ARLINGTON, Va. (Army News Service, Dec. 18, 2008) -- The Army paired up 38 senior executives Dec. 15 to begin the first formal mentoring initiative of its kind.

The mentorships are designed to be a primary tier of the Army Senior Fellows program. This program was established to sharpen the executive skills of select senior civilians through leadership opportunities and education.

At a half-day seminar outlining the formal structure of the mentorship program, 19 leaders from the Senior Executive Service Corps were introduced to their mentees, one of 19 Army Senior Fellows, immediately starting them on the pathway for future meetings and discussions.

"Mentorship means many different things within and outside the Army; and there are various degrees of mentoring going on," said Karen Nolan, executive director, Army Senior Fellows. "But this one is unique because it structures and solidifies that partnership."

The success of the partnerships depends on starting out with a good match, Nolan said. So much preparation went into laying down the groundwork.

Nolan hired Pathbuilders Inc to create a mentorship program for the Army Senior Fellows. Consultants began the process with initiating hour-long interviews with senior fellows and senior executives who volunteered to for the program, to assess their values, goals and career paths.

The glue that holds the partnerships together are regularly scheduled meetings every month, goal-setting and follow-up discussion. Partners will actively share information and experiences, successes and failures, said Pathbuilders President Helene Lollis.

The benefits of the partnership are not one-sided, Lollis said. Through the exchange, "both participants will increase their knowledge, develop skills and grow."

The Army Senior Fellows Program mission is to identify high-potential civilian leaders and provide them developmental opportunities to strengthen their executive competencies, equipping the Fellows to function as dynamic leaders who are experts in the business of running the Army.

The program is now seeking GS-15/YC-3 applicants who are high-potential future civilian leaders. Application deadline is January 30, 2009. Applicants should demonstrate:

Aca,!Ac Commitment to the Army, its Soldiers, Army Families and Civilian employees
Aca,!Ac Competency to lead, direct, and evaluate programs and activities
Aca,!Ac Strong written and verbal communication skills
Aca,!Ac Diverse background
Aca,!Ac Interest in life-long learning and challenging self-development through education, experience and learning opportunities

Applications instructions are found in the Army Civilian Training, Education, and Development System, or ACTEDS catalog, located at