The Army Ethic exemplifies the conduct of Army Professionals. It includes the expectation of Soldiers and Army Civilians to act upon moral principles when completing missions and duties in their daily lives.
How do Soldiers live up to the Army Ethic? Guidance from a mentor helps. Mentors have the experience and desire to advise Soldiers who need direction in their career or to overcome challenging times in their personal lives.
“Through my Army life, mentors kept me focused on doing things I needed to do to make me better,” said Judith Price, an editor and doctrine developer with the Center for the Army Profession and Leadership, or CAPL. “By making me a better leader, it was a domino effect as I improved my skills on doing things, I would see it ripple through my lieutenants, so they were learning also.”
A trusted advisor plays a significant role in shaping a Soldier’s character and development.
Mentors can assist at different stages of a Soldier’s career; a junior Soldier striving to become an NCO up to when they are ready to retire to civilian life.
“We have had many military personnel who have transitioned into civilian roles after retirement and they are great mentors to (other military personnel) who are getting ready for retirement,” said Cris Arduser, the Program Manager of the U.S. Army Sustainment Command Mentoring Program.
“Mentors also learn from their mentees; a mentee can be a leader and not even realize it. Part of what mentors do is to help the mentee realize the leadership skills they already possess and how to work with those skills to create their own leadership style,” Arduser said.
Mentoring works in multiple ways. To be a mentor, it’s important to:
Listen well–understanding what a mentee is asking for to provide the tools to meet those needs. Have sensibility–to give new perspective to a mentee so that they can find different ways to problem solve.
Be teachable–willingness to learn and grow along with mentees and knowing mentoring is a two-way street.
To find a mentor: Visit ASC at https://www.aschq.army.mil which offers numerous mentorship programs.
CAPL at https://capl.army.mil has a variety of resources to assist in the development of Army Professionals. Mentors can also be found within people you trust. Look to your branch/unit, chaplain, or even social groups.