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Mentorship: A Joint Perspective from a Deployed Environment


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In an era of increasingly joint operations, it is more imperative than ever that strategic leaders are interservice savvy on how to lead and develop officers from sister services. With this premise in mind, one must wonder what role Goldwaters-Nichols has played in setting the stage for joint mentorship. This paper assesses that the components of the Mentorship Model: Leadership, Tacit Knowledge and Trust, are applicable not only to the individual services, but also during joint operations in the Current Operating Environment (COE). During the extended deployments of combat operations in Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, Army officers have worked closely with sister service officers. Consequently this paper proposes that the cohesion developed during extended joint combat deployments in the COE enhances the mentorship relationship between service officers, and allows joint mentorship a role in developing and stimulating strategic thinking and leading.
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This SRP is submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the Master of Strategic
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AUTHOR: Colonel Burl Randolph, Jr.
TITLE: Mentorship: A Joint Perspective from a Deployed Environment
FORMAT: Strategy Research Project
DATE: 12 March 2010 WORD COUNT: 5,865 PAGES: 30
KEY TERMS: Leadership, Tacit Knowledge, Trust, Cohesion
In an era of increasingly joint operations, it is more imperative than ever that
strategic leaders are interservice savvy on how to lead and develop officers from sister
services. With this premise in mind, one must wonder what role Goldwaters-Nichols
has played in setting the stage for joint mentorship. This paper assesses that the
components of the Mentorship Model: Leadership, Tacit Knowledge and Trust, are
applicable not only to the individual services, but also during joint operations in the
Current Operating Environment (COE). During the extended deployments of combat
operations in Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, Army officers have
worked closely with sister service officers. Consequently this paper proposes that the
cohesion developed during extended joint combat deployments in the COE enhances
the mentorship relationship between service officers, and allows joint mentorship a role
in developing and stimulating strategic thinking and leading.
What We Want from Strategic Leadership
The US Army War College (AWC) defines strategic art as “The skillful
formulation, coordination and application of ends, ways and means to promote and
defend the national interest.”1 The college further divides strategic art into the three
categories of Strategic Leader, Strategic Theorists and Strategic Practitioner, but
focuses on the concept of strategic leadership how strategic leader, theorist and
practitioners interact to improve the effectiveness of an organization. As Senior Officers
departing the War College in June of 2010, most will definitely be required to think
strategically on senior level staffs. The Strategic Theorist or Thinker is defined as “one
who develops strategic concepts and theories, integrates all elements of power and
components of national security, studies the history of warfare, teaches and mentors the
strategic art and formulates ends, ways and means.”2
The above definition implies a responsibility to the graduates of any US Senior
Service College to teach and mentor the strategic art, ensuring that “…anyone in a staff
position working for a strategic leader be well-trained as a strategic thinker…”
3 This is
one of the key objectives we want from strategic leadership: to promote the strategic art
through the mentorship of teaching others how to think critically and strategically, and is
in line with the military tradition that “Great leaders produce great subordinates who, in
turn, become great leaders in their own time.”4
This paper will discuss how junior officers across the military services, deployed
to combat in joint environments, might receive the unique opportunity of joint
This tradition aptly applies to the Current
Operating Environment (COE) in helping develop tomorrow’s strategic leaders.
mentorship. This joint mentorship relationship will be a broadening experience which
will transcend the COE through the officers’ tacit knowledge, shaping the development
of tomorrows strategic leaders.
Strategic Leadership, Jointness, and Goldwater-Nichols
With Strategic Leadership defined, what role does jointness play in strategic
leadership? With the nation at war for over eight years, operating in joint and coalition
environments has become commonplace. Officers from one service often work with,
work for and provide efficiency ratings on officers from another service or coalition army.
Does counseling, coaching and mentoring5
Jointness and Goldwater-Nichols
occur during deployments, and if so, does it
occur differently within each of the services or coalition counterparts? What role does
mentorship play in officer development? This paper seeks to illustrate how developing
effective strategic leaders and joint officers occurs through joint mentorship in the COE.
The terms Jointness and Goldwater-Nichols have almost become synonymous
since the Goldwater-Nichols Defense Reorganization Act of 1986. This act was
established to address two major issues6
To improve the ability of U.S. armed forces to conduct joint (interservice) and
combined (interallied) operations in the field.
To improve the DoD budget process
The three major changes the act imposed were:
Increased the authority and the staff of the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
Increased the authority and influence of the unified combatant commands that
control U.S. forces in the United States and around the world.
Created a “joint officer specialization” within each service to improve the
quality of officers assigned to the Joint Staff.
Evolutionary success in attaining jointness has been manifested perhaps most
clearly in the execution of joint warfareAmerica now fights wars almost solely under
joint commands.”7 However, much debate remains about the effectiveness of the Joint
Specialty Officer (JSO) and the overall GNA itself. In its early conception, the JSO was
accepted at arm’s length, as a new and divisive creature to disdain. At the 10 year
mark, it was reported that the JSO was fully embraced and embedded in all the service
cultures8. Over the last eight years of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, joint qualification
has taken on new meaning, with almost everyone receiving joint credit even at the junior
officer level. With this being said “other than growing in size and bureaucratic
procedures, this management of officers assigned to joint duty has evolved little since
the initial implementation in the early years after 1986.”9
Background. Mentorship Perspectives across the Spectrum of Society
JSOs have been
deemphasized, while the ability to work jointly in the COE has become the rule vice the
exception. At this juncture, the COE has also become a place to broaden professional
and personal horizons, melding the best and eliminating the worst of service cultures,
and provides much needed perspectives on the armed forces as a whole, in lieu of
service parochialisms. The COE has also become a place where joint mentorship
occurs and helps create more effective joint operations and officers.
