Skip to main content

Military Health System

Mentoring advice from a Navy senior chief

Image of Two military personnel, wearing masks, sitting at a desk talking. Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer Luis Reyes (right) from Ft. Sam Houston in San Antonio, mentors Navy Hospital Corpsman First Class Jon Alexander, who is stationed at the Navy Medicine Training Support Command there. Reyes is the senior chief instructor of the Hospital Corpsmen Program and trains young officers for the most part. He relies on four pillars of mentoring: family, finances, fitness, and faith. (Photo Courtesy of Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer Luis J. Reyes.)

Recommended Content:

Total Force Fitness

For Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer Luis Reyes, mentoring plays an important in sailor development. The 23½-year veteran now serves as the senior chief instructor for the Hospital Corpsmen Program at Ft. Sam Houston in San Antonio.

He recently explained how he uses four pillars of mentoring in his interactions with young officers as he focuses on training young officers in the skills of leadership and development -- family, finances, fitness, and faith.

He credits his previous mentors with showing him the way to mentor because they all were interested in him as more than a sailor, but as a person with outside interests and needs.

His goal is to mentor young officers in not only the successes of their challenging military medical careers but also in turning them away from its possible pitfalls.

Reyes recently discussed his mentoring style with the Military Health System communications office.

MHS: Who do you work with?

Senior Chief Petty Officer Reyes: I work alongside a cadre of chiefs, first- and second-class petty officers, and other officers. As chiefs, one of our responsibilities is to train junior officers and help them learn leadership skills.

MHS: How do you introduce yourself to a mentee?

Reyes: My introduction to my mentees is always the same. I tell them who I am, I ask for their expectations of me – their ears perk up at that – I say to them “Give me some time to get to know me,” and I follow up.

MHS: What specific skills do you work on with your charges?

Reyes: There are four things we work on: Family, finances, fitness, and faith. I explain each one and the pitfalls or successes that could happen with each one, so I’m giving both positive and negative examples. I ask them their goals, and then I take those goals on as mine.

MHS: How often do you follow up?

Reyes: I check in periodically. The younger the sailors are, the more likely they are to share with me often. I just take an interest in them. That means an interest beyond their role as sailors.

MHS: What sort of leadership challenges do you find?

Reyes: I look at their priorities to see if they have too many eggs in one basket and try to adjust their expectations and to see that their goals are accomplished. This is one of the highlights of my job.

MHS: What are the best qualities of a mentor?

Reyes: You have to understand where an individual is at in their career or journey, and to be a good listener. You have to understand the different stressors, like a first child or a marriage, and have a genuine concern for the whole person. You have to look beyond just the military person in front of you to see the whole person.

MHS: How does it work?

Reyes: It’s important to acknowledge achievements small or large – simple things like “I got my driver’s license” for young sailors – to bigger accomplishments like graduate school degrees, marriage, and children.

MHS: How did you find a mentor?

Reyes: I looked for people who were leaders who’ve gotten to know me beyond the work environment, for example those who’ve gotten to know my family. The ones I’ve gravitated to don’t just know me as a sailor but for things in my life.

MHS: How do you plan to use these skills after the Navy?

Reyes: It’s really rewarding and is something I’m looking forward to. I’ve looked at Junior ROTC, helping underserved youth in New York City to think bigger, or being a high school or college counselor. But, I have to be where I am now, which is focused on my mentees. The future is open.

MHS: What is your best advice for a mentor?

Reyes: Believe in your mentee and provide support. Establish early on that goals are not always going to be easy to achieve but find creative ways for them to reach their goals. This goes for both positive goals and to those who need reinforcement of positive goals. I’m always mindful that sailors who are struggling need help too. Also, find ways to say ‘yes’ to sailors’ goals. I don’t give them promises but tell them it may take a team to get this done.

You also may be interested in...

The difference between Celiac Disease & Non-celiac Gluten Sensitivity

Article
3/26/2021
Close up picture of slices of bread

Celiac disease is not a food allergy; it's an autoimmune disease diagnosed through a blood test.

Recommended Content:

Nutritional Fitness | Total Force Fitness

When we “Break Bread," we build social bonds

Article
3/25/2021
Picture of military personnel sitting at a table eating food together

Eating socially has been shown to influence happiness and life satisfaction; specifically participating in evening meals with more people.

Recommended Content:

Total Force Fitness | Nutritional Fitness

Army dietitian uses nutritional care to fight COVID-19

Article
3/23/2021
Military personnel wearing a face mask standing in front of a Nutrition Clinic

Army dietician plays a critical role in COVID-19 patient recovery.

