ARABIAN GULF – Mentorship is the one-on-one transfer of knowledge, life lessons and useful advice from an elder to a new generation.
Sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) strive to develop balanced and goal-oriented people by employing the command mentorship program.
Mentorship is an avenue to seek guidance and access resources. Sailors choose leaders who can positively affect their careers and lives in the Navy.
“Mentorship is easy to get involved with,” said Air-Traffic Controller 1st Class Milford Ford. “That’s the reason I started promoting this program, to encourage more people to be mentors, so they can benefit from the healthy relationship between a senior and junior [Sailor].”
Sailors choose senior shipmates based on a number of contributing factors; career path, compatibility and experience.
“That person does not necessarily have to be in your rate,” said Ford. “It just has to be somebody that you are comfortable talking with to help you build yourself professionally and personally.”
According to Theodore Roosevelt Instruction 1040.1C, mentors and protégés must meet once a month, however, mentors and protégés can meet more frequently if they want.
Keeping track of the meetings helps make sure the program works.
“I learned a lot from my mentor,” said Fire Controlman 2nd Class Nicholas Carter. “I can benefit from his experience and I can learn from his mistakes.”
Mentorship meetings can cover any topic, from work to personal life, depending on the guidance the protégé needs.
“We discuss family and our pasts,” said Carter. “[My mentor] is an officer, and I am trying to be an officer so he is helping lead me down the right path. He teaches me about his job, because I am trying to do the same thing. I talk to him about everything.”
Junior Sailors can reap the benefits of experience by seeking the counsel of those who have been serving longer.
“I am the Assistant Mentor Coordinator,” said Ford. “I love being a mentor because when I was coming up, I had a lot of people help me out. If I didn’t have all those people help me out, I definitely would not be the person I am today.”
As Sailors grow up in ranks, progressing from protégé to mentor, they can now share all the experiences of their mentor, in addition to their own memories.
“It has helped me be a better mentor because I also have two people that I mentor,” said Carter. “One is actually applying for the same officer program I applied for. I got my help from LT [lieutenant], and I can pass that knowledge down to [my protégé].”
Theodore Roosevelt is the flagship of the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group (TRCSG), which is composed of Carrier Strike Group 12, Carrier Air Wing 1, Destroyer Squadron 2 staff, the guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG 60) and the guided-missile destroyers USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81), USS Farragut (DDG 90) and USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98).
Roosevelt is deployed in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations supporting Operation Inherent Resolve, strike operations in Iraq and Syria as directed, maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the region.
By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jennifer Case, USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) Public Affairs
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