Webster defines a mentor as a “wise advisor, teacher or coach.”10 The term
mentor is said to be as old as time itself and while not specifically described as such in
the Holy Bible, Jesus mentored the 12 Disciples.11 If one reads Homer’s The Odyssey,
a mentor is nurturing, supportive, protective, as well as aggressive, assertive, and risk
taking. Mentor (Odysseus friend) acted in the role of parent, teacher, friend, guide, and
protector” to Odysseusson.12 Mentors can be found across the spectrum of society:
in education, medical professions, business and within the civilian ranks of the
Department of Defense. Mentorship may begin as early as high school. Stow-Munroe
Falls High School defines a mentor as “someone in the same career field as the
mentee,” and their mentorship program is designed to connect juniors and seniors with
members of the community who will provide mentorship in the student’s field of
interest.13 This better prepares their students for college, while teaching how to connect
with the community. Mentorship in graduate education is also highly regarded as Dr.
Michelle Estevez writes, “High-quality mentorship is crucial to graduate education.”14
Estevez attributes her graduation from the Boston University School of Medicine and
the success in her current endeavors to her mentor, and noted “…apart from the
dissertation, I would say that the advisor-student relationship is the single unifying
component of all doctoral degree programs across all academic disciplines.”15 The
article is further replete with phrases like “...spent hours in the lab...teaching me…,”
“was completely committed to my success... and complete confidence in me…,” and
“…the power of building strong relationships.” Estevez was convinced that the
relationships developed through mentorship lead to collaborations, which led to the
greater successes of her mentor. The American Organization of Registered Nurses
(AORN) defines mentorship as: “The developmental relationship between an
experienced person and a less-experienced person referred to as a protégé, from the
French word for protected.”16 Mentorship in nursing is seen as critical in helping promote
the lifelong learning model, and helps new nurses adjust to this high stress, high
demand, high turnover career field, while ensuring that seasoned nurses retain current
and critical skills, which aid in the mentorship process.
Within the Department of Defense, mentorship transcends beyond the military
services as Ms. Lori Leffler, Chair of the A-35 program within the National Defense
Transportation Association (NDTA) writes of a conference mentoring session with
senior military and civilian leaders who “Both shared life experiences and insight to
assist the protégés in their personal and professional developments”.17 In business,
DynCorps, part of the Combined Security and Transition Command Afghanistan
(CSTC-A), is using police mentors to help train the Afghanistan National Police (ANP)
and states “Police mentors play an essential role to bridge the gap between theory and
practice.”18 Regardless of how you define or utilize mentorship, it plays a critical role
across the spectrum of society. Noted sociologist Michael Zey defines a mentor as “a
person who oversees the career and development of another person, usually junior,
through teaching, counseling, providing psychological support, protecting, and at times
promoting or sponsoring.”19
The military services also have their own unique definitions of mentorship. While
this definition has the same nuances of all the others, it is, however, from a military
perspective and most closely resembles that of the other three services. The other
services define a mentor as:
Zey also referenced the Odyssey as a source of the
definition of a mentor, and some of his characteristics can be the heart of the matter
when attempting to mentor in the COE.
Navy Mentorship. Mentoring is a mutually beneficial relationship between a
Mentor and a Protégé' to share resources, time, experiences and expertise to help with
personal and professional growth.20
Air Force Mentorship. A trusted counselor or guide.” A relationship in which a
person with greater experience and wisdom guides another person to develop both
personally and professionally.
Marine Mentorship. A mentor is a trusted teacher, guide, coach, and role model
who enables junior Marines to reach their highest potential and improve their ability as
valued team members.
Many elements of Zey’s definition resonate with me from a joint combat
environment: “providing psychological support, protecting and at times promoting and
sponsoring.” These are some of the elements required in joint operations to improve
individual and unit performances, build confidences and credibility and create cohesive
teams. Regardless of which definition you accept, the universal themes appear to be
relationship, experience and trust, which is the construct from which we will discuss joint
mentorship in the current operating environment (COE).
The Standard Mentorship Model: Leadership, Tacit Knowledge and Trust
The Standard Mentorship Model depicted in Figure 1 will be our starting point.
Leadership by both mentor and protégé are required to seek the mentoring relationship.
Senior leaders should seek mentorship opportunities to develop junior officers, while
junior leaders should seek self-development avenues to enhance their professional
skills. Mentors must be willing to share Tacit Knowledge (TK) as a means to teach,
coach and mentor the protégé through personal examples, giving meaning to the
expression “I’ve been there (where the protégé is advancing) before.” Said another
way, this tacit knowledge is the content that is shared in the mentoring process. The
willingness of the mentor to share personal information with the protégé may be the first
step towards establishing Trust, the most important element in the Standard Mentorship
Mode, and helps create the bond between mentor and protégé.
