Prince George’s MOAA chapter discusses mentorship
The Prince George’s County chapter of the Military Officers Association of America met for the first time this year on March 19.
The meeting, held at The Courses at Andrews on JBA, was a chance for the chapter to get back out into the community and show that it is here for local veterans and military members.
“We’re an advocacy group here to support them and provide an outlet for them to get information on what’s going on with the county as far as local legislation goes,” Chapter President, Col. Duane DeVance said. “They can know their benefits aren’t being totally stripped away and there is someone advocating on their behalf.”
In this month’s meeting, the group focused on mentorship and the responsibility military officers have to mentor younger military members around them.
Retired Maj. Gen. Michael Harrison was the guest speaker for the event. Having served 34 years in the Army, Harrison gave some insight on the various lessons he learned as an officer through mentorship.
Harrison’s lessons spanned from being an inexperienced lieutenant dealing with senior NCO’s to being a colonel at the Pentagon.
“I share with [my mentees] the lessons I’ve learned, the mistakes I’ve made – trying to help guide them along the path that will help make their lives better,” Harrison said. “That way, those subordinate to them can benefit from their experience and be mentored, too.”
Harrison also touched upon how best to approach and mentor millennials. He said an officer becoming interested in what the person believes is important. Doing so, according to Harrison, “opens the door” to connect with millennials and shows an officer’s respect towards them.
Harrison currently has 30 to 40 people he mentors on a daily basis.
“Nothing makes my heart beat more than reaching my hand out and helping someone that is following along my path,” Harrison said. “I think that is just so important. As I look at all of you, your experiences are probably the same. You have the same capacity to reach out and give back and mentor others.”
Col. DeVance enjoyed Harrison’s message and agreed with what he had to say.
“It was fantastic. The insight he was able to provide and just the importance of reaching back and sowing into the lives of younger people because they’re going to be here when we are gone,” Col. DeVance said. “So we all need to be doing that.”
The chapter’s next meeting will be April 16 at The Courses at Andrews on JBA. 11th Wing Public Affairs Commander, Col. Bradley T. Hoagland, will be the guest speaker discussing upcoming events around the base and in the local community.