Our mentors may qualify for their hours counted towards a Presidential Service Award.
Lint Center has had two volunteers receive Presidential Awards.

Presidential Service Award Nomination:
  1. In his 2002 State of the Union address, President George W. Bush issued a challenge to all Americans to make time to help their neighbors, communities, and Nation through service. He created the USA Freedom Corps to help all Americans answer his call to service and help foster a culture of service, citizenship, and responsibility.
  2. Hours spent on this project may be added toward a nomination for the Presidential Service Award. If nominees receive a service award, volunteers will receive:
    • An official President’s Volunteer Service Award lapel pin;
    • A personalized certificate of achievement;
    • A congratulatory letter from the President of the United States;
    • A letter from the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation,
    • A personal letter of recommendation from the Lint Center for future employers.
Employment Opportunities At Lint Center:

There are NO employment opportunities at the Lint Center for National Security Studies.  There are no paid employees.  There are no plans for any paid employees. All donations and contributions to the Lint Center are allocated solely to the Center’s scholarship funds. All actions and activities by the Lint Center are conducted by unpaid staff and volunteers. The Center is Veteran and minority operated and managed.

Why Should I Volunteer to be a Mentor?
What Does a Mentor Do?
What a Mentor Does Not Do
Roles and Characteristics of a Good Mentor

Why Should I Volunteer to be a Mentor?

Advantages of Mentoring:
(Derived from DA PAM 690-46, Mentoring for Civilian Members of the Force):

  • Studies suggest that mentoring has a positive effect on mentees/protégés. Mentees rated themselves as having more influence, power and access to important individuals than employees without mentors. They also report having more influence within the organization regardless of their gender, race, age or organizational position. Mentors can assist the mentee in mastering additional skills, knowledge or abilities in specific areas which enhance their prospects for success.
  • Although the primary intent of mentoring is to benefit the mentee, there are substantial benefits which accrue to the mentor as well. Among these are the following:
    • Developing greater insights into the mentee’s line of work and organization.
    • Using the mentee as a sounding board for ideas.
    • Obtaining feedback on cross-generational, cross gender, and cross-functional issues.
    • Growth in counseling and guidance skills.
    • General sense of satisfaction, which comes from helping another person to grow and develop.
    • It is also important to note that mentoring is not only an aid to career advancement and promotion, but is also an excellent mechanism for helping a mentee to develop other skills, knowledge, and abilities to enhance performance in their current position.
    • Effective mentoring can provide the opportunity for experienced leaders to pass on their practical expertise and professional knowledge to others who are committed to advancement and success.
    • Mentoring provides an effective means of assisting others to achieve career goals, and of meeting future needs of the Army.

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What does a Mentor Do?

(Derived from DA PAM 690-46, Mentoring for Civilian Members of the Force.)

  • Serves as a confidant, counselor, guide and advisor to a mentee.
  • Shares an understanding of the Army, its mission, and the formal and informal operating processes.
  • Shares experiences which contributed to his or her own success and sets an example for the associate to follow.
  • Serves as a “sounding board” for career development ideas or for pursuing career opportunities.
  • Encourages mentees to become more efficient and productive in their career field, branch, or MOS through self-development and other activities.
  • Suggests appropriate training and developmental opportunities to further the progress of the mentee toward leadership positions.
  • Helps the mentee to set clear career goals and periodically reviews progress, making constructive suggestions on career development.

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What a Mentor Does Not Do

(Derived from DA PAM 690-46, Mentoring for Civilian Members of the Force.)

  • Do the work for mentees or make decisions for them.
  • Represent the mentee at job interviews.
  • Set career goals for the mentee.
  • Be overly accessible to the mentee for minor problems or questions.
  • Be a “free ride” to the top. Success which is only a result of the mentor’s efforts on behalf of the mentee is self-defeating in terms of the mentee’s career.
  • Attempt to soften an important, but critical observation about the mentee simply to spare feelings.

