TIMOR SEA – Chief petty officers and officers from the forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) provided career and personal guidance to first class petty officers during a “CPO 365” Speed Mentoring event, Sept. 5, 2013.
Modeled after speed dating, first classes met up one-on-one with BHR chiefs and officers for quick two-minute chats where they discussed who they were and what they were looking for in their career and personal lives.
“Sailors had the opportunity to sit down across from someone they may have never had to chance to talk to,” said Master-at-Arms 1st Class Nicholas Fessler, a BHR mentorship coordinator. “It's easy to find ourselves confined to our workspaces unable to receive and provide mentorship. This event allowed for us all to come together, in one location, to discuss effective means for personal and professional growth.”
By bringing the chief’s mess, wardroom, and first class petty officers together all in one place, Bonhomme Richard was able to greatly strengthen professional ties around the ship, said Bonhomme Richard’s Command Master Chief Scott McCreery.
“It was a huge success, I think everyone got a lot out of it,” said McCreery. “One of the primary goals of ‘CPO 365’ is mentorship, and I believe we were able to not only provide a unique opportunity for first classes to interact with chiefs and officers whom they may not see very often, but also, hopefully, be able to strike up more long term mentorship relationships.”
Sailors were able to seek advice from role models who have achieved some of the same goals they may have set for themselves.
“One of our jobs as leaders is to train our replacements,” said Capt. Daniel Dusek, Bonhomme Richard’s commanding officer. “Whatever goals our first class petty officers have for their career, be it wearing anchors, or joining the officer ranks, someone has been where they are now, and can provide valuable advice on achieving those goals.”
McCreery said he would like to see more speed mentoring events in the future.
“While, it’s not technically part of the ‘CPO 365’ program, I would like to see us involving our second class petty officers in an event similar to this,” said McCreery.