WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD, Hawaii -- "It's been a long journey, but well worth the trip!"

That's one of the sentiments expressed by recent graduates of the U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii's Fellows Program, Class 04.

The program is designed to prepare junior-level employees to be the managers and executives and to provide opportunities for employees to obtain or enhance skills and attributes that will advance their careers.

The 12-month program of instruction is infused with several challenges and learning opportunities for its mentees, as well as the mentors and program manager. The mentees must navigate through reading and writing assignments, a group project, mentor shadow assignments, organizational site visits and leadership training as part of the program's curriculum.

Class 04 had an additional challenge at the end of the course -- a comprehensive written examination!

"During the course, I applied for an Army internship program and was accepted. Much of what I learned in the Fellows program will translate to my new career and goals," said Chuhui Godaire, mobilization, plans and operations specialist, Directorate of Human Resources.

"I appreciate what you do, everyday, for Soldiers and families in our community," said Col. Richard Fromm, commander, USAG-HI, at the graduation ceremony. "Growing our workforce from within through internally generated programs, such as the Fellows, illustrates our commitment to the employees and the organization."

Fromm presented graduation certificates and coins to the Fellows and certificates of appreciation to the mentors.

"Helping our workforce shape the future direction of their careers is a fundamental responsibility of management and a pillar of strength for top-performing organizations," said Michael Amarosa, acting deputy to the garrison commander. "From the highest levels of the Army, IMCOM (Installation Management Command), and the garrison, developing and sustaining the workforce are interwoven into all organizational strategies."

-- Class 05

The next Fellows program will commence June 17. Garrison employees in grades GS-07 through 11 and N02 through 03, or equivalent, are eligible to apply as mentees. Employees in grades GS-13 through 15 (or with a wavier for GS-11 through 12, or equivalent) are eligible to apply as a mentor.

For more information about applying to the USAG-HI Fellows Program as a mentor or mentee, call (808) 656-0880.