SURFOR Debuts SWO e-Mentor Program
Provided by Naval Surface Forces Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) – Those who have found success in their careers did not do it alone. Along the way they found someone who they respected and who had a positive impact on their personal and professional life. This mentor shares resources, time, experiences, and expertise to help another with personal growth. Now Surface Warfare Officers can establish these relationships over the Internet. The Surface Warfare Officer (SWO) “e-Mentor” Program was established on February 2nd to capitalize on the diversity of talent within the Surface Community. The program will encourage the sharing of SWO values and knowledge throughout the community.

Surface Warriors serve around the globe at the highest operational tempo in history, which creates a challenge for SWO’s, junior and senior alike, who need career guidance, but have trouble finding a mentor that can help guide them in their Navy career. In order to connect these professionals with a mentor, SURFOR has implemented a mentor matching tool via the Internet to encourage professional development and serve as an information exchange for officers who face daily work and life challenges – the SWO e-Mentor Program.

“Our community is widely known for developing leaders by promoting training, practical experience and best practices while giving consideration to the diversity of backgrounds in our Surface Force,” said Vice Adm. D.C. Curtis, Commander Naval Surface Forces and Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet. “Much of this knowledge is passed along through mentoring, which is the foundation of good leadership.”

The e-Mentor program facilitates relationships faster by utilizing technology and formalizing matches. Knowledge, skills, life and professional experiences are looked at for both mentor and mentee. The tools on the e-Mentor site will then assist SWOs in matching themselves with potential mentors who have similar perspectives or experiences throughout the community.

“I encourage all Surface Warfare Community leaders, active duty and retired, to become e-Mentors,” Curtis said. “This partnership benefits both parties as mentors can reflect on their careers and ‘lessons learned’ and young officers can get no-nonsense advice and encouragement.

Beginning February 16, SWOs can go to https:/ to create a profile and perform an online mentor search. Mentor profiles will appear, and searches can be narrowed by entering location, experience, designator, and rank information. A preferred mentor is contacted by the mentee and together they can establish goals and a professional development action plan. The website also has professional articles on mentoring and career guidance, and offers progress tracking tools. Once a partnership is established, communications are facilitated through e-mail, face to face meetings or teleconferencing.

As outlined in the Chief of Naval Operations’ Guidance for 2009, building the future force is a key focus area for the Navy. The SWO e-Mentor Program supports the professional development of our officers and will provide guidance to our future Naval leaders.

For more information about the program, contact the Naval Surface Forces Diversity Director, Lt. Cmdr. Mark Haney, at and/or Lt. Dave Pavlik at