Senior leaders mentors Soldiers to be successful
October 9, 2013
Everyone has their own definition and style of mentorship. Mentorship can be defined as a personal developmental relationship in which a more experi¬enced and knowledgeable person guides someone with their knowledge on different subjects.
The following insight is from two noncommissioned officers who use different approaches to mentorship and the development of peers and subordinates.
Staff Sgt. Alberto Castillo, a Houston native, an Equal Opportunity Advisor in Headquarters Support Company, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, talks about how mentorship is the cornerstone for our organization.
"Mentorship is a necessary practice to design our military," said Castillo. "It cannot be forced, nor can it be replicated to meet the expectations in the military. To be successful, mentoring must be genuine and come from the heart."
In today's Army, it is critical that Soldiers and leaders alike understand the significance of mentoring Soldiers. "Through mentorship we establish common goals and expectations in not only the execution of our daily objectives, but also in how we coexist and grow as an Army family team," said Castillo. "By mentoring, we as experienced leaders, provide a foothold by which we secure the future development of Soldiers."
Mentorship is the most effective approach to coach¬ing Soldiers through personal growth and career field development. Critical to this process is the ability and the willingness to lead from the front with consistency.
"Whether you are a commissioned or noncommis¬sioned officer, it is an inherent responsibility to provide mentorship and guidance to our junior enlisted Soldiers and aspiring leaders with a role-model for them to emu¬late," said Castillo.
Mentorship is a deliberate program through which experienced leaders pass on applied knowledge and critical experience to the lesser experienced. "Without mentorship, we would have no future and without a future we become obsolete," said Castillo.
Key to mentorship is the establishment of a profes¬sional bond between leader and Soldier. Other keys are the trust and confidence between them. Although some programs are designed to match Soldiers with mentors, it is a Soldier's responsibility to seek a compatible men¬tor in order to ensure a productive and successful learn¬ing experience. Mentoring a less experienced Soldier can be a rewarding experience full of life lessons but also the start of a lifelong bond like no other.
"My experience with mentors has undoubtedly set a lasting imprint on my growth and development as a Sol¬dier and a leader," said Castillo. "I encourage all Soldiers to engage with their leaders and seek the one-of-a-kind bond we call mentorship."
Master Sgt. Deon Mosspolydore, a St. Croix, Virgin Islands native and a supply sergeant with Company B, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, describes what mentorship means to her. She said the Noncom¬missioned Officer Corps embodies what a mentor should be: a teacher, trainer and a leader.
"As a Senior NCO, I believe it is critical that we provide purpose, direction, and motivation to subordi¬nates and peers to positively reinforce the Army values," said Mosspolydore. "A mentor inspires and provides guidance to improve and develop the individual being mentored personally and professionally."
"A mentor should always be available and prepared to listen and provide recommendation and feedback if needed," said Mosspolydore. Always remember you are important and critical in the development and success of the individuals that depend on you. With excellent mentorship, we can create holistic future leaders that will be prepared to lead our military in the future.
Mosspolydore and Castillo both use different ap¬proaches to mentorship. Their unique ways of mentor¬ing and developing Soldiers helps shape and develop future leaders to continue to build a stronger Army.