The Bravo Fleet Mentorship Program exists to allow more individualized one-on-one interactions between more experienced members of the fleet with newer members of the fleet. The program exists to help those who join Bravo Fleet to progress their journey through the fleet to the rank of lieutenant commander. Additionally, it is intended to help prepare future leaders as well as increase interaction between members, promote fun, and create a tighter-knit community in Bravo Fleet.
- All mentor-apprentice pairings should be done through BFMS via the "Request a Mentor" tool. Pairings will then be approved and maintained by the Office of the Chief of Staff.
- Mentors should hold the rank of at least Lieutenant Commander and have displayed a clear understanding of rules, expectations and policies.
- Apprentices should hold the rank of lieutenant or below.
- Mentors can be self-nominated or nominated by their Task Force Commanding Officer/Department Head to the Chief of Staff. The Chief of Staff will determine if the nominated mentor is suitable before placing them on the open list for suitable mentors.
- Mentors must have the time and willingness to support their apprentice.
- Mentors must be from the same unit, unless one is not available the Chief of Staff will consult with unit leaders to determine who would be a successful alternative.
- Mentors can only have one apprentice at a time.
- Mentors are expected to actually maintain contact with their apprentices; this includes answering questions, efficiently guiding them through the junior officer ranks of Bravo Fleet, and introducing apprentices to other members of their unit.
- Mentors and apprentices must understand that mentors are there to guide, support and encourage them through their promotion journey to Lieutenant Commanders. Mentors cannot undertake activities on behalf of their apprentice.
- Apprentices should be clear with their mentors in communicating what they enjoy doing. This allows mentors to tailor and guide apprentices in doing things that are keen on the apprentice's interests.
- Mentors who fail to remain in contact with their apprentices should be reported by the apprentice to the Office of the Chief of Staff.
Completing the Program
The Mentorship Program is considered complete when the mentor has guided the apprentice through the junior ranks of Bravo Fleet and the apprentice has earned the rank of Lieutenant Commander. At the conclusion, the Mentor will receive an Expeditionary Award for their efforts.
Tips & Guide for Mentors
It is vitally important that mentors are clear on the rules of the Mentorship Program and that what is expected of BF members is clearly shared with the apprentice. If mentors are unsure of this or any other matter they should speak to the Chief of Staff before beginning their mentoring.
Below are a few tips and suggestions that will help mentors be successful in their approaches.
- Once you have been assigned an apprentice, ensure you both have a clear understanding of how regular you will remain in contact, however this does not have to be daily but consistent contact is encouraged to ensure the apprentice is clear on what they are doing to progress with their promotion requirements.
- Ensure you have the knowledge and are clear on the expectations/criterias for each rank up to Lieutenant Commander. Ask a member of the OCS staff for any clarity on this.
- When engaging with the apprentice, try to determine what aspects of Bravo Fleet’s activities they would enjoy the most or would like to try to do to gain their next promotion.
- Perhaps run a Q&A session with the apprentice. If they have any burning questions, listen to them and see if you can answer them. If you cannot then see if you can help them find the answer by looking on BFMS or asking someone who is in a leadership role.
- Create an informal action plan of how the promotion criteria will be met and when the apprentice will do this. This should not be a formal process where mentors are ‘demanding why’ an apprentice has not done a particular task. The idea is that the intention is there and apprentices are encouraged to be proactive with it by themselves.
- Provide the apprentice with good examples from others in the fleet that have completed similar activities/tasks. If you need further suggestions/clarity approach Task Force Staff, followed by Department Staff to ensure the same message is clearly being shared with the apprentice.
- Keep the apprentice’s Task Force Commanding Officer aware of how they are doing, this includes when they are nearing the deadline of them being eligible for promotion. You may be able to provide useful feedback for the recommendation.
- Remember you are not there to do the work for the apprentice. Give them tips or advice on how you may do it but do not enter a competition on their behalf, or create a character biography.
- Remember our apprentices could be new to Bravo Fleet and joining our club may be an overwhelming feeling. Perhaps introduce them to a few of the players you have a good relationship with so they can build up a rapport with others. We are here to have fun, first and foremost!
- Remember a BF Mentor can provide the following if done correctly:
- Advice - this could be in the form of looking at the strengths of the apprentice and using them to gain a certain activity (e.g.: if they’re good at gaming can they get involved with our STO fleet?).
- Motivation - regular conversations help build a good working relationship and that check-in is maybe what the apprentice needs to get that last activity in on time!
- Direction - if the apprentice is finding the list of requirements overwhelming, provide them with suggestions on quick easy wins to help towards that promotion.
- Support - this may be in the form of providing clarity on any BF policies, rules or where to find something on BFMS.
- Training - this may include teaching the apprentice how to use the BF wiki or how to upload something on to the BFMS.