HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. –
Chief Master Sgt. Henry Hayes, the installation command chief, opens his office the third Tuesday of every month to meet with personnel here to discuss a wide range of topics.
The monthly informal sessions, dubbed “Chat and Chew” by the chief, is for all military ranks and civilians.
“It’s an opportunity to be a force multiplier in a small session,” Hayes said. “In any level of leadership, we have a responsibility to enhance those we are around.”
Since arriving in August 2017, Hanscom’s senior enlisted member has held the development sessions. The gathering generally includes up to 10 people.
“Given the amount of people that attend, people feel more comfortable asking real questions instead of a canned question that people might ask in a larger setting,” he said. “That’s when the development happens; when the real conversations take place.”
Hayes said a benefit of the meeting falls in line with a priority of Hanscom’s new installation commander.
“Col. [Chad] Ellsworth’s intent for us in the Air Base Group is to look at things from the customer or client perspective and this is another way to gain that through discussions with people outside the group,” said Hayes.
Brandi Ruiz, director of the Airman & Family Readiness Center, who attended the session in August, enjoyed the format.
“I appreciate the opportunity to engage with a diverse group of military and civilian members from Team Hanscom,” said Ruiz. “This casual yet informative setting only helps to strengthen our awareness and understanding of our unique roles in supporting the base community.”
The command chief also spoke about how the session provides him the chance to hear from others.
“I don’t think like new Airmen anymore. I try to think like them or try to imagine their perspective,” said Hayes. “This session is a great way for me to get feedback and for me to get the civilian employees,’ as well as contractor perspective.”
The next session will take place Sept. 18 at 11 a.m. Those interested in participating should contact Staff Sgt. Thorne Tayamen, the command chief executive assistant, at 781-225-1325 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up.
The sessions complement Air Force Materiel Command’s yearlong focus on mentoring
. In January, AFMC kicked off a mentoring awareness campaign. A dedicated website provides visitors with a series of articles and videos from senior leaders throughout the command. It also includes an email address for employees to share their own mentoring success stories.
The Hanscom Company Grade Officer Council also provides mentoring opportunities through the Senior Leader Shadow Program for company grade officers and GS-7 and above employees.
Interested employees may send an email to Hanscom.CGOC@us.af.mil
with ‘Senior Leader Shadow Program’ in the subject line.
Another opportunity for military members and government civilians is MyVector, a web-based mentoring network
that allows mentees to manage their career development with input and guidance from a mentor.
The site offers a real-time mentoring plan, discussion forum, a bullet tracker to document accomplishments and the ability to dialogue with a mentor. There is also a resource page available to assist both parties with mentoring questions and relationships.