GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --
In an effort to encourage Airmen to interact with fellow Airmen and mentor figures outside of their normal circle, three individuals teamed up to organize new mentoring events on base.
Air Force communication waypoints states that at the core of the Air Force’s warfighting capability are engaged, passionate leaders who are committed to developing the skill and professionalism of Airmen.
“A question posed during a class ‘What is your leadership philosophy and how are you working to achieve it,’ got me thinking about what I wanted to do as a leader,” said Master Sgt. Christine Austin, 316th Training Squadron flight chief. “I realized I wanted to do something to help the younger Airmen on base.”
To help Airmen develop skills in the professional realm, this team came together to coordinate with other noncommissioned and senior noncommissioned officers to offer more chances for Airmen to get out and meet with mentors from across base.
“I had previous experience with speed mentoring and I loved it,” said Staff Sgt. Sabrina Scruggs, 315th Training Squadron instructor. “I just love being able to pick everyone’s brains about their careers and how to step into a supervisor role and not mess it up.”
Speed mentoring is a platform built around the premise of multiple categories each being discussed on a time limit. Airmen get to talk with mentors for a set amount of time about a subject before moving to a different category.
“Setting the foundation early is important,” said Austin. “If you can learn early to be a lifetime learner and ask questions even outside your career field then you make it easier on yourself.”
Master Sgt. Erin Weiss, 316th TRS flight chief, expounded on the fact that Airmen do not have to rely on their own experience. Airmen should be asking questions outside of their career field.
“You don’t have to do it alone,” said Weiss. “You can rely on everyone around you, we are all a family here, which means we are here to help.”
Mentors from all different positions and career fields celebrate their different career experiences and answer questions Airmen may have about different situations.
“At the end of the day, it’s knowing that we’re all in this together,” said Secretary of the Air Force, Heather Wilson. “We’re part of one team, because we are Airmen.”
Airmen from all departments across base are encouraged to attend future events that will be held by the coordinators and their fellow mentors.
“One of our greatest challenges we need to place a greater focus on is identifying young Airmen and families that need the services available and connecting the two,” said Chief Master Sgt. Kaleth O. Wright, Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force. “Many times our young Airmen won’t raise their hand and say they need help. It’s the responsibility of supervisors to know what their Airmen need and connect them to those resources.”
Through this new monthly mentoring program the triad of Weiss, Austin and Scruggs hope to do just that, connecting Airmen and their families with services that would benefit them and encouraging Airmen to reach out and find mentors that can help with various aspects of their careers.
Austin specified that the format may change, it may not always be a speed mentoring style, but there will be more events that will allow Airmen to gather and gain knowledge, including finance tips, how to grow as an Airman and how to be in a supervisory role amongst their peers.
For more information about the events contact Master Sgt. Erin Weiss, Master Sgt. Christine Austin or Staff Sgt. Sabrina Scruggs.