Commentary

March 28, 2014

Mentorship builds better Airmen at all levels

Staff Sgt. JEREMIAH HARRIS
56th Security Forces Squadron

Mentorship is an important topic that comes with many views and questions, such as, “Why is mentorship important?” “Why do we need mentorship?” and “What are the causes and effects of mentorship?”

Here are my personal views on why mentorship is important.

First, I would like to specify that every person in the Air Force is important from the lowest-ranking person to the highest. Each and every one of us will be and need to be mentored in everything we do in life. Why do I say that? Think about it; if we lived in a perfect world, mentoring would be obsolete. However, this world and the people in it are far from perfect and being mentored on dos and don’ts is what teaches, molds and builds moral stamina.

Airmen need to learn and understand the importance of mentorship and how it affects the Air Force as a whole. Mentorship can be discussed one-on-one, in small groups or in large groups. It can also be good or bad based on what is needed to be discussed. It is important for leaders and followers to mentor and be mentored daily to improve not only the individual but the Air Force as a whole. It’s like a huge chain effect that most Airmen forget about or do not understand the concept. Leadership and supervisors need to make sure our Airmen understand the good things but also the bad things that take place daily.

It is the duty of each Airman and supervisor to build rapport in a professional Air Force manner and to also account for their peers. A simple five-minute discussion addressing mistakes that were made or personal issues could help improve daily activities once problems are addressed. Likewise, letting fellow Airmen, whether they’re a troop, supervisor or friend, know the great things they do on a daily basis can affect attitude, work ethic and even mood. The Air Force has a tool for mentorship called feedback, but mentorship should not only happen during these times. We as Airmen can find it hard to understand our roles or the importance of these roles if we do not have the proper guidance or support.

There is always room for improvement in all of us, and I feel if we can come together and become better mentors, then we can create a better Air Force and set our future leaders up for success.




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