. She answered all of my questions and shared tips that helped make PCSing easier for her family. I was overwhelmed with how willing everyone was, participants and Mentors alike, to share their experiences if it meant saving someone else from difficulties.
Most importantly, I discovered that I wanted to help other spouses, too. Even though I detest public speaking, I volunteered to become a Mentor at the next duty station. As I sit here now, waiting for the other Mentors and participants to arrive, I am so thankful for everything I have learned in the last 3 years and the amazing spouses who have left “fingerprints on my soul,” as a good friend likes to say. COMPASS is more than learning about the Navy, it’s about community… our community.
To find and register for a COMPASS class near you, visit www.gocompass.org.
Posted by Angela D. on 09 23 2014 and filed under: COMPASS
Chaplain Siemer teaches healthy communication skills to fiancées of Naval Academy Midshipmen.
FamilyLine held it’s annual Setting Sail session at the Naval Academy last week. Setting Sail is a three-hour introduction to the full COMPASS Program. The participants received a handbook including instructions on how to obtain a military ID card and information on the many benefits and services available to military spouses. Volunteer mentors also shared information on deployments, moving, and adapting to a new duty station.
Posted by Angela D. on 05 29 2014 and filed under: COMPASS
If you haven’t attended a COMPASS session, maybe this feedback from participants in Charleston will help convince you to register.
Participants were asked what was their favorite thing about COMPASS:
Meeting military spouses both new and old. It was informative without being overwhelming.
The binder! Being able to have an organized method of info.
Meeting other wives
Love the friends(meeting other spouses), food, and Chaplain talk. COMPASS was amazing!
I loved the maturity, organization, and lack of rank/rate for the women…it makes everyone feel equal
bonding with new, knowledgeable friends over good food
New people and the Chaplain
The volunteers, in other words…everyone. You welcomed us like family and were always friendly, thank you.
Participants were also asked about two things they learned:
One of the things that had me so worried was deployment. Just hearing about it sent chills down my spine. Coming to Compass it has cleared so many of my fears and answered my questions. Thank you so much!
Things to do in the area and how to communicate better with everyone
Resources available to military families- FFSC and NMCRS
Emotional aspects of deployments are normal and I am really not alone and DLA
Moving requires a good sense of humor and deployments
there are many factors to consider when you move and hassles that come with housing, environments, parking and financially. Deployments can be really rough.
there are a lot of resources available for spouses and places to visit in Charleston
Checklists can be my best friend regarding deployments and moving. Healthy communication is key to maintaining sanity and healthy relationships.
How to PCS and remain calm and what to expect on deployment.
To learn more about COMPASS or to register for a class in your area, visit www.gocompass.org.
Posted by Angela D. on 02 10 2014 and filed under: COMPASS
The COMPASS program has been reestablished on the island of Guam thanks to the hard work and dedication of Rosemary Ellis, the COMPASS Program Director, Antonia Wilbur, the Team Leader, and the 22 newly trained Mentors. Navy spouses, new and seasoned, are invited to attend the team’s first COMPASS session scheduled for March 25 - 27th. To register, visit www.gocompass.org/guam.html.
Posted by Angela D. on 01 24 2014 and filed under: COMPASS
Traci, our COMPASS Admin, has been working hard to prepare materials for classes in 2014.
As you contemplate resolutions for 2014, consider joining us at COMPASS to learn more about the Navy lifestyle. Whether you are new to the Navy or a seasoned spouse, there is something for everyone at COMPASS.
New spouses benefit from information and resources provided about moving, finances, deployment, benefits, and more. COMPASS allows new spouses to ask questions in a safe environment, free of judgement and rank. More importantly, COMPASS provides new spouses with a peer network for support and friendship as they begin their Navy journey.
COMPASS is like a refresher for seasoned spouses who are more familiar with the challenges of Navy life but would like to keep up-to-date on changes to policies and programs. Seasoned spouses also have the opportunity to pass along their experiences to new spouses eager to learn. We have all wished there was SOMETHING someone had told us early on in our Navy journey - COMPASS allows us to share those things with other spouses.
January session dates have already been posted. To attend a class in your area, visit www.gocompass.org/ to register.
We are also excited to offer spouses in Great Lakes, Annapolis, and Newport an introduction to COMPASS called “Setting Sail.” This is a three-hour class designed to accommodate fiances and spouses of Sailors attending schools in these areas. Register now!
Posted by Angela D. on 12 09 2013 and filed under: COMPASS
getting to know your military community and what it has to offer?
finding friends and networking outside your spouse’s command?
a cozy place with a warm atmosphere that provides complimentary snacks and free babysitting?
...Then COMPASS is for you!
COMPASS is a standardized Team-Mentoring program developed by spouses for spouses. COMPASS focuses on spouses new to the Navy however, all Navy spouses are welcome. The following locations will be hosting COMPASS sessions in September. Visit www.gocompass.org to register!