USAFE Airman Information File

Mentoring is one of the most important things you can do during your
career. As Air Force leaders, we have an inherent responsibility to
develop our junior Airmen. General Creech had it right when he stated,
“The first duty of any leader is to create more leaders.” Mentoring is
the tactical process which leads to strategic success – another
generation of outstanding Air Force leaders. Mentoring is not an easy
process; it takes time and serious effort. However, shaping and
preparing tomorrow’s leaders is one of the most satisfying aspects of
Being an effective mentor requires significant commitment and
dedication. One of the significant challenges in a mentoring
partnership is the scarcity of time. In today’s high tempo,
expeditionary Air Force, leaders must make time to share their
experiences with others. Your protégés want to learn about your
experiences and hear your advice. Take a proactive approach to
mentoring by making yourselves available to listen to the questions and
concerns of our Airmen. Mentors, always set the example! You are always
on stage and your reputation hinges on your conduct and demonstrated
performance on a daily basis. Finally, an ability to teach is an
essential skill of a good mentor. Leverage your wisdom and experience
to guide our junior Airmen to success.
A mentoring partnership is a two-way street – protégés also have a
significant role. They must recognize their need for improvement and be
willing to pursue growth. Seeking a mentor can be intimidating; bring
your courage, be bold, and contact potential leaders both in and
outside your career field. Interact with them in both formal and
informal settings. Don’t get locked on to only one person – find a
number of mentors with varying backgrounds.

Protégés must also be willing to assume responsibility. All the advice
in the world is worthless unless you are willing to act. Be ready to
take action after receiving and considering advice from a mentor, even
if it is something hard or outside your comfort zone.  Finally,
protégés need to bring an established track record to a mentoring
partnership.  Be recognized as a leader in your field! 
Pursue education and seek growth opportunities — be receptive to new
  Mentoring is a challenging effort which requires a significant
commitment from both the mentor and protégé. Leaders, do your part by
dedicating time and effort to develop our Airmen. And Airmen, pursue
mentoring partnerships and act on what you learn.  Mentoring
partnerships should be mutually beneficial, and your personal
investment is crucial to our success. If we all do our part, our Air
Force will be stronger, wiser, and better prepared to take on the next
challenge and foe. Let’s take our Air Force to the next level – mentor!