The Importance Of Mentorship In Leadership

1420 Words 6 Pages
Like many young leaders I started as an NCO with significant motivation, aggressive approach, and a desire to control all outcomes within the scope of my responsibility. Life, experience, mentorship and above all else failure has definitively shaped me as a leader. Mentorship and experience directly correlate to the profession of arms and the development of leadership proficiency. However, I find that the spectrum of life and lessons from failures (both professionally and personally) more significantly contribute to leader development in the form of maturity and ability. Lessons learned are most prominently derived from failures, as success and failure contrast where success prompts a sustainment response and failure prompts that of improvement. …show more content…
Like many modestly sized villages in the region, it had formed in a large valley at the convergence of two lines of communication, one being our Main Supply Route (MSR). While generally unremarkable in any other way, the village had a significant and well supported insurgency due to its close proximity (10 kilometers) to Pakistan and that our MSR was also their MSR. As a Rifle Company my unit had taken responsibility of the Assistance Platform (formerly Combat Outpost) that sat on a large hill overlooking the village and both lines of communication. As with many transfers of authority, our Company had inherited several enduring operations in the relieving process. One of those operations, a regularly scheduled and repetitive leadership meeting (Shura) at the village District Center, would be among our first patrols conducted within our new Area of Operation (AO). It was during my Platoon’s execution of this mission at an unavoidably predictable location that the enemy in our AO cashed in their vote with catastrophic results. In living my “worst case scenario,” I would have to blindly depend on our collective planning and preparation, my training and instincts, and an ability to operate despite temporary but complete loss of outcome control. We had just under a month in theater and the same amount of time with a brand new Platoon Leader (PL). Many of us in the Platoon had executed hundreds of missions together in the past while many others had not. Although we deployed together to the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) and had established good continuity, as a collective team and in a new AO this was only our third patrol. I knew we were a good team, but not to the extent that I would come to learn. On June 3rd, 2013, we suffered a devastating Mass Casualty (MASCAL) event, and I was the Platoon

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