Figure 1: Standard Mentorship Model
Throughout the model, effective communications must occur in an almost circular
fashion, to meet the needs of both protégé and mentor. Communications can occur
either face-to-face, by phone, in writing or through e-mentoring23, a concept employed
by the U.S. Navy. While e-mentoring appears rather impersonal, it is a product of what I
call the electronic or e-Age. It is apparently a success with female sailors: "We were
somewhat surprised at the number of women who immediately signed up,"24 with the
program expanding into its second year. The program was so successful that the Navy
issued a letter of instruction outlining the implementation of its program,25 and e-
mentoring it is also used in other educational venues.26 The model above, however,
requires face-to-face interaction, and will be the basis to begin the discussion of how
mentoring relationships are developed.
Leadership, Tacit Knowledge and Trust
are the basis of Mentorship, and through
effective communications can evolve
from solely professional to personal
mentorship as well.
Leadership: What the Goldwater-Nichols Act Cannot Legislate. The Army
defines Leadership as: “Influencing people by providing purpose, direction, and
motivation, while operating to accomplish the mission and improve the organization.”27
While the Army does not specify mentorship as a responsibility of a leader
This definition of leadership is comprehensive because its broad content encapsulates
into one sentence, everything we attempt to articulate in volumes of regulations: Army
Values, leader responsibilities, purpose, direction and motivation, counseling, coaching
and mentoring.
28, one
can only assume that this is due to mentorship’s voluntary nature. Since the Army
does, however, list mentorship as one of the “Army training and leader development
model and tools”, and further states that “Effective mentorship will positively impact
personal and professional development29 these recognitions imply mentorship as an
inherent leader responsibility at all levels. AR 600-100 (Army Leadership) further states
that “As future battlefields evolve into increasingly dynamic and fluid environments,
systems that facilitate the acceleration of leader development are needed.”30
In examining leadership at the strategic level, the Army chose to quote Admiral
Arleigh A. Burke who said, “Leadership is understanding people and involving them to
help you do a job. That takes all of the good characteristics, like integrity, dedication of
purpose, selflessness, knowledge, skill, implacability, as well as determination not to
While not
a tacit endorsement of joint mentorship, the Army recognizes the need for systems to
develop officers in all environments. While JSOs may be considered officers with
superior planning skills and capabilities in a joint context, all officers at all levels and in
all environments are entitled to a degree of mentorship.
accept failure.” 31
Many might argue that the joint and strategic environments are one in the same.
Each service component has its own strategic leaders as well as billets occupied at the
Unified and Functional Combatant Commands. The Joint Chiefs is the highest level
where jointness occurs and from where our Joint Corporate Culture should emanate.
While the current commander for United States Forces Iraq (USF-I) (formerly
Multinational Force - Iraq, MNF-I) is an U.S. Army General, the Deputy Commanding
General was a Coalition General and the Chief of Staff was a U.S. Marine Corps
General. We cannot escape the joint environment, or the essential element of Admiral
Burke’s statement: “Leadership is understanding people.” To understand people, one
must be willing to develop people, and to develop people one must be willing to
counsel, coach and mentor them. No amount of legislation, including the GNA, can
replace inherent leader responsibilities. This joint mentorship will begin with a
leadership relationship of some sort, and evolve from there. It may not involve an in-
depth knowledge of a particular service, career field or subject matter expertise, but
may involve those innate qualities not discussed or written about daily. This joint
This quote was taken from the Strategic Leader chapter of Field
Manuel (FM) 6-22, Army Leadership. The Army’s utilization of this quote speaks
volumes as to what we can learn from one another in a joint environment. While many
lengthy characteristics were given of a Strategic Leader in FM 6-22, AR 600-100, and
the AWC Strategic Leadership Primer, none were so eloquently stated as that of
Admiral Burke. His quote, while used in the strategic leader section, can transcend
each leadership level and service culture in its simplicity. It is these cultures which must
be addressed in joint, combat environments, and where joint mentorship can flourish.
mentorship may be imparted from the tacit knowledge which resides in us all, and may
be best utilized to help develop leaders of all services in the COE.
Tacit Knowledge: What the Military Services Can’t Regulate. Tacit Knowledge
(TK) has been defined in many different ways. Horvath defines TK as “knowledge that
is bound up in the activity and effort that produced it.”32 He further writes when dealing
with organizations that TK is “the ‘know-how’ that is hidden or implicit in
The Dictionary of Business defines TK as “Unwritten, unspoken, and
hidden vast storehouses of held by practically every normal human being,
based on his or her emotions, experiences, insights, intuition, observations and
internalized information. Tacit knowledge is integral to the entirety of a person's
consciousness, is acquired largely through association with other people, and requires
joint or shared activities to be imparted from one to another. Like the submerged part of
an iceberg it constitutes the bulk of what one knows, and forms the underlying
framework that makes explicit knowledge possible.”34 The Dictionary of Philosophy of
Mind defines TK as “Knowledge that enters into the production of behaviors and/or the
constitution of mental states but is not ordinarily accessible to consciousness.”35
Whatever definition you choose to embrace, the basic theme is that TK is that
knowledge we all gain through our experiences, and often implement unconsciously.
