Collaborating with active-duty sailors and submarine commands can be an effective strategy for veterans organizations like the United States Submarines Veterans, Inc., to recruit and retain new members. Here’s a five-step plan to establish these collaborations:
1. Establish Clear Objectives:
Define your organization’s goals and objectives for collaborating with active-duty sailors and submarine commands. Determine whether you aim to provide support, share knowledge and experiences, or offer networking opportunities. Having clear objectives will guide your collaboration efforts.
2. Build Relationships:
Develop relationships with key personnel within submarine commands and naval bases. This can include commanding officers, executive officers, and senior enlisted personnel. Attend relevant events or gatherings to introduce your organization and its mission.
3. Offer Value and Support:
Show active-duty sailors and submarine commands how your organization can provide value to them. Consider the following approaches:
a. Mentorship Programs: Offer mentorship programs where veterans can share their experiences and provide guidance to active-duty sailors, helping them navigate their careers.
b. Educational Workshops: Host workshops or presentations on topics relevant to submariners, such as career development, transition to civilian life, or mental health support.
c. Community Engagement: Participate in community service projects or events organized by submarine commands, demonstrating your commitment to supporting the submarine community.
4. Foster Inclusivity:
Ensure that active-duty sailors feel welcome and included in your organization’s activities. Avoid creating barriers to participation, and make it clear that your organization values the contributions of both veterans and active-duty personnel.
5. Promote Membership Benefits:
Highlight the benefits of joining your organization to active-duty sailors. Emphasize the opportunities for networking, mentorship, and support that can enhance their military service and future transition to civilian life.
Bonus Step: Establish a Liaison Officer:
Consider designating a liaison officer within your organization to maintain communication and collaboration with submarine commands and active-duty personnel. This individual can serve as a point of contact, facilitate partnerships, and ensure that the needs of active-duty sailors are addressed effectively.
By implementing this five-step plan and establishing collaborative relationships with active-duty sailors and submarine commands, United States Submarines Veterans, Inc., can create a supportive and inclusive community that benefits both current and former submariners. This collaborative effort can lead to increased recruitment and retention of members who value the organization’s mission and resources.