FSS promotes development through speed mentoring

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Mike Baker, Pitsenbarger Airman Leadership School instructor from Vancouver, Wash., talks with U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Zackery Tookes, 52nd Force Support Squadron Mosel Dining Hall staff member from Atlanta, during the inaugural FSS speed-mentoring event in the dining facility at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, June 6, 2014. NCOs and senior NCOs from the force support squadron volunteered to act as a guide or mentor to the attending junior Airmen. The participants would sit with mentors for three minutes to gauge compatibility before moving on to the next potential mentor. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Daryl Knee/Released)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Mike Baker, Pitsenbarger Airman Leadership School instructor from Vancouver, Wash., talks with U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Zackery Tookes, 52nd Force Support Squadron Mosel Dining Hall staff member from Atlanta, during the inaugural FSS speed-mentoring event in the dining facility at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, June 6, 2014. NCOs and senior NCOs from the force support squadron volunteered to act as a guide or mentor to the attending junior Airmen. The participants would sit with mentors for three minutes to gauge compatibility before moving on to the next potential mentor. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Daryl Knee/Released)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Henry Hernandez, left, 52nd Force Support Squadron Mosel Dining Hall staff member from Pembroke Pines, Fla., interviews U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Jennifer Brembah, 52nd FSS superintendant from Bremerton, Wash., during the first speed-mentoring event in the dining facility at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, June 6, 2014. Airmen interviewed senior Air Force members to judge compatibility for a possible mentor-mentoree role. Each table had topics available for the interviewer to ask the senior member, such as their beliefs on time management, deployments and social media. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Daryl Knee/Released)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Henry Hernandez, left, 52nd Force Support Squadron Mosel Dining Hall staff member from Pembroke Pines, Fla., interviews U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Jennifer Brembah, 52nd FSS superintendant from Bremerton, Wash., during the first speed-mentoring event in the dining facility at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, June 6, 2014. Airmen interviewed senior Air Force members to judge compatibility for a possible mentor-mentoree role. Each table had topics available for the interviewer to ask the senior member, such as their beliefs on time management, deployments and social media. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Daryl Knee/Released)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Jessica Cunningham, 52nd Force Support Squadron Mosel Dining Hall staff member from San Antonio, speaks with U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Art Roy, 52nd Civil Engineer Squadron Operations Flight superintendent from Gorham, N.H., during the inaugural FSS speed-mentoring event June 6, 2014, in the dining facility at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany. Roy has earned the highest enlisted rank for the U.S. Air Force and volunteered his time to mentor junior Airmen on how to be successful as a service member. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Daryl Knee/Released)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Jessica Cunningham, 52nd Force Support Squadron Mosel Dining Hall staff member from San Antonio, speaks with U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Art Roy, 52nd Civil Engineer Squadron Operations Flight superintendent from Gorham, N.H., during the inaugural FSS speed-mentoring event June 6, 2014, in the dining facility at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany. Roy has earned the highest enlisted rank for the U.S. Air Force and volunteered his time to mentor junior Airmen on how to be successful as a service member. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Daryl Knee/Released)

Nearly one minute remains for Airmen to talk with each other during an inaugural speed-mentoring event in the Mosel Dining Hall at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, June 6, 2014. Event coordinators allowed three minutes for the participating Airmen to interview their potential mentors to gauge compatibility. After the three minutes, the Airmen had to rotate to a new mentor’s table. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Daryl Knee/Released)

Nearly one minute remains for Airmen to talk with each other during an inaugural speed-mentoring event in the Mosel Dining Hall at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, June 6, 2014. Event coordinators allowed three minutes for the participating Airmen to interview their potential mentors to gauge compatibility. After the three minutes, the Airmen had to rotate to a new mentor’s table. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Daryl Knee/Released)

U.S. Air Force Airmen participate in the first 52nd Force Support Squadron speed-mentoring event in the Mosel Dining Hall at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, June 6, 2014. Thirteen senior enlisted volunteered to become mentors to the 12 participating Airmen. The event coordinators gave the participating Airmen three minutes to talk with the potential mentors, a time which did not allow for deep discussion but rather offered a chance to gauge compatibility. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Daryl Knee/Released)

U.S. Air Force Airmen participate in the first 52nd Force Support Squadron speed-mentoring event in the Mosel Dining Hall at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, June 6, 2014. Thirteen senior enlisted volunteered to become mentors to the 12 participating Airmen. The event coordinators gave the participating Airmen three minutes to talk with the potential mentors, a time which did not allow for deep discussion but rather offered a chance to gauge compatibility. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Daryl Knee/Released)

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany -- The 52nd Force Support Squadron hosted a new program here June 6, 2014, that allows junior U.S. Air Force Airmen a chance to connect with seasoned service members for mentorship and deliberate development.

The inaugural speed-mentoring event allowed the participating Airmen a chance to interview veteran enlisted members to gauge compatibility and select someone who will aid in their professional growth.

"It doesn't matter who you are, what rank you are, what stage of life you're in or your age," said U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Jennifer Brembah 52nd FSS superintendent and event guest speaker from Bremerton, Wash. "Everyone needs a mentor."

Brembah opened the event with her personal mentorship motto: Get One, Be One. Her advice to the 13 mentors and 12 participating Airmen was to take leadership and mentorship lessons from both the good and bad examples one will encounter in life.

"I was once at a point in my career where I wanted to give up," said U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Natca Moye, 52nd FSS NCO in charge of promotions and event coordinator from Houston, "until I met my mentor. He showed me true mentorship and helped me get back on track. And you never know when you can be that for someone else."

Moye partnered with U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Jeffrey Shepard, 52nd FSS Sustainment Services Flight superintendent, as they both had prior experience with running speed-mentoring events. At the Spangdahlem event, they set up tables for the mentors and allowed each participating Airmen three minutes to interview the potential mentors. At the end of those three minutes, the Airmen changed tables to the next mentor.

"Everyone here is on a path that I want to be on, and they know how to get me there," said U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Zackery Tookes, event participant and 52nd FSS Mosel Dining Hall staff member from Atlanta. "I feel like a year's worth of information was crammed into my head; it was a great melting-pot experience."

Tookes went on to define a mentor as someone who will meet an Airman halfway to a life goal.

"I would say they show me the way, but their way is going to be different than my way," he continued. "A true mentor will work with you to pinpoint your goals and help you get on the path to achieving them."

Shepard said the three minutes at each table was not designed to allow deep conversation; rather, the Airmen may find a connection and select someone they trust.

"I find that the best way to be a mentor is to be genuine," he said. "I tell all of our young Airmen that (the senior NCOs) aren't going to be around forever. We want the Airmen to take the reins and become those future leaders we need in today's Air Force."

Both Shepard and Moye said they hope the event gains popularity and will be incorporated at a higher level, involving Airmen of the entire 52nd Fighter Wing and not just one particular squadron.

"I just have this passion for mentorship," Moye said, "and I wanted to do something to give back to our Airmen."