Professional Studies and Fine Arts

Professional Studies and Fine Arts

New Mentor Program supports Navy ROTC Students

Curated program pairs freshmen with upperclassmen for support, guidance, and friendship.

New Mentor Program supports Navy ROTC Students

This NROTC mentor program allows freshman students to have an experienced, older student to support them throughout their time in NROTC and prepare them for service.

by Aleesia Benkey

November 10, 2021

After the pandemic shut down, Navy ROTC (NROTC) Officers noticed that their program students, particularly freshmen, struggled to assimilate to the ways and means of their unit. Hence, the mentor program was born. This program allows freshman students to have an experienced, older student to support them throughout their time in NROTC and prepare them for service.

Current Mentorship Program Coordinator and Supply Officer LSC(SW) Gregory Garcia shares the significance of this program. “NROTC San Diego created the Mentor Program in order to prepare our Midshipmen for service in the US Navy and US Marine Corps. A mentor’s advice and guidance helps develop and prepare their mentee for growth,” said Garcia. “Deliberate, effective, and consistent mentorship leads to greater professional and personal development and can contribute to career success. Mentorship is especially important before key career decision points.”

The NROTC mentor program has shown to help students thrive in their college career. Ezra Eclarin had a mentor as a freshman, and is now a mentor himself as a junior. “Having a mentor helped me tremendously coming into the unit,” explains Eclarin. “When you are a 4/C (freshman) you have a lot to figure out. Balancing school, waking up early for ROTC, and having a social life can be challenging at first. Having a mentor changes the way you see things because it pairs you up with someone who has done it before, and in many ways it encourages you to keep going. Now that I am on the other side of things as a mentor myself, I realize that I have to be an example and this pushes me to be a better student and leader.”

The mentor program has created lifelong friendships among students regardless of rank structure. Mentor Paul Hatala has impacted mentee Andrew Becker in more ways than one. “The most rewarding thing the mentorship program has offered is a good support system,” said Becker. “Your mentor will always support you and if you have any questions or concerns, you can ask your mentor without hesitation. MIDN Hatala has impacted me with his motivation. The motivation that he exerts pushes me to become the best individual I can be.”

About NROTC San Diego:

NROTC San Diego is designed to develop young men and women morally, mentally, and physically, and to instill in them the highest ideals of honor, courage, and commitment. Graduates of our NROTC program commission as Ensigns in the Navy or Second Lieutenants in the Marine Corps. Upon completion of the program, you’ll have potential for future development in mind and character to assume the highest responsibilities of command, citizenship, and government.

The content within this article has been edited by Lizbeth Persons.

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