WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – The 2018 inaugural year of the Air Force Materiel Command “Growing People” mentoring campaign was a tremendous success, with the command selected to help lead the Air Force-wide mentoring campaign effort for 2019.
“We are extremely excited to support the headquarters Air Force mentoring program effort and could not be more proud of our 2018 AFMC campaign success,” said Mandy Smith-Nethercott, the mentoring program lead in the AFMC Force Development Division. “AFMC leadership support played a key role in our success and really helped us to emphasize just how valuable mentoring can be to an individual’s professional and personal growth.”
The command produced more than 19 “Mentoring Viewpoints” videos featuring senior leaders from across the command who discussed the impacts of mentoring on their own career leadership paths and their perspectives on its importance to the growth of others. A series of articles written by mentors and mentees provided additional first person experiences, showcasing the breadth of impact mentoring can have at all stages of a person’s Air Force career.
These products, and a wealth of mentoring resources and links were hosted on the command’s mentoring webpage, providing a one-stop shop for information on a key aspect of a person’s career journey.
“Our goal is to encourage every civilian and Airman in AFMC to become involved in mentoring,” said Smith-Nethercott. “I cannot emphasize enough how much a good mentoring relationship can help a person grow in their career when they gain the insights and perspectives of those who have been in their shoes. At the same time, mentors benefit from hearing the perspectives of the next generation of leaders, often learning new things in the process.”
A key aspect of this year’s program success, said Smith-Nethercott, was its divergence from traditional workplace mentoring models which often take a more formal, matchmaking approach where mentors and mentees are ‘paired up’ based on shared interests, careers, etc. The AFMC mentoring model, on the other hand, emphasizes an individual’s personal responsibility to seek out a mentor and nurture relationships with those they admire as leaders.
“We want to encourage that personal responsibility,” said Smith-Nethercott. “You are responsible for your career and need to take action to continue to grow.”
To wrap up the 2018 AFMC Mentoring Campaign, the command offers a few “Best of 2018” mentoring highlights compiled from the videos and articles submitted throughout the year:
Sometimes a mentor is going to challenge you; that’s what helps you grow. Be willing to listen and learn from these experiences. -- Patricia Young, AFMC Executive Director
A mentor is someone who can listen with understanding and without judgement. However, being a mentor does not mean that person always has the answer; rather, they are a resource, facilitator and networker who can help point you down the right path. -- Gail Forest, Director, AFMC Engineering & Technical Management
Each stage of life calls for role models that can help you along the way, and the professional world is no different. Use the knowledge and advice from those who have come before you to grow. – Capt. Andrew Beckman, AFMC Directorate of Plans, Programs, Requirements & Assessments
Mentoring is just history on a personal scale. It gives you the opportunity to learn from the experiences of others. – Terry Edwards, Director, Air Force Civil Engineering Center
Find that person you admire or has the job or position you aspire to in the future. Seek them out and ask questions. You may find they are more than willing to share their path with you and can help you to grow. – Kevin Stamey, Executive Director, Air Force Sustainment Center
Mentors help us to make sure that no opportunity is wasted and provide guidance as we take charge of our own futures and destiny. – Master Sgt. Michael Stevens, 2017 Outstanding Airman of the Year, 711th Human Performance Wing