Posted on Nov 8, 2013
Col Regional Director, Whem/Ssa And Congressional Liaison
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What are your thoughts on and experiences with mentorship?  In your experience has the practice helped you?  If so, how? Has a mentor helped you to see things more clearly, become a better service member, a better leader, or a better person in general?  How has this helped you to develop, has it changed your outlook or changed you for the better?  How has mentorship (or the lack of mentorship) impacted mission, morale, or overall personal or unit performance?  Also, feel free to share any concepts, observations, ideas or resources on mentorship... as well as any useful or interesting stories, the "good, the bad, or indifferent" on the subject of mentorship. This is your thread to talk about what's important to you, so please feel free to share any photos, resources, links, words of wisdom, sound files, or anything else necessary to tell your story. Now, pull up a keyboard and let's get the conversation rolling; thank you for all that you do... see you all in the discussion threads!
Edited 8 y ago
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Col Regional Director, Whem/Ssa And Congressional Liaison
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It was mentioned in another thread, that a mentorship resource may be a good idea for RallyPoint; I think it could be great idea, although I'm not exactly sure how it would be implemented, perhaps a separate tab or a link to a dedicated page?  What are your thoughts, do you like the idea?  If so, what would be the best way to go about it... if not, what other ideas would you like to share/workshop/brainstorm?
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Col Regional Director, Whem/Ssa And Congressional Liaison
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Col Regional Director, Whem/Ssa And Congressional Liaison
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Col Regional Director, Whem/Ssa And Congressional Liaison
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COL Vincent Stoneking
COL Vincent Stoneking
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MAJ Burns, 
I like the idea, especially as it applies to Reserve component 
Soldiers - It's what I am, so it's where I focus.... In fact, it is the main potential selling point of Rally Point to me. 

Reservists usually aren't around the military on a daily basis, and so it often seems that a lot of what an AC Soldier picks up by osmosis is a mystery for the Reserve Soldier, especially as we move towards a more garrison orientation, which a lot of junior Soldiers and leaders have no experience with at all... 
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SGT Ncoic
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Sir,



In my opinion in today’s Army we are not having the
mentorship that we need. I have been lucky enough to be part of a section which
my two supervisors are doing a great job mentoring me.  I have seen new Soldiers with good attitude and
a lot of motivation chosen the wrong path because they don’t have that mentor
to guide them and show them the right way. Mentorship is a must because that’s how
you shape a Soldier in a professional way. I’m still learning but I’m trying my
best to mentor my Soldiers and create a base so they can continue to grow and
learn the way they supposed to.  



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Col Regional Director, Whem/Ssa And Congressional Liaison
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Mentorship is an important part of the development process, what's best is both the mentor and the mentored benefit from the relationship; that's great that you're taking the time to mentor troops, and offering your time and knowledge. If you aren't currently being mentored as well, I would actively seek a worthy mentor(s) to continue your own development, as you and those that you mentor will both benefit.  Also, if proper emphasis is not being put towards mentoring locally, ask 'what can I do to change that?'  Perhaps through NCO channels, through a mentor, or just someone in an influential position who will listen, your recommendation for a more formalized mentorship program could take hold. Thanks for sharing your experience and thank you for your service!
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MAJ Operations Officer (Opso)
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Sir,


To be frank and upfront what mentorship? I think that this is severely lacking in the military today from what I have seen in my nine years. I have only been counseled twice in my career (both being initial counselings). I have never received a counseling to talk about my evaluation but rather sit down and hey look at this (if I was not made to write my own). My friend put it best as "if they are not yelling at you or bothering you then keep it up you are doing a good job".


Now being the kind of person I am I sought out mentorship outside my chain of command and that advise has been priceless. I sought out a SGM and a MAJ when I was a LT to get perspectives from both enlisted and officer side of the house. One could "keep me real" and grounded. The other help set me up for success as an officer. I have taken that approach with my company as I now of five LTs under me and I have given them initial counselings, developmental counselings, and support form counselings upfront. I am utilizing the developmental counselings to see where they think that they need and want to grow. I also use informal counselings by just talking to them (a lost art if you ask me) and I get ideas from these conversations. I have given tasks such as writing an OPORD to give them practice and then tell them what I feel was good and what needed improvement and why. The importance is why so they can know where they need to improve and work on in the future. Their evaluation is the wrong time to find out. If you know what they need to fix do it on the spot if you can. We are here to get the mission done, but also to prepare them to take our place so when we move on someone can carry the touch.


When I got into the Army I was shocked by how much ROTC did not teach me and how much OBC did not teach me and now how much CCC did not teach me. You have to teach yourself. But if you have to go learn it because you weren't taught, chances are so will your subordinates. Pass that information down and build them into better Soldiers and leaders. Allow them chances to fail and learn. But most importantly hold them accountable. If you do not they will keep doing same thing and get promoted and get set in their ways and keep on getting promoted and make life miserable for those under them.


Just my two cents, Sir.

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MAJ Operations Officer (Opso)
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I agree, Top. Especially when you are "sitting around doing nothing" at higher headquarters during weekends when others are briefing. We were lucky to have CPOF lab to teach our guys, but before that we really had nothing for anyone to do and nobody mentored anyone. I had to teach junior enlisted land navigation as a LT (and yes I knew and still know how to do land nav despite what they say about LTs) because nobody from the NCO ranks wanted to take time to prep them for WLC. I am happy to report that so far all of them that went graduated WLC with flying colors.
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CPT Labor And Delivery Nurse
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I have been in since 1986 and was first enlisted, I made it to SSG before I was force to med board out, however I was able to finish my nursing degree and come back in as an Officer. I had very little mentor ship when I was coming up in the ranks, I had my fair share of toxic leaders. I have to say that I still do not have mentor ship as an Officer. I am working towards my Master's degree because I want to go on for my Doctoral degree. I have had no mentor ship a this time but am working hard to develop relationships with Officers who will be able to help me make LTC, I am thinking two steps ahead. I was sadden at my last duty assignment when one of our NCO's graduated WLC and none of our command wanted to go to support her, so on my day off I loaded up with her squad leader and went, I felt that an officer should have been there. Sadly I was the only Officer present for a graduating group of 85, how sad is this, we need to be there to show support, they need to feel like they matter. I always try and do the right thing we all need mentor ship to move up in rank.
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MAJ Operations Officer (Opso)
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Sounds like you are doing well on your own. I hope that you can pass that down to other officers and NCOs and become their mentor. You can also learn a lot by mentoring.
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CPT Labor And Delivery Nurse
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I plan to, we just got a new group of privates. I am trying to help them learn the right way we have some very bad soldiers and I am starting to remind them that we have to maintain our baring all the time not just when they want to. My whole out look has changed here in Hawaii. I have a hard time finding time to do much of anything between work and working on my Master's so my job is the only place I can have an impact right now.
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