NAVAL AIR STATION LEMOORE (February 21, 2020) -- Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command Lemoore held its first ever mentor minute workshop for active duty personnel. This formulized speed dating style event brought together potential mentors and protégés from various departments around the command.
“This event was created to change the negative image that a lot of junior sailors have when being assigned a mentor,” said Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Renauld Richardson and Mentorship Committee Member. “A lot of sailors look at having a mentor as a very intrusive process, which it is, but it's also a tool that if used properly can benefit you throughout your entire naval and civilian career.”
“I guarantee you there someone in this command that has the ability, knowledge and skills that you want and can help you get to where you want to go some day,” said Capt. Christopher Tepera, executive officer of NMRTCL as he spoke to the group of mentors and protégés.
The tables in the conference room were set up in a U-shape and the mentors were seated at the outer seats and the future protégés were seated on the inside seats. Every five minutes the protégés would shift over a seat to meet with a new potential mentor to ask questions.
“This event gives potential protégé sailors a glimpse into the lives and personalities of the mentors around the command,” said Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Chiquina Wickham. “We wanted to privilege the protégés with more than just a biography to read and allow for more engagement with people that they otherwise wouldn’t come across. Our intent was to increase match compatibility and ensure successful lasting relationships.”
“When I was a young HM, at first I picked a mentor I got along with,” said Command Master Chief Eliza Rubic to the conference room of participants. “As I got older and through the ranks, I picked somebody who challenged me and vice versa, I challenged them. Mentors can: A. calm you down, B. steer you on the right path and C. make you see things in a different light. Don’t stick to being comfortable. This is bigger picture. Look for someone who can challenge you in a good way.”
Ice breaker questions were provided to help start conversations. If a match was made, the mentor and protégé filled out agreement paperwork together. Mentors were available to discuss job skills, career challenges and give advice based on their experiences throughout their naval careers.
“I would like to see the program continue to grow and be an avenue to help leaders and junior sailors grow together through mentoring,” said Richardson. “Most people look at mentoring as a one way street but it really isn’t. We (the Mentorship Committee) want to create programs and events to help educate junior sailors on some of the basic but important aspects of the Navy such as: evaluations, Sailor of the Quarter Boards and the Meritorious Advancement Program.”
“Take advantage of this program,” said Tepera. “None of us would be here without someone helping us along the way.”
Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command Lemoore, co-located with Naval Health Clinic Lemoore ensures the readiness of its active duty service members and improves the lives of military families through the delivery of high-quality healthcare to over 18,000 eligible beneficiaries at NAS Lemoore, California and NAS Fallon, Nevada. The command also provides dental care and medical administrative support to Navy, Marine Corps and international students at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS), Defense Language Institute and the Center for Information Dominance in Monterey, California.
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