You’ve just enlisted in the military, but you have no idea how it works or what are you supposed to do. Who do you go to for help?
“It’s a requirement for senior leaders to help build and mentor younger enlisted service members,” said Master Sgt. Brian Young, 755th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron first sergeant. “(Us as) senior leaders have the experience and the knowledge to guide our young Airmen.”
Mentoring is a professional activity, a trusted relationship, and a meaningful commitment to another person. The word mentor is derived from ancient Greece, as a technique to impart important social, spiritual, and personal values to young men. Later on, it was adopted by the U.S. military as way to pass on knowledge and guide service members to their highest potential.
Senior leaders on Davis-Monthan take part in helping today’s younger Airmen by instructing Airmen Leadership Schools, professional development seminars, company grade officer seminars and hosting chief’s breakfasts, which gives the chief a non-formal one-on-one time with Airmen to discuss problems or concerns and to give advice.
“Look around and find someone who has good qualities and try to emulate them,” said Chief Master Sgt. Dawna Cnota, 355th Fighter Wing command chief. “Talk to them and find out how they got there so you can build yourself up.”
Airmen across the Air Force need that supervisor or senior leader to help with their professional development, but also in their personal lives.
“Being in the military can be stressful but with the right support and guidance, it makes the sacrifices that we make worthwhile”, said Senior Airman Jelisa Monk, 355th Wing Staff Agency knowledge operations manager.
“The only way we build up the next generation of leaders is through mentorship,” said Cnota. “If I don’t pass on what I know I’m really not doing any favors for anyone, let alone the Air Force!”