JULY 10, 2017, MEDITERRANEAN SEA (NNS) – Sailors aboard USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) had a special opportunity to meet and choose mentors at an event called Building the Bridge, June 24.
The event was intended as a meet-and-greet where Sailors could more easily find a compatible mentor.
“In the past, mentorship has more or less been nothing but an administrative formality,” said Aviation Ordnanceman 1st Class Christopher Gilbreath. “We’re trying to change that and make it an actual part of a Sailor’s life for their own betterment.”
Gilbreath was one of many first and second class petty officers sitting on the mess decks that night to meet and speak with potential mentees.
“We hand out pamphlets, and each one has questions in it,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Brad Cadle. “Things like, ‘what do you see in a mentor?’, ‘what are your expectations?’, ‘what do you like to do?’ Then the Sailor is able to fill out those answers and get some expectations. After that, they look at another booklet that has biographies of 1st and 2nd class petty officers, and the junior Sailors have the opportunity to go talk directly to those Sailors.”
Sailors from all departments and rates came to offer their wisdom and experience to more junior Sailors, who similarly came from, all departments and rates.
“It’s more educational than anything else,” said Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Equipment) 1st Class Alex Alvarez. “We want to learn from the junior Sailors what they are looking for in a mentor, and what they expect from us.”
The junior Sailors came seeking different things in different mentors to suit their differing needs. Some say they need someone tough.
“I’m looking for someone who’s willing to tell you what you don’t want to hear,” said Electrician’s Mate 3rd Class Austin Bates. “Someone who will tell you what you need to do or needs to get done.”
Where some Sailors needed tough love and a firm hand to guide them, others sought someone more nurturing.
“I’m looking for someone encouraging,” said Culinary Specialist 3rd Class Sandra Morales. “Someone who’ll never give up on you, even if you’re having a bad streak, someone who’ll have a lot of faith in their mentee.”
“Building the Bridge” is part of GHWB’s efforts to engage Sailors and increase mission readiness through trust, accountability, and Sailorization.
By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Tristan B. Lotz, USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) Public Affairs