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Roles and Characteristics of a Good Mentor

(Derived from DA PAM 690-46, Mentoring for Civilian Members of the Force)

Role of the Mentor:

  • The mentor serves as an objective confidant and advisor with whom the mentee may discuss work-related and other concerns related to career development and planning. A mentor is usually at least two grade levels above that of the mentee to assure an adequate experience and maturity level. In some circumstances, it may not be possible to meet the recommended two-grade level suggestion. In such cases, other factors such as relative degree of experience may weigh heavily in selecting an appropriate mentor.
  • It is important to understand that a mentor is not a ‘molder of clay’; he or she does not attempt to create a clone of themselves, but rather to serve as a role model and source of inspiration, information and experience from which the mentee can select qualities most likely to help him or her achieve success. Neither is the mentee a subordinate of the mentor. Mentors exercise caution when suggesting developmental tasks to ensure that the mentee’s immediate supervisor has been consulted and that any projects likely to require time away from the job have the approval and support of the supervisor. Ideally, the mentor provides guidance, support, and encouragement, and the mentee responds positively by learning and applying new skills and knowledge in ways that optimize success within the organization.
  • The mentor is one who has achieved professional success, acquired self-confidence, experienced professional satisfaction, and wishes to share his or her experiences with a junior or less experienced individual. An effective mentor is supportive and helpful to the mentee without taking over the individual’s career. This important function should only be undertaken with a thorough understanding of the roles of a mentor.
  • To maintain an effective mentor-mentee relationship, the optimum ratio of mentors to mentees is one to one. Although a higher ratio may sometimes be necessary, the ratio should be kept as low as possible.

Characteristics of a Good Mentor:
An effective mentor possesses certain characteristics. Although not all prospective mentors will possess every characteristic listed, nor possess them to the same degree, these are highly desirable traits for all mentors.

  • Global Vision. The effective mentor has a view of the Army’s broad goals and objectives that transcend day-to-day routine operations. He or she looks beyond the imperatives of the moment to consider where the Army as a whole is now, where it is headed and more importantly, where it should be going. An ideal mentor understands that all Army programs are means to an end, not merely processes to be followed, and that frequently there is a requirement for vision that transcends a demanding involvement with the task at hand. A person with this kind of vision looks ahead to the needs of the Department of the Army over the next ten years, and considers those needs when setting professional goals.
  • External Awareness. A good mentor is aware of the world outside his or her own environment. As good scientists are aware of developments outside their own particular specialty which may impact in their field of inquiry, a good mentor maintains an awareness of developments in other career programs or career fields, of long term occupational need projections, of technological advances, and of the Army and organizational plans which may impact on the career of an associate.
  • Experience in networking. Networking entails the ability to make, maintain, and benefit from wide contacts with the Army, DOD, and other leaders, both military and civilian, in a variety of career areas, organizations, and levels of management, over an extended period of time. Networks can help provide informational, insightful, problem-solving, and career-enhancing contacts. An effective mentor not only participates in networking, but understands how networking can benefit the mentee. A mentor ensures that the mentee learns the importance of such networks, so that he or she can begin to establish his or her own networks.
  • Positive and enthusiastic attitude. A successful leader may not always be a successful mentor. The mentor is competent and effective, and possesses a positive attitude about the goals and objectives of mentoring. He or she believes that the mentee can substantially benefit from participation, and enthusiastically shares these beliefs with the mentee.
  • Standing in the functional community. Mentors are recognized within their own function and career areas as competent, resourceful, perceptive, and dedicated. Mentors without the qualifications and qualities that such recognition validates risk failing to accomplish their intent. They may actually hinder the career of a mentee in making recommendations or taking actions on their behalf.
  • Professional characteristics. Such characteristics as loyalty, duty, respect, self-less service, honor, integrity, personal courage, compassion, competence, commitment and candor are of heightened importance to a mentor. The mentor, in addition to applying these qualities on the job, guides associates by setting a positive example, through encouragement through open communication.
  • General characteristics. The discussion may have seemed to suggest that only a very few managers have the qualifications to be an effective mentor. Far from it, senior specialists, supervisors, managers, and executives have already demonstrated by their success that they possess many, if not all, of those qualities and characteristics that ensure an effective mentoring relationship with a mentee.

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