(WASHINGTON) — The U.S. Coast Guard launched an innovative and modernized approach to mentorship Saturday, offering expanded leadership opportunities to the Coast Guard active duty, reserve and civilian workforce.

The program goes beyond traditional mentoring and provides four types of mentoring tracks or connections tailored specifically to individual needs and scheduling preferences. Additionally, program participants will have the opportunity to network with people who work in a wide variety of fields across the organization. The program is powered by software that can automatically match thousands of mentors and mentees based on professional interests and backgrounds.

The four modernized mentoring formats are:

• One-to-one mentoring – Traditional mentoring connection between mentees and mentors.
• Communities Marketplace (circle mentoring) – Connects Coast Guard personnel with shared interests in a wide variety of communities to enrich career development.
• Fresh Perspectives: Insight from Future Leaders – Empowering emerging leaders to share their insights in a group setting with senior leadership.
• Flash mentoring – One-time/speed mentoring, enables mentees to receive guidance on specific issues or topics from subject matter experts.

The program was created as a result of various surveys and studies conducted by the Coast Guard, including its Organizational Assessment Survey where 67 percent of respondents expressed a desire for additional mentoring opportunities. The 2019 RAND Women’s Retention Survey and Holistic Analysis (WRSHA) recommended comprehensive leadership training and access to mentors specifically tailored for Coast Guard women and underrepresented minorities. Research has also shown that mentoring plays a vital role in creating a motivated and satisfied workforce.

“Mentoring aligns with Commandant Karl Schultz’s number one strategic priority to cultivate an inclusive, mission-ready total workforce,” said Rear Adm. Joanna Nunan, assistant commandant for human resources. “Improving personal readiness and resilience supports our efforts to protect the American people and our Nation. We also know mentoring is important to our personnel, and this new program will provide our members additional opportunities to learn and grow both professionally and personally.”

The program also aligns with the Coast Guard’s Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan, which outlines the actions, priorities, and strategies to build a more diverse and inclusive Coast Guard. This innovative mentoring program is geared to help address recruitment, retention and professional development for members across the Service.

“By implementing the Coast Guard Mentoring Program, we are working to ensure all personnel have the opportunity to achieve their full potential while contributing to the Coast Guard mission,” said Nunan.

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– U.S. Coast Guard

By Harry Hungate