Study after study further indicates that TK is most effectively transferred between
individuals vice organizations, which take an extensive amount of time and
commitment.36 These last two factors: time and commitment, are what made TK an
integral part of the Standard Mentorship Model as explained below.
How We Know, What We Know. Tacit knowledge for military leadership
(TKML)37 list three characteristic features: intimately related to action, is relevant to the
attainment of goals that people value, and is acquired with little help from others.
Another way of articulating the same points is that TK is “experienced-based,
practically-relevant, and acquired with little support from the environment”.38 Knowledge
development in the military is based on three pillars: institutional training, self
development and operational assignments. Formal educational systems are often
bureaucratic in nature, focusing on requisite skills that are necessary to leadership
success at the next organizational level. TK, however, is not taught formally nor is it by
definition, explicitly captured or articulated, even through self development. In fact,
many officers report that the most valuable component of the knowledge development
process is their interaction with peers either in the formal education process or in
operational assignments. This could be inferred to mean the most important component
of the knowledge development is the opportunity to exchange TK with their peers.39
The application of our Explicit Knowledge (what we learned through formal education)
and our TK, is what makes the difference in performance. Every General was a Second
How We Impart, What We Know. For knowledge to flow at the individual
however every Second Lieutenant will not be a General. It is the ability to
apply both Explicit and Tacit Knowledge in the right measures at the right times and in
the right situations consistently over time, which makes the difference. It is the ability
and willingness to share this knowledge, that allows effective mentorship to occur
whether by service or in the COE.
level, the expert (or simply more knowledgeable person) must be willing and
able to share; the novice must be willing and able to learn; and the organization
must be willing and able to help them do so.41 However obvious this may seem, we
have replaced the mentoring model in many cases, with “attempting to write it (TK)
down and disseminate it via books, standard operating procedures, lessons learned,
Web portals, workflow systems, and other explicit knowledge approaches, which offers
limited potential for efficacy.42
One of the best examples of how we articulate what we know is through telling
the stories of our own experiences. Many of my senior leaders throughout the years
used stories of their own experiences to help illustrate how they solved a problem,
developed a creative concept or envisioned a future strategy. Most recently in Iraq,
officers would impart TK through a mentoring group known as The ROCKS, Inc.
Sometimes preparation for mentorship sessions allows
TK be recalled to communicate an example from mentor to protégé. This process is
even further cemented in the COE, where mentors must be particularly articulate when
communicating TK to account for the differences in service cultures and customs, thus
ensuring understanding by the protégé.
Subjects of interest would be solicited, scheduled and presented by peers and Senior
Officers, with the sharing of personal experiences a mandatory part of the presentation.
TK is also used heavily at all the service schools, albeit informally, as part of the
learning experience. The dialogue conducted on a daily basis in the school
environment is an invaluable part of the teaching and learning process. Whatever the
method employed to impart TK, a stalwart mentorship relationship remains a vital link to
unlock precious gems of otherwise unconscious and almost dormant knowledge. Just
as important as how we impart TK is if we chose to impart our TK. Our willingness to
share our TK background and experiences may be the catalyst which promotes the
most important element in mentorship: developing trust.
Trust: The Tie That Binds the Mentorship Model. Since the inherent
characteristics of mentorship are superiority by either rank (military) or position (civilian
or military) and advanced expertise above a more junior person, there has to be one
element that creates equality between the participants, and trust is that element. With
mutual trust listed as one of the key elements in our mentorship definition, trust is the tie
that binds the Mentorship Model. Trust is defined as “Ones belief in and willingness to
respond to another party.”44 How we trust is further categorized as either personality-
based (our upbringing); knowledge-based (interaction over time); institutional-based
(meeting basic needs); cognitive-based (first impressions); or calculative-based
(conscious choice), with no one category as the sole basis of trust.45
Service members (SM) trust the institution their military components, to provide
for their basic needs: training, education, adventure, money, service to country and as
such, also trust it to identify and promote them and others to competent leadership
positions. This institution-based trust also extends into knowledge-based trust, based
on training experiences, day-to-day activities, conduct of operations and experience
over time in the military component. While trust must still be developed in the mentoring
relationship, this trust is developed more rapidly within service components based on
Since we are
observing mentorship in joint combat environments, we will focus on institution-based
and knowledge-based trust. Personality, cognitive and calculative-based trust may all
be valid, but would require subject interviews to fully develop their impact on trust, and
is well beyond the scope of this research.
shared knowledge and experiences over time in an institution familiar to both parties.
Studies have shown that initial trust in organizations can occur sooner than most people
would believe,46
It is at this point where the Standard Mentorship Model in figure 1 is expanded
into The Military Mentorship Model in figure 2 below. With trust as the tie that binds in
both models, it is how trust is developed in the current environment that facilitates the
development of joint mentorship.
and the same can be said for joint operations in the COE due to similar
values, military standards, and experiences.
Figure 2: Military Mentorship Model
Cohesion: How Joint Mentorship is Created in Deployed Environments
Cohesion as a factor in warfighting has always been recognized. The noted
strategist Carl Von Clausewitz wrote: “The fighting forces of each belligerent whether
a single state or an alliance of states have a certain unity and therefore some
cohesion. Where there is cohesion, the analogy of the center of gravity can be
applied.”47 The concept of cohesion was so important that Clausewitz linked it as the
initiating factor to center of gravity, a central element of any land commanders
Cohesion, as a subcomponent of
Trust, is the major difference from the
Standard Mentorship Triad/Model.