Recommended Content:

Nutritional Fitness | Total Force Fitness | Coronavirus & the MHS Response

METC trains dietician techs to build, support a Medically Ready Force

Article
3/18/2021
Military health personnel preparing food trays while wearing a face mask

Nutrition plays an important role in military readiness.

Recommended Content:

Nutritional Fitness | Total Force Fitness | Health Readiness & Combat Support | Education & Training | Medical Education and Training Campus

Women’s health emerging priorities series highlights mental health

Article
3/4/2021
A woman holding her hands near her face

Women’s mental health can be more affected by transitioning than men’s, speakers’ series attendees hear.

Recommended Content:

Women's Health | Total Force Fitness | Depression | Psychological Fitness

Proper nutrition impacts overall health & readiness

Article
3/4/2021
Man wearing a face mask restocking fruit at a store

Nutritional fitness implications for Total Force Fitness are far reaching.

Recommended Content:

Total Force Fitness | Nutritional Fitness | Brain Injury Awareness | Brain Injury Awareness

10 ways to support holistic heart health

Article
2/26/2021
picture of a heart running on the treadmill with the words "healthy heart for body and soul. ten ways to support holistic heart health"

Tips for a Total Force Fitness approach to keeping your heart healthy

Recommended Content:

Heart Health | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Total Force Fitness | Heart Health Toolkit | Heart Health Toolkit

Good oral care requires lifetime commitment

Article
2/25/2021
Military health personnel, sitting in front of a group of children, showing them how to brush their teeth using a stuffed animal

Children’s Dental Health Month focuses on the importance of developing good oral hygiene habits at an early age.

Recommended Content:

Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Children's Health | Total Force Fitness

Eating disorders hinder optimal health and TFF nutrition concept

Article
2/25/2021
a picture of the produce section at a grocery store

Disordered eating lessens Total Force Fitness.

Recommended Content:

Total Force Fitness | Nutritional Fitness | Heart Health Toolkit | Heart Health Toolkit

Proper diet, sleep, exercise, and joy key to heart health

Article
2/24/2021
Military personnel working out at the gym

Heart health is crucial to service members’ readiness throughout their high-stress careers. Working to achieve that takes self-discipline and moderation, but also joy, integrity, and social interaction

Recommended Content:

Heart Health | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Total Force Fitness | Heart Health Toolkit | Heart Health Toolkit | Heart Health Toolkit

How do you mend a broken heart? It usually fixes itself

Article
2/23/2021
Military personnel wearing a face mask, gets his heart checked out by military heath personnel

'Broken Heart Syndrome’ and ‘Holiday Heart Syndrome’ are very real phenomena. Spiritual and social fitness can help mitigate both.

Recommended Content:

Heart Health | Total Force Fitness | Heart Health Toolkit | Heart Health Toolkit

March 2021 Toolkit

Publication
2/22/2021

March is nationally recognized as Brain Injury Awareness Month, with the goal of increasing traumatic brain injury (TBI) awareness and improve health care providers’ ability to identify, care for, and treat all those who are affected by TBI. A TBI is a blow or jolt to the head that disrupts the normal function of the brain. According to the Defense Health Agency Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence, 430,720 service members have been diagnosed with a first-time TBI since 2000. The toolkit also contains information on patient Safety Awareness Week, National Nutrition Month and many other graphics and messages you can use for holidays and observances during March.

Recommended Content:

Brain Injury Awareness | Total Force Fitness | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence

Training for a healthy heart can improve overall health

Article
2/22/2021
Military personnel wearing a mask exercising in the gym

Service members must be heart healthy to perform optimally throughout their military careers.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Physical Fitness | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Total Force Fitness | Heart Health

Navy Lt. stresses importance of being proactive during winter training

Article
2/10/2021
Marines march during a cold weather leadership course

MCMWTC is the "real deal."

Recommended Content:

Total Force Fitness | Winter Safety | Heart Health Toolkit

A ‘holistic framework’ for Total Force Fitness through 2021

Article
2/8/2021
Three military personnel, dress in gym gear, exercising with medicine balls.

Total Force Fitness is being re-introduced in 2021 by all branches of the military, to include an emphasis on holistic training that goes far beyond physical fitness.

Recommended Content:

Total Force Fitness
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 61 - 75 Page 5 of 7
Refine your search
Last Updated: December 27, 2022
Follow us on Instagram Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on YouTube Sign up on GovDelivery