LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --
The Space and Missile Systems Center hosted a virtual speed-mentoring event for selected Airmen and Guardians of all ranks March 9, 2021.
The event’s opening remarks were presented by Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force JoAnne S. Bass who stressed the importance of forming meaningful relationships throughout one’s journey.
“Relationships in the United States Air Force and Space Force are everything,” Bass said. “I’m so excited that you all are deliberate about taking opportunities to create relationships. Nobody gets to any position by themselves. When I look back 28 years ago, at the start of my Air Force journey, I was a young 18-year old who thought she knew it all. I thought ‘how did I continue on this amazing ride this Air Force has so richly blessed me with?’ It is only because of all the relationships, professionally and personally, that have helped shape who I am.”
After Bass’s remarks, more than 50 mentors and mentees met for one-on-one sessions that switched pairings every 20 minutes for four rounds.
Acting as a mentor, Chief Master Sgt. Justin Stoltzfus, 61st Air Base Group superintendent, spoke with Special Agent Cristin O’Malley, Air Force Office of Special Investigations Det. 810 superintendent, during one of the first sessions.
“When I thought about ‘how do I mentor a squared away OSI agent who has an immense amount of education and a great track record,’ I thought about focusing on your goals for the future,” Stoltzfus said. “One thing I learned way too late is that if you have career goals or certain positions you are aiming for, that means someone right now is already in that position. Go talk to them. Learn from them. Reach out and continue to build those relationships to better prepare yourself for when the time comes.”
Stoltzfus continued by emphasizing the importance of creating a culture, which was at the heart of his mentorship explaining that high morale is a byproduct of a strong culture.
“Culture is the hardest thing to change,” Stoltzfus said. “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. Culture change takes time and only happens through consistent teamwork.”
Specific to SMC, as the Space Force continues to grow and form its own culture, it will look to continue to plan more events like this in the future allowing relationships to foster even in virtual environments.