Action on the part of the Protégé and
Feedback are also essential
campaign against an enemy. Sun Tzi wrote: “When he is united, divide him,”48 and “He
whose ranks are united in purpose will be victorious.”49 Neither statement uses the term
cohesion directly but instead uses the term unity, which requires agreement and trust, a
key component of cohesion. A Commandant of the United States Marine Corps thought
cohesion so important, he directed the establishment of the Marine Corps Cohesion
Program, in an effort to help first term Marines and deploying units better cope with the
rigors of new environments,50 while Army Field Manuel (FM) 22-103, Leadership and
Command at Senior Levels, replete with references to cohesion wrote: “Cohesion is
essential to success.”51
Cohesion is defined as “A feeling of close friendship and trust among a group of
people” and “mutual beliefs and needs that cause people to act as a collective whole.”
Teambuilding, coalition or alliance building and unity of
command are all efforts towards creating cohesion (teambuilding) or using cohesion
(coalition building), to achieve an objective. Cohesion as a subcomponent of trust is
one of the major differences between the Standard Mentoring Model depicted earlier in
figure 1, and the Military Mentoring Model depicted in figure 2, and is how joint
mentorship is achieved in our COE. While there is an extensive body of research on
unit cohesion and cohesion as a factor of performance in combat, our discussion is how
cohesion in our COE is the factor that allows joint mentoring to occur.
These feelings of friendship, trust, beliefs and needs develop differently in combat than
in non-combat environments, which is what gives the impetus for joint mentorship. The
most succinct way to describe the differences between cohesion in non-combat versus
combat environments can best be articulated by quoting Wm Darryl Henderson from
Cohesion: The Human Element in Combat, who wrote: “The chance, dispersion,
isolation, confusion, danger, stress and hardship of the future battlefield will ensure that
the decades-old trend of authority and decision-making downward in the organization
will continue.”53
The institutions in the COE have largely shifted from being the service
components to the actual joint units themselves. Few would argue that “No other nation
can match our ability to combine force on the battlefield and fight jointly.”
These elements, which we’ll refer to as the Characteristics of Combat,
are the forcing factors of why joint mentorship occurs in the COE. While some of the
Characteristics of Combat occur daily in non-combat environmentschance, confusion
and stress, the bonds of trust deepen in combat because of the additional
characteristics that aren’t replicated in daily life: isolation and dispersion, danger and
hardship. Collectively these elements alter the institutional and knowledge-based trust
we discussed earlier.
Knowledge-based trust is also accelerated in this environment due to several
factors, the first being task cohesion the necessity to focus on a common objective,
namely, a very real enemy who creates the chance, confusion, stress, danger and
hardship experienced in the COE. Time spent together is another factor accelerating
Though the
wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are largely land conflicts, the sister service institutional
requirements of deployed Sailors, Airmen, Marines, government civilians and
contractors are now borne by a Joint US Forces Iraq (USF-I) or Coalition
International Security Afghanistan (ISAF) unit. Necessity forces SM to trust that their
new institution will provide for their basic needs, since one cannot simply dial up their
service component to provide support due to the limitations imposed by isolation,
dispersion and danger in the combat environment.
knowledge-based trust. Estimating over 350 days spent in a tour of the COE, the type
of time spent together is what makes the difference. Work days are normally 16 hours
including weekends, with only one holiday where manning was truly minimal -
Christmas Day, with no other training holidays. Additionally, each meal is consumed
with 1000 of your closest friends and shared living arrangements for O-4s and E-7s and
below. While social opportunities are available based on your location and desire to
With the acceleration of institution-based and knowledge-based trust and the
Characteristics of Combat to create more interpersonal interactions, joint mentoring
opportunities within the COE are plentiful. The four factors that help promote joint
mentorship in the COE are:
, the elements of combat remain ever present even in those settings.
Additionally, the frequency of officers assigned to the COE provides greater opportunity
for joint mentorship to occur. In the same 2.6 years some officers might spend in joint
non-combat assignments, other officers have deployed to the COE for two 12 month
combat tours. Even with 12 months dwell time between the deployments, time spent in
the JOE will double from 350 to 700, increasing the time spent and experience gained
in joint operations.
Professional Relationships (Leadership). The bottom-line is that more junior
officers are now receiving combat fitness evaluations from their sister service superiors.
