FSS promotes development through speed mentoring
By Staff Sgt. Daryl Knee, 52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published June 09, 2014
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."