WASHINGTON — Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright was a self-proclaimed undisciplined Airman during his first enlistment in the early 1990s…that is until his mentor stepped in and provided the leadership he needed to set him on the right path.
Though that intervention was more than two decades ago, the importance of mentors has not changed across the Air Force – the service is still dedicated to developing the total force into well-rounded, mission-focused leaders.
“Leveraging the wisdom and experience of others enabled me to grow and achieve my goals faster,” said Chief Master Sgt. John Bentivegna, the Air Force Enlisted Force Development chief. “To this very day, I have mentors who are both senior to me and who are peers, officers, civilians and enlisted.”
“Mentoring is about helping you grow as a person and as a professional in the direction you want to go,” said Nancy Dolan, the Headquarters Air Force Staff Strategy concepts deputy director.
Whether it be an enlisted, officer or civilian member a mentor can help them reach their goals. Air Force mentors and mentees can connect on MyVector, a system on the Air Force Portal.
“MyVector allows you to connect with a mentor if you have someone in mind,” said Dr. Patricia McGill, the Competencies, Doctrine and Mentoring Branch Force Development Integration Division chief. “Or if you just don’t know how to get a mentor, you can use the matching capability.”
Mentors can have four different roles: counselor, advocate, facilitator and coach, according to McGill.
“If you want the mission to be successful, you have to cultivate your people,” McGill said.
The Air Force’s mentor program focuses on the mentee and pairs them with the best mentor match.
The introduction of Air Force Manual 36-2643, Air Force Mentoring Program, only helps further through its comprehensive information, guidelines and expectations both personal and professional development.
For more information about the mentor process visit https://afvec.langley.af.mil/myvector