This forces leaders at all levels to learn even more about the subordinates service
customs, courtesies, procedures and most importantly the officer evaluation or fitness
reporting systems. While it’s the services that promote, not the joint assignment,56 sister
services now get a vote only if through the evaluation report rendered on an officer in
combat. These more junior officers will have repetitive joint assignments in the COE
prior to achieving O-4 rank, which will give them much more contact with sister service
officers and interagency partners. An example of this would be the intelligence section
of an Army Corps Headquarters (HQ). As the HQ deployed with its organic intelligence
elements (150-200 Soldiers), the diversity of the mission required augmentation by
analyst from all services, to include the Reserve Components, to supplement the
expertise necessary to provide timely and accurate intelligence. While primarily a land
battle in Iraq, multi-service cultures and capabilities were required to be learned by all
personnel, with the most significant being the evaluation systems, as previously
discussed, and the awards systems. Service mentalities in regards to awards had to be
learned, adapted and in most cases, overcome for the SM to receive recognition for
their service in theater. For these junior leaders to be successful, countless hours of
teaching, coaching and mentoring were required, which was no issue because as one
author writes, “The younger guys have got it. The senior levels…is where it becomes a
zero sum game.”57
Teambuilding (Social). In the more senior environments of joint commands,
teambuilding events can be far and few between due to the long hours worked and in
some instances, the long distances required to travel to and from work, dampening the
spirit to socialize. With the even longer hours worked in the COE, deliberate efforts
While it doesn’t happen in every case, joint mentorship occurs
because officers cannot simply ‘check the joint block,’ and return to their service as
quickly as possible. Senior leaders have a new responsibility to sister services to
identify the exceptional, average and mediocre performers, regardless of service, to
help develop the strategic leaders of the future.
have been made to develop socialization opportunities. The leadership of Joint Base
Balad (JBB) in Iraq executed such an endeavor through sponsoring a professional
mixer, intended to allow Army and Air Force personnel to socialize about past, present
and future assignments, while getting to know one another. “Most people are working
16-18 hour days here. Its good to balance everything out with a few laughs now and
then. This is a healthy environment and actually improves combat readiness, although
we may look ridiculous clowning around.58
Personal Relationships (Trust and Cohesion). With cohesive professional
relationships developed and the ardent desire and opportunities to team-build
established, personal relationships are more quickly established in the COE because of
the reactions to the Characteristics of Combat of stress, confusion, hardship and
danger. These characteristics are more pronounced and even more difficult to mask in
the COE, which requires leaders to interact on a more personal level. While loved ones
may only be a phone-call away, it does not resolve the tyranny of distance created by
fighting half a world away. It takes adaptive leaders that must address and attempt to
resolve the issues in the COE. These issues are many times very personal
depression of the SM or a family member, personal or family illnesses, anticipated and
unanticipated deaths, issues with peers, superiors and subordinates or financial issues
all requiring a greater degree of personal attention and interaction between leaders
and subordinates, mentors and protégés, thus solidifying the bonds of trust.
This is one of several possible opportunities
at socialization in the COE, and helps in the establishment of personal relationships.
(Over) Communications (Action and Feedback). As the Military Mentoring Model
outlines, the combination of Leadership, TK, Trust and cohesion through constant
communications, is also a critical element to joint mentorship. With many actions in the
COE ranging from life and death at the tactical level, to international incidents and
policies at the strategic level, a practice known as over-communication is highly
encouraged and in some HQ, is demanded since “wait till Monday” doesn’t exist. This
extensive communications apparatus affects the performance of the organization and its
individuals, and almost forces action on the part of the protégé to execute the mentors
much sought after advice, and to provide solicited and unsolicited feedback on what
advice worked and what didn’t. The Characteristics of Combat coupled with the
elements of the Mentorship Model, truly help create the cohesion and trust necessary
for joint mentorship to occur in the COE.
Recommendations and Conclusions
The COE provides a unique opportunity to develop programs that encourage and
support joint mentorship. However, for a joint mentorship program to persist, it must
also be functional in non-combat joint environments.
Fully and formally implementing joint mentorship in the non-combat joint
environment will undoubtedly take time. We presumably will not remain at war forever,
so depending on the cohesion developed in the COE to simply transcend to the non-
combat joint environments is naïve. While the basic elements of the Mentorship Model
will remain the same: Leadership, Tacit Knowledge and Trust, capturing the lessons
learned through TK will be key to socializing the joint mentorship concept. As
mentorship should remain a voluntary action, the opportunity to receive it should still be
made available to all officers who seek it, regardless of service. Below are some
recommendations on how we might begin to change the culture to better utilize
mentorship in the joint environment.
Affirm Mentorship as one of the basic tenants of Joint Leadership
Establish a formal, voluntary mentoring program for JSOs
Expose junior leaders to joint doctrine earlier in the PME cycle
Identify potential JSOs at earlier grades: senior O-3, junior O-4 grades
Develop a Joint Officer Evaluation System (JOES)
Codify Joint Warfare as a profession
If I could choose one recommendation to focus on, it would be the development of a
Joint Officer Evaluation System (JOES). “Officers may be assigned to a joint staff, but
in the end, it’s the service they belong to that will determine their promotion
prospects.”59 “Thus with the intent of enhancing the quality, stability, and experience of
officers in joint assignments, which, in turn, would improve the performance and
effectiveness of joint organizations, Congress created a detailed system of joint officer
management, including assignment policies, promotion objectives, and educational and
experience requirements.”60
The joint environment has a tremendous ability to codify any tactic, technique,
procedure or doctrine it identifies. It could utilize this same approach in developing the
Where GNA falls short was in not establishing a Joint
Officer Evaluation System (JOES). Upon implementation of the GNA, an evaluation for
the JSOs could have been established as the test bed for all services. Current service
evaluations consist of the same basic parameters: Values, Competencies and
subjective narratives. The services must unite on which values and competencies are
most important, and that articulating performance is the most important aspect of the
subject narratives vice upholding service parochialisms. JOES could also be the driver
to move us further in creating a joint warfare profession.
