The COMPASS Experience

If you were about to go on a journey to a foreign country, you would want to research and learn as much as you could to make your trip enjoyable and successful. You might need a passport, guidebook, and map to start off in the right direction.

Now, think about a person embarking on his or her journey as a Navy spouse. To this person, the Navy seems like a foreign land with its own language, customs, traditions, health care system, moves, and deployments.

COMPASS is a standardized Team-Mentoring program developed by spouses for spouses. COMPASS focuses on spouses new to the Navy, however all spouses are welcome. COMPASS improves quality of life through education enabling spouses to understand, experience, and meet the challenges of the Navy lifestyle. With knowledge and realistic expectations, the journey can be successful and rewarding. COMPASS is a 12-hour program taught in three four-hour sessions.

With Mentors acting as discussion leaders, participants are encouraged to ask any questions they may have in a non-judgmental climate.

Participants in COMPASS are introduced to many aspects of the Navy. The standardized curriculum includes topics about the Navy mission, history, organization, customs, traditions, rights, pay, benefits and health care along with information about Commissary and Exchange privileges, services of Fleet and Family Support Centers, deployments, moving, interpersonal communication, and investing in self and community.

Another important benefit of COMPASS is the opportunity for spouses to establish a peer network. Because experienced spouses share their own Navy lifestyle insights, the concept of “helping others help themselves” is clearly observable and becomes an on-going action-oriented process.