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The COMPASS Experience



If you were about to go on an extended journey to a foreign country, you would want to do 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 spouse embarking on his or her journey as a Navy spouse for the first time. To this spouse, the Navy seems like a foreign land with its own language, customs, traditions, health care system, inherent 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 the quality of life through education, enabling spouses to understand, experience, and meet the Navy lifestyle’s challenges.  With this knowledge and realistic expectations, their journeys 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 atmosphere. There is one Mentor Team at each location. Session teams come from the main Mentor Team and present the scheduled COMPASS sessions.  Typically, Session Teams consist of four Mentors.

Participants are introduced to many aspects of the Navy. The standardized curriculum includes need-to-know topics such as the Navy mission, history, organization, customs and traditions, rights and benefits, deployment, pay, 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 pass on their Navy lifestyle insights, the concept of "helping others to help themselves" is clearly observable and becomes an ongoing action-oriented process.

Setting Sail

Setting Sail registrants must be Fiancés of Naval Academy/ROTC Midshipmen or spouses of active duty military members.

"Setting Sail" is a 3.5-hour introduction to the full COMPASS Program, which is normally presented in 12 hours over 3 days. Participants will receive a handbook of resources, information on the COMPASS program (including worldwide locations), and contact information for Mentors. We hope you will join us!

Course materials are provided free-of-charge, thanks to the generosity of FamilyLine supporters and donors.

New to the Navy?  Check out these additional resources.
  • Anchors Aweigh - If a COMPASS class is not provided in your area, or you are not an active duty spouse, Anchors Aweigh provides spouses, parents and loved ones a brief overview of what to expect of the Navy life.

  • Checklist for New Military Spouses - important information for new military spouses.

  • MyNavy Family App - The first tool by the U.S. Navy developed for Navy spouses and Sailors’ families that combines authoritative information from more than two dozen websites into a single, convenient application.

  • Navy Spouse 101- an online introduction to Navy life. Sign up and search for the course "LWRW 100819".

  • Quick Tips for New Military Spouses - tips to help with military benefits.

  • Social Customs and Traditions - a free publication introducing spouses to Navy traditions and etiquette.

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