Commentary

December 6, 2013

Mentorship: Not just senior NCO thing

Tech. Sgt. BRIAN TISDALL
56th Force Support Squadron

When people talk about mentorship, they may think of a senior NCO guiding an NCO or an Airman. However, this should not always be the case. Mentorship can occur at any level and is a useful tool for all Airmen.

A mentor is someone who teaches or gives help and advice to a less experienced and often younger person. Based on this definition, mentorship does not have to only come from upper-level management.

Good mentorship starts with caring about your people. Asking how their weekend was or how their day is going just isn’t enough. We cannot be satisfied with yes or no answers. We must ask open-ended questions in order to get our Airmen to open up. We have to show we are truly concerned for them and are not just going through the motions.

Air Force Instruction 36-2618, The Enlisted Force Structure paragraph 4.1.4.3, talks about being mentally ready to accomplish the mission. That means we have to be actively involved with monitoring our Airmen’s well being. Paragraph 4.1.6 discusses how we need to know and understand the wingman concept. ACE (ask, care, escort), is a concept that will help with this process. Ask the tough questions, care about their answers and them, and escort them to the proper agency if needed.

Junior NCOs have an ideal opportunity to mentor the young Airmen around them. Keeping in line with EFS, paragraph 4.1.13 tells them to use their own experiences and knowledge to mentor others. This is something that cannot be done if a junior NCO doesn’t know his own job. They are the examples that are seen every day, whether it be good or bad. Their actions need to mimic their words.

In addition, they have to be willing to follow the same standard that is set for their Airmen. Their credibility will be compromised if they falter. They also have to be willing to admit when they make a mistake and not sweep it under the rug to hide their imperfections.

Junior NCOs are in a prime position to see how Airmen work and perform on a daily basis, and should be making corrections, suggestions, or giving advice when they notice something change.

EFS also states in paragraph 4.1.5 to clearly meet and strive to exceed the standards and expectations that are set for junior enlisted Airmen.

Too often we sit idly by and do nothing until that Airman is on his last chance. If we would stop what we are doing and help them when things first go awry, we would have prevented the whole situation.

Mentorship is something that is talked about all the time. However, if we practice what we preach and truly care about our Airmen the Air Force will be in very good hands.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Courtesy photo

EOD called out for expertise

Courtesy photo The 56th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal team recovers military ordnance July 4 from the rubble of a burnt down building at an auto repair facility in Phoenix. The Luke EOD team recovered nume...
 
 

Strong followers challenge authority

It’s not surprising that when I tell subordinates to challenge authority, I often get a look of confusion. Admittedly, this is a step used to provoke thought. Obviously, we don’t need subordinates undermining their leader’s authority. My intent is not to create insubordination — it is to underscore the importance of strong followership. Great leaders...
 
 

Travel access, opportunities not to be ignored

Possibly one of the greatest and overlooked gifts we have in the military is our ability to travel. More often than not, we are stationed at bases around the world where we have the access and opportunity to travel and see the local sites. However, it happens way too often that we ignore those opportunities....
 

 
Staff Sgt. Darlene Seltmann

Thunderbolt joins elite Thunderbirds

Staff Sgt. Darlene Seltmann 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs photojournalist, took this photo March 15 during Luke Air Force Base’s Open House and Air Show. She had no idea at the time that just a few months later she would b...
 
 

News Briefs July 25, 2014

Wanted: Airmen selfie videos The Air Force wants to hear from Airmen with unique stories about what led them to the Air Force, who are proud of their job and how it impacts the Air Force mission, or work in an exceptional unit. The 2014 American Airman Video Contest is open to all Airmen who...
 
 

Thunderbolt of the Week

Airman 1st Class Anna Valdez 56th Contracting Squadron Contracting specialist Hometown: Moscow Years in service: One Family: Husband, Phil; mother, Natalia; and father, Oleg Education: Russian State University of Trade and Economics bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics Inspirations: My parents demonstrated excellence and success in a loving environment, taught me to never give up...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin