The Security Assistance Command’s mentor program is connecting members of the command at Redstone with their counterparts at New Cumberland, Pennsylvania.
USASAC mentors and mentees traveled to New Cumberland March 6-9 for three days of professional development and teambuilding. This is the fifth year for the mentor program, which has nine mentor-mentee pairs split roughly between New Cumberland and Redstone.
The professional development trip was designed to help bridge the gap between the workforces at Redstone and New Cumberland and to foster engagement and teamwork.
“The mentor program has allowed me to network with co-workers and developed my professional and personal skills,” Grace Penney, a mentee and a logistics management specialist in the INDOPACOM/SOUTHCOM/NORTHCOM Regional Operations Directorate, said.
The group participated in mentor-facilitated professional development workshops on Leadership Styles, Emotional Intelligence, Preparing for Interviews, and How to Prepare a Decision Briefing. For most of the mentees, ranging in grade from GS-7 to GS-12, this was their first opportunity to receive training and discuss these topics designed to help prepare them for greater responsibility in their careers.
“The mentor program takes a collective of persons with differing opinions, education, career status, and personality traits and forces them out of their comfort zones to build their skills and bind a group of strangers into a polished team of professionals,” Joshua Henry, a mentee and a supply tech in the I/S/N Regional Operations Directorate, said.
A highlight of the trip was a visit to Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, for a leadership- and logistics-focused staff ride at the historic site. To prepare, the group received an overview of events at Valley Forge during the winter of 1777-78. They also received readings on key leaders and had discussions about each leader during the staff ride.
“USASAC’s mentor program has provided me an invaluable amount of experience,”
Theresa Bauer, a mentee and a process manager in the G9 Directorate, said. “The staff ride especially allowed us to talk with others from Redstone that we may not have otherwise had the chance to meet, building our networks and sharing experiences with one another to develop ourselves into better leaders. It was an experience I will carry with me throughout my career.”
“I was so impressed by the quality of work from the mentees at the staff ride to Valley Forge,” Tracy Engler, a mentor in the program and a division chief in the I/S/N Regional Operations Directorate, said. “All the mentees sparked engaging discussions with the group about their leaders and did an excellent job of taking lessons from the past and applying them to our current environment.”
The group capped off the week working in teams on their Capstone projects – decision briefings that each group will present to USASAC senior leaders in May. The topics of this year’s briefings are, “IT support for New Employee Integration,” “Succeeding During Transition from One Grade/Position to Another,” and “Dissemination of Command Priorities to Ensure They are Properly Supported.”
The final step for this year’s mentor program is a graduation ceremony and awards presentation to the Mentee of the Year, Most Improved Mentee, and the Best Capstone Briefing team. Execution of the mentor program will then transition from the G4 Directorate to the G1 Directorate.