Mentoring by Example

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Illinois -- "Strict. Rigid. She was a short petite woman and when she walked in the room you could just tell she was feisty."

"I hope I never work for her," the airman thought to herself.

A short time later, the airman found herself trying to decide whether or not to take a position working for the slight but serious woman. Little did she know that particular master sgt. would change her life.

Chief Master Sgt. Tina M. Castelli, the 126th Force Support Squadron Superintendent here, is one of many examples at Scott Air Force Base of a mentor who learned the importance and methods of mentoring through example.

"I can still remember her long little finger pointing at me," said Castelli. "That woman spent the entirety of her effort with me reinforcing the idea of, 'Don't ever let anyone tell you what you can't do.' She is why I am where I am today."

Chief Master Sgt. Castelli not only appreciates her own mentors but she also appreciates that her actions have an impact on her troops.

Staff Sgt. Amanda D. Martin, the non-commissioned officer in charge of Force Management at the 126th Air Refueling Wing here, has worked with Chief Castelli for four years and was also needlessly wary of the changes her new supervisor would bring to her life.

"Unlike me she is very to-the-point," said Martin. "I was terrified when she first came into the office, but she was awesome. She geared all of my training to me."

This type of one-on-one mentoring is an honored tradition here at Scott Air Force Base.

Castelli's example is really important to Martin and she was able to incorporate what she learned from Castelli in her own supervisory skills.

"After hearing her advice things came naturally. I never again doubted my leadership skills," said Martin.

Castelli agrees with Martin on the natural flow of mentorship.

"You just absorb bits and pieces of the examples that you value and that goes from airmen basics to generals," said Castelli. "I think people lead by example. Live by the core values and people will follow."
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