JOES. Implementation could begin with the JSOs and all deployed personnel receiving
evaluations, which would be less than 10% of the total force. Codifying JOES and joint
mentorship provides the driver and the framework which allows the other
recommendations to occur. The facts are that we have already had JSOs for over 20
years, and operated jointly in the COE over the last eight years, lending credence for a
requirement to emplace a joint officer evaluation system and professional development
tools in the COE.
The joint mentorship program would follow the same voluntary path established
by the services, but could also create the recognition required for change and
development of joint warfare as a profession. While the initial concept of Joint
Mentorship may be hard to grasp by more senior leaders, our current junior officers
the recipients of the concept and future strategic leaders and thinkers, will be the driving
force that brings the joint mentorship concept to fruition.
1 Colonel Stephen A. Shambach, "Strategic Leadership Primer, “Department of Command,
Leadership and Management, United States Army War College, 2nd Edition (2004): 1.
2 Ibid, 2.
3 Ibid.
4 Ibid, 50.
5 U.S. Department of the Army, Army Leadership, Field Manual 6-22 (Washington, DC: U.S.
Department of the Army, October 12, 2006), 8-11.
6 Goldwater-Nichols Act, (accessed on
November 5, 2009)
7 Don M. Snider, “Jointness, Defense Transformation and the Need for a New Joint Warfare
Profession”, Parameters Online, Autumn 2003, 17
parameters/03autumn/snider.pdf (accessed on 2 January 2010)
8 Howard D. Graves and Don M. Snider, “Emergence of the Joint Officer”, Joint Forces
Quarterly Online, Autumn 1996, 53.
9 Snider, Jointness, Defense Transformation,18.
10 Webster’s New World Dictionary, Warner Communications Company, (New York, NY,
1984), 377.
11 Matthew 4:19, The Holy Bible - King James Version, (Camden, NJ, Thomas Nelson Inc,
1970), 3.
12 The Mentorship Handbook: A Guide for SLA (Special Library Association) Chapters and
Divisions to Establish Mentorship Programs, 1.
13 Career Mentorship Program Stow-Monroe Falls High School, “Opening up New Worlds”,
14 Estevez, M. (2009). Mentorship in Graduate Education. Change, 41(1), 55-56. Retrieved
October 24, 2009, from Research Library. (Document ID: 1631527581), 55.
15 Ibid, 56.
16 Banschbach, S. (2008). The Rewards of Being Both a Mentor and a
Protégé’. Association of Operating Room Nurses. AORN Journal, 88(2), 175-6. Retrieved
October 24, 2009, from Research Library. (Document ID: 1538599441).
17 Lori Leffler, Mentorship, Defense Transportation Journal, Sep 2009, 65, 5, Military
Module, (accessed on 23 October 2009), 4.
18 Inspectors General, Departments of Defense and State, Interagency Assessment of
Afghanistan Police Training and Readiness, Nov 2006,
organization/76103.pdf, 25.
19 Michael G. Zey, The Mentor Connection, (Dow-Jones Irwin, 1984), 6.
20 U.S. Department of the Navy, NAF MISAWA INSTRUCTION 1700.1, Subj:
21 Air Force Policy Directive 36-34 1 JULY 2000, Personnel Air Force Mentoring Program.
22 ALMAR 008/06, Marine Corps Mentoring Program (MCMP), Feb 14, 2006
23 Lt. Cmdr. Elizabeth Zimmermann, eMentoring Helps Build Productive Relationships, The
Military Family Network,, accessed on 15 Feb 2010.
24 Ibid.
26 MSPnet, Virtual Mentoring for Student Success (VMSS), National Science Teachers
Association, accessed on 15 Feb 2010.
27 U.S. Department of the Army, Army Leadership, 1-2.
28 U.S. Department of the Army, Army Leadership, 6.
29 Ibid, 6.
30 Ibid,
31 U.S. Department of the Army, Army Leadership, 12-2.
32 Joseph A. Horvath et al, Tacit Knowledge in Professional Practice, (Lawrence Erlbaum
Associates, Publishers, Mahwah, New Jersey, 1999), ix.
33 Joseph A. Horvath, “Working with Tacit Knowledge”, IBM Institute for Knowledge,, 3 (accessed on 2 Jan 10)
34 Dictionary of Business,
(accessed on 30 December 2009)
35 Dictionary of Philosophy of the Mind,
tacitknowledge.html (accessed on 30 December 2009)
36 Knowledge Power, , 5, ( 30
December 2009)
37 Horvath, Tacit Knowledge, 45.
38 Tacit Knowledge for Military Leadership, Army Research Institute (ARI) Newsletter,
Spring 2001, (accessed on 30
December 2009)
39 Ibid.
40 Horvath, Tacit Knowledge, 62.
41 Knowledge Power,5, ( 30 December 2009)
42 Ibid.
43 The ROCKS, Inc, Organizational Presentation, Jan 2009.
44 D. Harrison McKnight, Larry L. Cummings, Norman L. Chervany, Initial Trust Formation in
New Organizational Relationships, Management Review, Vol 23, No. 3 (Jul, 1998), pp 473-490,
Academy of Management, ,pp 474
45 Ibid, 475
46 McKnight et al, Initial Trust, 473.
47 Carl Von Clausewitz, On War, Princeton University Press, 1976, 485-486.
48 Sun Tzi, The Art of War, Oxford University Press, New York, 1963, 69.
49 Sun Tzi, Art of War, 82.
50 Marine Corps Order 3500.28 The Marine Corps Cohesion Program Standing Operating
Procedures, May 1999, 27.
