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As a Company Mentor, strong performing, active-duty uniformed leaders (E-7 and above) have the unique opportunity to help prepare recruits for service in the Coast Guard. Between 3,000 and 4,000 recruits complete the 7-1/2 week program at Cape May every year. When they arrive, recruits are often homesick, apprehensive, and uncertain about their futures. Company Mentors can act as a “lifeline” for the recruits outside of the stringent training environment, helping them mature on a personal and professional level.
Company Mentors visit their company at least three times during boot camp, which includes being the guest speaker at graduation. In addition to answering recruits' specific questions, Company Mentors offer a realistic perspective on Coast Guard life by sharing experiences and insights from their own careers. Building the Coast Guard’s workforce of the 21st century is a "Three Team Commitment" that involves recruiting, recruit training, and the first unit. Recruit Company Mentors are essential to successfully bridging recruit training and the first unit.
The mission of Training Center Cape May is to graduate motivated men and women ready and able to serve with pride, professionalism, and commitment in the Coast Guard. Mentors play a key role in developing the civilian men and women who enlisted into highly motivated apprentices needed to do Coast Guard work. Mentors help instill accountability for performance, the will to succeed, and a commitment to excellence. A vital partner in the “Three Team Commitment”, the Mentor bridges training and the first unit by helping prepare recruits to meet the field's expectations.
Training Center Cape May encourages prospective Mentors to submit an application to Training Center Cape May's Battalion Officer via e-mail. Funding for travel and expenses is the responsibility of the Mentor. Candidates need to be willing to pay for these expenses on their own. Prospective Mentors must obtain their local chain of command's concurrence to avoid conflicts with the company visits.
The Battalion Officer will select Mentors using the following screening criteria:
Volunteers must be active duty or reserve military members in grades E-7 and above, CWO2-CWO4, and O3 and above with extensive experience, maturity, and exemplary performance. Applicants from the Officer Corps who do not have prior enlisted experience are encouraged to apply concurrently with an eligible enlisted member.
As role models to the service's newest members, Mentors must exemplify the finest traditions of military customs and protocol, including meticulous uniform appearance and grooming. Compliance with the Commandant's weight standards is essential.
Candidates are reminded that this role requires good interpersonal and communication skills. Mentoring involves one-on-one discussions as well as group presentations to companies of varying sizes. Mentors will employ coaching, counseling, and active listening during meetings with the company.
Candidates O3 and below should also include a command endorsement with their application. The endorsement should address the requirements outlined above. Applications are accepted in conjunction with the annual ALCOAST solicitation message ONLY, and visitation dates will be assigned for the current year of solicitation only.
After notification of selection the Mentor shall:
Coordinate with the Lead Company Commander the specific arrangements for visits during the second, fifth, and eighth weeks of training. The Company Mentor shall attend an out-brief with the Commanding Officer from 0945-1000 on graduation morning.
Be prepared to answer career related questions (advancement opportunities, education, transfers, first unit expectations, etc.) and speak at the Company’s graduation ceremony. If travel plans allow, the Company Mentor is also invited to eat lunch with the recruit award winners the day before graduation.
Comply with Training Center Cape May’s rules and regulations for recruits and the training program. The Recruit Company Mentor Guide clearly delineates the Mentor’s responsibilities and provides valuable insight for making the Mentor visits as effective as possible. If questions arise during the mentoring program, seek clarification from the Lead Company Commander or Battalion Officer.