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NEWS | July 27, 2017

Mentoring to mold the New Navy

By Petty Officer First Class Victoria Reasor Navy Nuclear Propulsion Training Unit

Training Sailors is the primary mission of the Navy Nuclear Propulsion Training Unit here but mentorship is also paramount. In the fleet we often hear the phrase, “train your relief.” Therefore, a primary goal of mine is to teach young Sailors the fundamentals of the Nuclear Navy as well as how to be an outstanding Sailor.

I feel it is crucial to uplift Sailors to instill a sense of pride in their work. It is sometimes difficult to get individuals to take pride in their jobs but, if you teach them the “why” with regards to their work, they may begin to understand they are a part of an elite organization.

“Nuke” may be a common term at NPTU but to the outside world, we are a rare breed. The title comes with more responsibility than most young Sailors may realize as they step off the plane from bootcamp.

One of my first objectives is to speak to the Sailors upon arrival at NPTU and congratulate them on making it to the next step in their training. The truth is, not all make it through school but the initial encouragement might make the difference as they make one more push to the finish line.

Since beginning my tour at NPTU in March 2016, every Sailor I see knows I am proud of them, whether they finish or not. I stress the importance of giving this program everything they have and remind them how a “steady strain wins the race.” I emphasize giving this training an honest effort even when it seems like you have exhausted everything you have because your dedication might just achieve success.

When I was in the fleet, my first chief made a point to help me study and to talk to me about my day-to-day issues. These efforts, to me, reflected great leadership. He did not have to ask me how my family was doing. He did not have to go out of his way, throughout the deployment, to tell me I was making progress and encourage me to keep pulling through. Over six years later, I still keep in touch with him and ask for advice.

Mentorship reflecting great leadership was illustrated to me again recently when a Sailor contacted me to say thank you for the encouragement and guidance I provided while stationed at NPTU. I may not have done much for this Sailor’s qualifications but, if one talk or a few seconds of mentorship affected a Sailor for the better, I feel like I have properly prepared my relief. My replacement in the fleet will be a Sailor with a good moral compass, a person with sound objectives for completing all missions and a shipmate who values uplifting others along the way.  In closing, great mentors make better Sailors and better Sailors can go on to make a better Navy.