51 U.S. Army Field Manuel 22-103, Leadership and Command at Senior Levels, 83.
52 Wm Darryl Henderson, Cohesion: The Human Element in Combat, National Defense
University Press, Washington, D.C., 1985, XI.
53 Henderson, Cohesion, XVIII.
54 Thomas Donnelly, What Lies Beyond Goldwater-Nichols?, American Enterprise Institute
for Public Policy Research, March 2008, 4.
MEMBERS. 2009. US Fed News Service, Including US State
News, November 20, (accessed January 18,
56 Michael Peck, Joint Staff Officers Unprepared for New Jobs, National Defense Industry
Association Business and Technology Magazine, December 2005,
(accessed February 3, 2010)
57 Ibid.
58 Ibid
59 JSOs Unprepared, 2.
60 Snider, Joint Transformation, 11.
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
Full-text available
Arguably, the most critical time frame for organizational participants to develop trust is at the beginning of their relationship. Using primarily a cognitive approach, we address factors and processes that enable two organizational parties to form relatively high trust initially. We propose a model of specific relationships among several trust-related constructs and two cognitive processes. The model helps explain the paradoxical finding of high initial trust levels in new organizational relationships.
The abstract for this document is available on CSA Illumina.To view the Abstract, click the Abstract button above the document title.
Both the form and substance of professional military education (PME) have been subjected to basic and revolutionary reforms in recent years. The farsighted Goldwater-Nichols Act, though hotly debated and strongly resisted at the time of its passage, mandated and catalyzed this change. Initially the law had little appeal to the military departments. Today each service accepts, indeed embraces, these reforms because their contribution to the effectiveness of joint warfare outweighs the new burdens which they have admittedly placed on the services. PME reforms were the result of two profound and complementary thrusts found in title IV of Goldwater- Nichols that dealt with officer personnel policy. The first, which addressed form or process, created joint specialty officers (JSOs) and imposed criteria for their selection, education, utilization, and promotion. The second, one of substance, revamped the content of military science as it applies to the education of JSOs through its focus on emerging joint doctrine. Recalling that the military is defined, as well as delimited, by its expertise in military science and that this expertise is an intrinsic part of the self-concept of the officer corps and its relationship to the state, it is easy to see the prescient mutual significance of these two new thrusts in PME. Together, they have produced joint officers of a kind rarely before found in our military institutions and culture.
This book discusses The Significance of Military Cohesion, Measuring Military Power, Why Soldiers Fight, Characteristics of a Cohesive Army, Organizational Characteristics, Small Group and Unit Characteristics, and Leadership Characteristics. The Author Compares Cohesion in the North Vietnamese, US, Soviet, and Israeli Armies and Measures Societal Group Effects on Cohesion. Leadership in Cohesive Units is also very important.
The future possibilities for cultivating mentor relationship in nursing are limitless. The mentor system developed more widely in nursing will strengthen the profession by increasing its numbers of competent, successful, and satisfied professionals. Our training in nurturing, as members of a helping profession, coupled with increasing awareness of the benefits of working together can help us to be highly effective mentors. Our individual and collective power and effectiveness in the future will depend to a large extent on our willingness to support each other through strong mentor connections.
Strategic Leadership PrimerDepartment of Command, Leadership and Management, United States Army War College
  • Colonel Stephen
  • A Shambach
Colonel Stephen A. Shambach, "Strategic Leadership Primer, "Department of Command, Leadership and Management, United States Army War College, 2 nd Edition (2004): 1. 2 Ibid, 2.
3. 12 The Mentorship Handbook: A Guide for SLA (Special Library Association) Chapters and Divisions to Establish Mentorship Programs, 1. 13 Career Mentorship Program Stow-Monroe Falls High SchoolOpening up New Worlds Mentorship in Graduate Education The Rewards of Being Both a Mentor and a
11 Matthew 4:19, The Holy Bible-King James Version, (Camden, NJ, Thomas Nelson Inc, 1970), 3. 12 The Mentorship Handbook: A Guide for SLA (Special Library Association) Chapters and Divisions to Establish Mentorship Programs, 1. 13 Career Mentorship Program Stow-Monroe Falls High School, "Opening up New Worlds", 14 Estevez, M. (2009). Mentorship in Graduate Education. Change, 41(1), 55-56. Retrieved October 24, 2009, from Research Library. (Document ID: 1631527581), 55. 15 Ibid, 56. 16 Banschbach, S. (2008). The Rewards of Being Both a Mentor and a
Association of Operating Room Nurses
Protégé'. Association of Operating Room Nurses. AORN Journal, 88(2), 175-6. Retrieved October 24, 2009, from Research Library. (Document ID: 1538599441).