One of the issues consistently raised when I talk to Association members is the need for mentorship. The AGCRA is in the final stages of developing and fielding an AGCRA Mentorship site that should add value to our membership. However, I would like to discuss mentorship because it is an important topic for many AGCRA members. Mentorship is a professional relationship between a more knowledgeable or experienced person (the mentor) outside the normal chain of command or support channel and another person (the mentee or protégé). The mentor is informally entrusted to guide the professional development or growth of the mentee/protégé. The relationship is usually informal and sought out by the mentee/protégé, but it can work the other way too. Just as all relationships are unique and different, mentoring can take on many forms depending on the situation and the people involved. In other words, no one tactic, technique, or procedure (TTP) is prescribed.
For me, I was fortunate to have some outstanding mentors throughout my entire Army and civilian career. I had leaders who genuinely cared about me and backed it up with mentoring that helped me become what I hope was a better leader, Soldier, and person. I was mentored across the AG Corps in operational units, TRADOC, USAREC, The Pentagon, attending various Army schools, and while serving at the AG School. I received mentorship overseas and while I was deployed. I was mentored by First Sergeants, Sergeants’ Majors, Warrant Officers, Captains, Lieutenant Colonels, Colonels, and Generals. In receiving advice and counsel from these mentors, I learned so much about the AG Corps, the Army, and the AG Corps Regimental Association. These leaders would call, email, or text me and be willing to receive calls, emails, and texts from me in return, regardless of where my mentor was assigned. Most importantly, however, through my communications with these mentors, I learned much about people and even more about myself.
It is a wonderful feeling not only to be mentored but also to have the honor of serving as a mentor. I hope I was able to provide at least half the meaningful counsel and sage advice I received over the years. I continue receiving calls, emails, and text messages and am always left feeling better after these mentorship sessions. I want to ask readers some questions about mentorship.
- Have you ever been mentored?
- Are you being mentored now? Do you want to be mentored?
- Have you ever served as a mentor?
- Are you serving as a mentor now? Do you want to be a mentor?
- How can the AGCRA assist you as a mentor or mentee/protégé?
Today’s AG/HR professionals deserve quality mentorship to benefit their careers and lives. The AGCRA is committed to ensuring at least one mechanism iis in place via our future AGCRA Mentorship Webpage (expected not later than 31 December 2023) for our members to pursue a mentor or become a mentor. CW5 (Ret) Ryan Martin, AGCRA National Executive Council (NEC) VP, Programs, is primarily responsible for fielding and managing the AGCRA Mentorship Webpage. If you wish to provide answers to the questions above or your own personal mentorship experiences, I would ask that you send them to Ryan at Programs@agcra.com.
Shields Up! Defend and Serve!
Robert L. Manning
Colonel (Retired), U.S. Army