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Sponsorship is a Four-Letter Word: Abuses in Air Force Officer Mentoring
AIR WAR COLL MAXWELL AFB AL
Pagination or Media Count:
Mentoring is the new buzzword and the politically correct practice in todays civilian and military workplaces. When implemented correctly and fairly, mentoring serves a useful purpose. However, senior Air Force leadership has fostered an atmosphere where mentoring in the officer corps has been corrupted to nothing more than outright sponsorship, and in some cases, cronyism. This backslide to the good old boy system is, at the very least, causing morale problems among the officers, and at times, is allowing Air Force leadership positions to be filled with people who are not necessarily the most qualified, but instead are the most well-connected. Unfortunately, the system is self-perpetuating and if left unchecked, will degrade Air Force leadership to unacceptable levels. This paper analyzes this unhealthy trend in Air Force leadership by first discussing the indicators that such a problem, indeed, exists. Secondly, it will seek to quantitatively and anecdotally prove that sponsorship and favoritism are alive and well in today s Air Force. Finally, this paper suggests some remedies to reduce the likelihood of future corruption of the mentoring process.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE