Speed mentoring at The Club
By Senior Airman Amber Russell, 11th Wing Public Affairs
/ Published August 17, 2012
JOINT BASE ANDREWS --
Andrews Airman and NCOs in charge showed up to The Club at Andrews mentally-clad in questions and challenges for SNCOs from all over base to engage in speed mentoring, the cutting-edge new alternative on the mentoring scene, Aug. 16.
"I think it is a great opportunity for our Airmen to get out and get SNCO mentorship," said Senior Master Sgt. Tesha Quarterman, Air Force Legal Operation Agency defense paralegal manager.
Quarterman, the event organizer, said about 16 Senior NCOs showed up today to mentor Airmen in seven-minute sessions.
Each session gave Airmen immediate access to straight-forward responses regarding career progression and other questions from the perspectives of those who have walked in their boots.
During the course of the event, Airmen revolved around the room and conversed with one or two SNCOs from various backgrounds. They absorbed as much information as possible in the given time.
The trending theme throughout many of the short-timed sessions was motivation.
"I think that maintaining a high level of motivation can be the hardest thing to do at times," said Senior Airman Ashley Billups, 779th Medical Dental Squadron dental technician. "Our success in the Air Force comes down to motivation. If you lack motivation, you can't pass it on to someone else."
Leaders encouraged her to take advantage of any opportunity to get "re-blued," she said. They also reminded her of their renewed sense of motivation after attending NCO and SNCO Academy.
Being motivated to succeed can yield a quality work ethic and in turn, upward mobility.
"While leadership is responsible for keeping up morale by setting the standards, Airmen must have a strong work ethic to succeed and get promoted," said Master Sgt. David Barr, 1st Helicopter Squadron flight engineer.
Alternatively, waiting around for someone else to take responsibility can be fatal to an Air Force career.
"With the force being minimized through downsizing, you must be proactive and take ownership of your career," said Master Sgt. Erica Penn, who oversees microbiology in the Malcolm Grow Medical Center laboratory.
Retired Master Sgt. Nancy Floyd, Andrews military test control officer and Penns mentoring partner, said she handles all promotions for enlisted personnel and administers tests like the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test, language test, the Air Force Officer Qualifying test and more.
Floyd said she supported Penns lean-forward approach.
"Always get three of the same answers to the same question from separate sources," said Floyd. "Don't assume the first person always has the correct answer. Don't think you're being a pest either; you're taking steps to build on your own career."
The SNCOs said these fast-paced sessions were a benefit to all in attendance.
"Today's mentoring session went quite well," said Master Sgt. Sylvia Dieble, 1 HS superintendent. "We were able to educate and mentor some individuals, share our personal background experience with them and influence them to go out there and be good leaders for themselves and others. Today, I did this by detailing steps to getting promoted and cross-training. I encouraged them to explore all the Air Force has to offer."
Dieble said the keys to promotion are to, "know your job, do your job well and study. Studying is number one," said Dieble.