Ohio National Guard News

180th Fighter Wing's speed mentoring program
helps shape future leaders

Story and photos by Staff Sgt. John Wilkes, 180th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Speed Mentoring Survey - Mentee.

First Lt. Tyran Boyd (top row, third up from left), officer-in-charge of the 180th Fighter Wing Force Support Squadron, speaks to junior Airmen at a speed mentorship event during the wing’s unit training assembly Feb. 10, 2018, in Swanton, Ohio. Speed mentorship allows participants to network with mentors in various career fields and varying stages of military career development.

Maj. Melanie Grosjean (second from left), commander of the 180th Fighter Wing Logistics Readiness Squadron, speaks to junior Airmen.

Chief Master Sgt. Constance McGuire (standing), superintendent of the 180th Fighter Wing Medical Group, speaks to junior Airmen.

180th Fighter Wing patch

SWANTON, Ohio (02/10/18) — More than 40 Airmen at the 180th Fighter Wing participated in the first-ever speed mentoring event Feb. 10 during their monthly unit training assembly, giving them the opportunity to learn from senior leaders from across the wing.

“We are holding this event to help Airmen build relationships,” said Senior Master Sgt. Nathan Howard, 180th FW human resource advisor. “Programs like this are important because participants are able to meet people from different sections in different careers around the base.”

The U.S. Air Force and Air National Guard mentorship program focuses on connecting one Airman, with greater experience and wisdom, with another Airman to help guide and develop them both personally and professionally. This relationship contributes to mission success and motivates Airmen to achieve their goals.

The event began with introductions from the seven mentors who participated. Afterward, mentors and mentees were able to chat with each other before the event began to help participants relax and develop questions.

“This event really opened my eyes to the options that are available to Airmen,” said Airman 1st Class Liyaquat Qurbanali, a food services technician at the 180th FW. “Talking with the mentors really helped me learn about other careers, network with others and learn from people with experience.”

Every mentee was given six minutes with each of the seven mentors to ask whatever questions they had before their time ran out. Some of the topics discussed included promotions, commissioning opportunities, job changes, assignments and education.

Though the pairs were allowed only six minutes during the event, mentees had the option to get the contact information from mentors they connected with so they could follow up in the future.

“I loved this event,” Qurbanali said. “I learned so much. I look forward to picking a mentor and having someone to ask for career advice and to help develop my skills.”

The mentors who participated in the event represented various career fields, from medical to security forces at all stages of military career development. The diversity made for a more dynamic and impactful mentoring session for the younger Airmen as the mentoring didn’t focus exclusively on one rank, job or lifestyle.

“I volunteered to be a mentor because there are a lot of things I know now that I wish would have known when I (initially) enlisted,” said Staff Sgt. Xavier Graciani, security forces technician at the 180th FW. “Being able to share this knowledge with younger Airmen allows them to find more opportunity and advancement earlier in their career.”

Mentoring promotes a climate of inclusion that can help foster and develop the diverse strengths, perspectives and capabilities of all Airmen. Air Force and Air National Guard capabilities and competencies are enhanced by diversity among its personnel who directly impact the warfight.

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