Prince Ge­orge’s MOAA chap­ter dis­cusses men­tor­ship

The Enquire-Gazette - - Prince George’s County Legal Notices - By HAN­NAH TROYER Staff writer

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.

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