Land and Maritime recognizes mentoring program graduates

By Matthew Kirk and Craig M. Rader DLA Land and Maritime Public Affairs

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Graduates from two classes of the Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime Mentoring Program received recognition during separate events May 24.

During an afternoon ceremony inside the DLA Land and Maritime Operations Center auditorium at Defense Supply Center Columbus, 69 mentees accepted their diplomas for successfully completing the Level II Mentoring Program. It was the largest graduating class in the history of the program.

The Level II program requires a minimum nine-month commitment from associates in pay grades of GS-9 through GS-12 (or equivalent) and includes mentors sharing their expertise, values, skills and proficiencies with their designated mentees.

A second recognition ceremony took place that evening for graduates of the Level III program at La Novana reception hall in Gahanna, Ohio. The Level III Advanced Mentoring Program for Leaders is a competitive, two-year commitment leadership development course for Land and Maritime associates in the GS-13 and GS-14 pay grades.

The Level III graduating class included 13 protégés. The program included a comprehensive two-year commitment that included attendance at the Advanced Management Program hosted by the Navy Supply Corps School, completion of the Enhanced Defense Financial Management Training Course and serving on various projects and programs in support of DLA Land and Maritime command initiatives. All Tier III protégés were also required to serve as Tier II Mentors.

“This program isn’t just about educating participants in technical skills,” James McClaugherty, DLA Land and Maritime deputy commander, said during the afternoon event. “It’s intended to make you wiser during your progression through your careers.”

He encouraged each of the Level II graduates to continue the process of professional development by becoming mentors themselves, and passing on their knowledge to future mentees. 

“The mentoring program has enriched me personally and professionally,” said Caroline Watson, 2017 Tier III graduate. “The gains I’ve made through experiences and opportunities afforded to me as a result of the program are incalculable. I hope to one day pay forward what has been bestowed upon me.”

“The program provided me with insight into the leadership styles that exist within DLA Land and Maritime and taught me how to effectively communicate and interact with these leaders,” said Teresa Harris, 2017 Tier III Graduate, “I was given the opportunity to participate in a job rotation that provided a learning experience on different parts of the organization both at DLA Land and Maritime and the headquarters level. This interaction enhanced my knowledge of the different parts of the organization and how they work together to complete tasks. I wouldn’t have received this same opportunity if not for the Level III Mentoring Program.”

“Mentors and mentees are matched together based on the skill gap between the two,” said Amy Brumfield, Level II mentoring program manager. “The pair develops a mentoring action plan to complete their established goals during the duration of the program”

Land and Maritime Commander Navy Rear Adm. Michelle Skubic recognized each graduate at both events and took photos with the graduates and their mentors. The afternoon ceremony streamed over a two-way video teleconference with DLA Aviation so Skubic could recognize a mentor and mentee pair in Richmond, Va.

As a requirement, protégés of the Level III Mentoring Program were once mentors themselves in the Level II program. The curriculum is structured to provide a path for progression from one program to the next, and Brumfield recognized the importance of both mentors and their protégés. 

“Mentors – you went the distance,” Brumfield told the audience inside the auditorium. “We truly appreciate your dedication to this program.” 

Land and Maritime leaders recognized 31 graduates of the Level I Mentoring Program earlier this year at a ceremony in March. The Level I program is for associates in pay grades GS-9 and below.