Mentoring Without End, NAVSUP Business Systems Center

By Lt. Cmdr. Carl Pennycooke, Operations Officer, NAVSUP Business Systems Center

MWE with Rear Adm. Kevin Jones, commander, DLA Distribution as guest speaker. From left to right: Lt. Darius Rawls, Lt. Josh Bowman, Lt. Ricado Castaneda, Cmdr. Bob Winters, Rear Adm. Kevin Jones, Capt. Doug Bridges, Lt. Cmdr. Anthony Lee, Lt. Cmdr. Carl Pennycooke, Lt. Matt Couch. 

 

The Mentoring Without End (MWE) program was created in April 2018 at NAVSUP Business Systems Center (BSC). MWE was designed to provide mentoring and guidance to NAVSUP BSC junior officers (JOs). The program is held once a month with a senior officer assigned to Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, as the invited guest to the wardroom.

MWE with Cmdr. Tamara Sonon as guest speaker. First row from left to right: Lt. Cmdr. Carl Pennycooke, Lt. Ricardo Castaneda, Lt. j.g. Dong Logan, Cmdr. Tamara Sonon, Lt. Nana Bonsu, Lt. j.g. Patrick Toomey; Second row left to right: Lt. Frank Silva, Lt. Joshua Bowman, Lt. Kyle Combs, Lt. Darius Rawls, Cmdr. Bob Winters, Cmdr. John Mccarthy, Lt. Matt Couch

 

During MWE, senior officers share experiences, provide guidance, career advice, and recommend reading materials that promote personal and professional growth. The knowledge gained in these sessions provides NAVSUP BSC JOs with tools to forge the right path and ensure success for both their naval careers and life after.

The Supply Corps is built on mentorship, and it is extremely important to tap into the collective wealth of knowledge available in Mechanicsburg, especially the knowledge of our senior officers. Sitting directly across from a successful senior officer that has travelled the path JOs are currently travelling, providing first-hand knowledge of how to approach our careers, is essential for growth. Many officers neglect the opportunity to seek out mentors, while others do so later in their careers, and as a result, uninformed career decisions are made.

MWE with NAVSUP Chief of Staff (COS) Capt. Tim Daniels as guest speaker. First row left to right: Lt. Joshua Bowman, Lt. Frank Silva, Lt. Nana Bonsu, Cmdr. Bob Winters, Capt. Tim Daniels, Capt. Doug Bridges, Lt. j.g. Patrick Toomey, Lt. Cmdr. Carl Pennycooke Second row left to right:Lt. Kyle Combs, Lt. Darius Rawls, Lt. Samuel Gebreselassie, Cmdr. John Mccarthy

 

The program provides NAVSUP BSC JOs guidance early in their careers, so they can make informed career decisions early and at every level as they progress.

The ultimate goal of MWE is to continue to grow and be adopted by other commands, especially in fleet concentration areas, in order to reach as many JOs as possible early in their careers.

MWE with Retired Rear Adm. Sinclair Harris as guest speaker. From left to right: Lt. Josh Bowman, Lt. Frank Silva, Lt. Darius Rawls, Capt. Doug Bridges, Retired Rear Adm. Sinclair Harris, Lt. Cmdr. Drew Smith, Lt. Cmdr. Carl Pennycooke, Lt. Samuel Gebreselassie, Lt. Ricardo Castaneda, LSC Alex Carrion.

 

To date, Retired Rear Adm. Jonathan Yuen; Retired Rear Adm. Sinclair Harris; Rear Adm. Kevin Jones, commander, Defense Logistics Agency Distribution; Capt. Rudy Geisler, deputy commander, Ships and Submarines, NAVSUP Weapon Systems Support; Capt. Ken Epps, assistant professor, Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy, National Defense University; Capt. J.D Cassani, deputy commander of uniform programs, NEXCOM; Capt. Robert Williams, deputy, NAVSUP Corporate Operations; and Capt. Tim Daniels, chief of staff, NAVSUP, have been guests at MWE events.

MWE with Retired Rear Adm. Jonathan Yuen as guest speaker. First row left to right: Lt. Ricardo Castaneda, Lt. Joshua Bowman, Lt. Frank Silva, Cmdr. Bob Winters, Retired Rear Adm. Jonathan Yuen, Capt. Doug Bridges, Lt. j.g. Patrick Toomey, Lt. Cmdr. Carl Pennycooke Second row left to right: Lt. Matt Couch, Lt. Darius Rawls, Lt. Samuel Gebreselassie

“Mentoring is important for junior officers because mentors emulate the values and beliefs of an organization, and teach them by example and mentorship. Mentoring’s importance is not only the knowledge and skills junior officers can learn from mentors, but also provides the professional support and guidance to enable them to reach their optimal potential. Good mentoring rarely just “happens.” The relationship develops from reflection, planning, and an understanding of the individual’s goals, as well as a mentor’s unique qualities.” –Rear Adm. Kevin Jones, commander, Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Distribution
“MWE has been a great opportunity to hear from the best that Mechanicsburg has to offer. The chance to hear about what they were told when they were in our shoes and how the climate is a little different now. This is a practice I hope to implement at my future commands.” –Lt. Darius Rawls
“For a lot of junior officers, being stationed in Mechanicsburg is their first opportunity to be surrounded by senior supply officers and learn about our community. MWE is a great opportunity to learn from the experiences of our community’s leaders and take the first steps into establishing mentor/mentee relationships.” –Lt. Ricardo Castaneda
“Navigating career paths in complex organizations like the Supply Corps, can be confusing and frustrating to the uninitiated junior officer. Well-chosen mentors can demystify the process, providing a roadmap to success and a champion to encourage you throughout your time in the Navy.” –Capt. Ken Epps, assistant professor, Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy
“When entering port, especially an unfamiliar one, it is important to ‘get on the range early’ to reduce the risk of grounding. Pilots are needed to help even experienced mariners in most places, the same can be said of one’s need for mentoring. Most junior officers can use help as they navigate the many career shoals and bad currents that come along, especially in the beginning of a career. One final point, there are three things people need to succeed, regardless of organization or company: mentors (at least three…just like navigation aids); coaches (two would be ideal…the officer of the deck (OOD) should check with the combat information center (CIC) during navigation detail); advocates (as many as are willing…if you only have one, what happens when they leave the organization?).” –Retired Rear Adm. Sinclair Harris

–photos by James Foehl

Spring 2019