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Monday, August 09, 2010

Enterprise Uses Mentorship Program to get 'Brilliant on the Basics'

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jeffry A. Willadsen, USS Enterprise Public Affairs

USS ENTERPRISE, At Sea (NNS) -- The aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65) is using its mentorship program while at sea Aug. 8 to help the crew focus on the basics that will increase their ability to succeed as the ship conducts its workups.

The mentorship program is modeled after the Navy's 'Brilliant on the Basics' concept announced in NAVADMIN 043/08, which focuses on six basic tenets for successful Sailors.

These fundamental principles encompass career development boards, sponsorship, mentorship, Sailor recognition, command indoctrination, and command ombudsman support.

Just as there are training and evaluation processes that ensure the ship is deployable, the mentorship program also prepares Big E Sailors for success in deployment and throughout their careers.

The mentorship program provides competent, successful and caring senior Sailors to give personal and professional guidance to junior Sailors and those new to the ship.

"There are two ways Sailors can receive mentorship," said Senior Chief Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) (AW/SW/EXW) Scott A. Bowman, Enterprise's command mentorship program coordinator. "Your divisional mentorship program representative assigns you a mentor when you check aboard. [You] can also receive a specific mentor by request and can then talk to the mentor about any needs [you] might have."

The program doesn't work unless accepted by the command as a primary tool for Sailor development.

"The mentorship program is a tool that can help get to the root of any problem," said Bowman. "It also helps Sailors professionally, allowing them to progress in their career path."

For mentors, it's a way they can help their shipmates in the short term while also guiding them toward long-term goals.

"It really helps to have someone who knows what you're going through to help you along the way," said Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) Airman Desian M. Joseph. "My mentor gives me job advice and informs me of what I need to do to improve my professional competitiveness."

The program also makes mentors available for everyday life questions such as being deployed, purchasing a home, buying a vehicle and other personal and financial decisions all Sailors face throughout their careers.

"We'd be working through a busy day, and a question would come up and my mentor not only knew the answer, but he had his own experience to add," said Culinary Specialist Seaman Apprentice Cody S. Clark. "I think any method of mentoring is good for the Sailors' skills and professional growth."

Enterprise is at sea conducting work-ups leading to its 21st deployment.

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