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The Air Force Materiel Command has a comprehensive mentoring program that extends across the mission. Mentoring is a tool that individuals can voluntarily use to nurture personal and professional growth while enhancing their careers. Mentoring relationships can be formed through formal matching programs or develop naturally through relationships between leaders, coworkers and peers. The role of the mentee is to observe, question, and explore new opportunities. Mentors demonstrate, explain and model.
What is mentoring?
Mentorship describes a type of professional relationship in which a mentor guides another individual in their quest to develop both personally and professionally. This relationship helps achieve mission success and motivates Airmen to achieve their goals.
How does mentoring impact mission readiness?
What is a mentor? A mentor is an advisor and guide who shares knowledge, experiences, and advice in helping individuals to achieve their career goals.
How do I become an effective mentor?
For more information, review the AFMC Mentor Handbook
What is a mentee? A mentee is someone who seeks mentorship because they desire to be actively involved in their personal education and development.
What is required of the individual?
How can I make the most of my mentoring experience?
For more information, review the AFMC Mentee Handbook
The Department of the Air Force values mentorship as an enterprise imperative and is committed to increasing deliberate mentoring for Total Force Airmen and Guardians. The theme for 2023 National Mentoring Month is Love Your Mentoring Journey and focuses on helping every Airman, Guardian and Civilian to find that unique mentoring relationship that will help them achieve personal growth. Mentorship is a critical strategy in developing the workforce we need to become more diverse, agile and inclusive personally and professionally.
During each Special Observance Month in 2023, AFMC Major Command Barrier Analysis Working Group (MAJBAWG) Champions will host a one-hour live mentoring panel to highlight barriers faced by members of each demographic/MAJBAWG Group. Panels will help to educate Airmen on barriers faced by members of the demographic in mentoring relationships and how others can become better mentors to those unlike themselves. Mentoring panels will target education and awareness, and will include the MAJBAWG demographic groups. All panels will be open to everyone. Some of the topics to be highlighted include: how to choose a mentor; inspirational stories; key mentoring tips, making the most out of a mentoring relationship; and formal and informal mentoring. Special Observance mentoring panels will begin in February 2023 during Black History Month.
This effort is driven by our Airmen. AFMC is focused on making the command a better place to work at for all employees. The panels will allow our Airmen with a particular commonality (religion, ethnicity, shared interest, gender, etc.) to share a space to support each other and spread awareness, while attendees will have the opportunity to learn cross-cultural perspectives.
2022 Special Observance Month Mentoring Archive:
Mentoring is essential in developing well-rounded, professional, and competent future leaders and helps Total Force Airmen and Guardians maximize their full potential.
The mentoring program is designed to help Airmen discover their strengths while achieving their full potential through a structured, trusted mentoring relationship. Effective mentorship is a stewardship responsibility that provides:
National Mentoring Month was started in 2002 and was spearheaded by the Harvard School of Public Health and the Corporation for National and Community Service. It is an annual, high-profile campaign to bring national attention to the value of mentoring and to stimulate organizations to integrate effective mentoring strategies and processes into their initiatives.
Mentors should be diligent in their role and share knowledge, experiences and advice in helping mentees achieve their career and personal goals. Mentors help mentees construct goals that become part of the roadmap for career development. Mentors ask many questions and spend time hearing the response of mentees to use in future career vectors. Mentors serve as advisors, advocates and facilitators.
Mentees should be proactive about their personal and professional development by supporting mentors in creating an appropriate environment for growth opportunities. They should work with their mentors in constructing personal developmental plans that are challenging and achievable. Resources in AFH 36-2643, Air Force Mentoring Program, and on MyVECTOR may be used.
Trust is built into a mentoring relationship by being open, honest, respectful and accountable.
Mentoring and coaching complement each other. A mentor is a subject matter expert who provides the mentee with guidance, advice, and past experience. In contrast, a coach partners with and empowers their members to develop their own courses of action and solutions to problems.
While a mentor and a coach both have different attributes, they are both equally valuable.
Shares their thinking
Challenges your thinking
Shares their ideas
Challenges you to find your own ideas
Pours their wisdom into you
Draws your wisdom out of you
Creates a problem solver
Expertise resides with mentor
Expertise resides with client
MyVECTOR is an enterprise solution supporting career development and management across the DAF. It supports individual Airmen and Guardians, career field managers and development teams. Many Airmen and Guardians already have mentors outside of MyVECTOR. For those who do not, the MyVECTOR Mentoring platform allows Airmen and Guardians to request a mentor or be matched with a mentor. The mentor can view the mentee’s developmental progress to provide feedback and recommendations. Resources also are located in MyVECTOR.
No, many Airmen and Guardians have established mentoring relationships developed outside of MyVECTOR. However, all Airmen and Guardians can benefit from the talent management functionalities of MyVECTOR to include the mentoring functionality.
The mentoring plan serves as a roadmap for achieving mentee’s goals and facilitating mentoring expectations. It also can become a communication tool for discussions between the mentors and mentees.
Racial and ethnicity information is personal information, it is up to each individual member to determine if they would like that information shared in MyVECTOR.
Mentor/mentee relationships and their communication are confidential in MyVECTOR.
It is not a requirement to use MyVECTOR to communicate with your mentor. It’s just an option available to those using MyVECTOR.
The Air Force completely redesigned the Mentoring platform in MyVECTOR based on user feedback. New features include:
Due to the recent MyVECTOR Mentoring update, individual users must log into MyVector Mentoring and update their profile, to include self-identifying preferred attributes before mentees can find a mentor with those attributes. That data is masked until the user self-identifies. As more mentors update their profiles, more mentors with specific attributes will show up in the mentee’s search results.
MyVECTOR Mentoring is a one-stop-shop for pairing mentors with mentees. With the newest updates, mentors and mentees can chat and mentees can share documents with their mentors. Also, mentees have the ability to reach beyond their organization, base, or even MAJCOM to seek out a mentor. The diverse pool of mentors ensures that every mentee has the ability to find the right mentor for them.
At this point, MyVECTOR Mentoring does not have a virtual meeting capability; however, this is our desired future state. On the other hand, this doesn’t stop you from using other mobile apps for your mentoring session.
MyVECTOR Mentoring has a tab whereby the mentee can fill out focus areas, a bullet tracker, and experience. In addition, the mentee can add their long-term career goals and short-term objectives. There is even a section for the mentee’s career brief. The mentor and mentee can work together to fill out the mentoring expectations tab and both the mentor and mentee can review, revisit, and do a deep dive before and during each mentoring session.
Air Force Mentoring
Air Force e-Learning
Air Force Resources
The National Mentoring Partnership
CSAF Leadership Library
To view the full archive of Air Force Materiel Command Mentoring products, visit our feature page on DVIDS at:
To provide feedback, request more information, or suggest a topic for the next AFMC Mentoring Event, send an email to the AFMC Mentoring Team.