AFNIC 'Speed Mentoring' provides CGOs unique perspectives

  • Published
  • By Capt. Jennifer Sayers
  • Air Force Network Integration Center
The Air Force Network Integration Center recently held a "speed mentoring" event for its Company Grade Officers.

The event, part of the center's professional development program, brought together nine CGOs and grouped them with senior civilian, officer and enlisted leaders from throughout the organization.

The event kicked off with a few remarks from Col. Riz Ali, AFNIC Commander. The CGOs then sat in small groups and rotated every eight minutes to speak with each of five mentors. The mentors came prepared with topics relevant to their experience and engaged in active dialogue with the CGOs.

"I liked the varying types of mentors from career civilian, prior enlisted officer, first sergeant, chief, and retired officer-now civilian, and how each came prepared with topics that sparked discussion." Capt. Jonathan Abueg, Chief of Air Force Network Migration Execution Operations.

AFNIC holds numerous types of Professional Development Forums throughout the year. The CGO mentorship forum is specifically targeted for CGOs to develop their leadership skills, learn about their career path options, and engage with leaders within and outside of the organization. Speed mentoring provided the opportunity to get insight from AFNIC leaders on a wide variety of topics.

"Mentoring is a critical portion of our professional development focus area here at AFNIC," said Brad Ashley, AFNIC's Executive Director. "The 'speed mentoring' allowed our CGOs to get several unique perspectives. It also allowed senior folks to share their lessons learned and wisdom, and provided a non-threatening environment for the CGOs to ask questions and learn from our more experienced folks."

Each mentor focused on their area of experience. AFNIC's First Sergeant, Master Sgt. Anna Keck, discussed progressive discipline with the CGOs. Chief Master Sgt. Bob Ehrhart, AFNIC superintendent, discussed the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal and responsible use of social media. Ashley spoke on a number of topics, ranging from keeping a positive attitude to knowing your boss.

"These types of professional enhancement events are vital to our members as it keeps our eye on the ball," said Keck. "At times we get too caught up in the everyday doings and tend to forget about the bigger picture, taking care of ourselves and those we lead."

Due to the overwhelming positive feedback from the event, speed mentoring will be planned again for a future Professional Development Forum and will likely be extended to other audiences.

"The commander and I are focusing in on professional development to help all our great folks grow and reach their professional goals," said Ashley. "The diverse approaches and perspectives keep it interesting and rewarding for the participants."