Mentoring with a Purpose
As I look back on a 43+ year career both in the Navy (26 years) and out of the Navy (17 years), I take great pride in the choices I made (and sometimes made for me), as they all were part of my path in life.
As I continue to work part-time in retirement, I now take even greater pleasure in Mentoring with a Purpose…to let the younger generation know that it’s ok to make mistakes, it’s ok to change your plan, and the important thing is to keep moving forward with a goal, dream or path and trust that it will lead you to your life’s calling. I am now reaching my life’s calling at age 64: to mentor young, middle age, and old alike.
During my Naval Career, I switched my career paths three times and changed my designator five times; it still worked out great! That is primarily because, in every direction I took, I eagerly took on new responsibilities and gave the mission, the command, and the commander 125% of my efforts.
I look back like it was yesterday to my first Ship assignment, USS Garcia, FF-1040, and fondly remember the demanding hours, critical missions, and deployments we were part of. I didn’t know it back then, but Mentoring with a Purpose was all around me; the Officer and Enlisted leaders mentoring me as a young first tour Division Officer, my fellow wardroom peers that mentored me on the best way to do things, and the supportive sailors that I led and mentored, to successfully accomplish the mission. I am still in contact with many of those first shipmates from my tour on USS Garcia, FF-1040 from 1980 to 1983, and now, some 42 years later, I am planning on meeting up with a few of them later this summer, it’s a little bit like a High School reunion, but it's more of a family reunion because I worked with them 24 hours a day for weeks and months on end to accomplish the mission.
In the meantime, I continue to Mentor with a Purpose, sharing my life’s experiences and listening to yours.
Do you have a Mentor? If not, I would highly encourage you to try it! When you find the right one, hang on to them because they are worth their weight in gold and can offer you some great advice. If you’re an ‘Old Salt’ like me, why don’t you try to Mentor someone as a way of giving back…you’ll be glad you did!
Kevin Uhrich, CAPT, USN (retired)