Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound offers mentoring program to personnel

Northeast Atlantic Coast Guard NewsNEW HAVEN, Conn. – Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound’s Leadership and Diversity Advisory Council hosted a Career and Professional Development Mentoring Session for the enlisted and officer corps to provide insightful guidance to assist members in achieving their goals, Thursday.

“It is important for people to take accountability for their careers and ultimately, their futures,” said Cmdr. Holly Najarian, the deputy sector commander of Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound (Sector LIS). “This event gives members the opportunity to understand the tools available to them in order to make the best decisions for themselves and their families.”

The mentoring session, open to all hands, was set up as an informal gathering to facilitate discussions. Rather than an impersonal presentation, it was a time for one-on-one and small group conversations regarding specific topics. Senior enlisted members and officers were available for members to sit down with them and just talk.

“It’s really great to see junior members wanting to advance their careers and improve their knowledge regarding professional development – they are the future of the Coast Guard,” explained Senior Chief Petty Officer Curtis Taft, a member at Sector LIS. Taft has served in the Coast Guard for 25 years and knows that it takes desire and motivation to achieve personal goals, and he wanted to use his past experiences for the benefit of our junior members.

The event was specifically scheduled for the fall since it is the time of year when Coast Guard members begin planning for their next assignment. The mentoring session allowed members to discuss the transfer process, as well as special assignments, sea time, education opportunities, how to become a Chief Petty Officer, officer accessions, transitioning to civilian employment, joining the reserves, and work-life balance.

Career and professional development exposure is extremely important, but even more so, it’s the personal touches that make it substantial and tangible for junior members.

“I found the mentoring session extremely beneficial,” said Petty Officer Second Class Mikki Leadford, a member at Sector LIS. “It is encouraging to see that senior members who were once in my shoes have become very successful. These sessions have a tremendous impact on the decisions I make for my own career. I hope to be in their shoes one day!”

Given the overwhelmingly positive response to the event, the Sector Leadership and Diversity Advisory Council is planning to continue this program well into the future.

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