U.S. Air Force Col. Steven Ramer, 23d Wing vice commander, waits to speak to Cadet Squadron 9 during a visit at the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo., Oct. 4, 2012. Members from the 23d WG traveled to the Academy to mentor cadets and answer questions about the operational Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Nicholas Benroth/Released)
Second Lt. Daniel Venable (left), 23d Operations Support Squadron airfield operations officer, discusses the operational Air Force with cadets as part of a mentorship trip at the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo., on Oct. 4, 2012. Venable was one of a few mentors who spoke with the cadets during the trip to the Academy. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Nicholas Benroth/Released)
U.S. Air Force Col. Steven Ramer, 23d Wing vice commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Frank Batten, 23d WG command chief, socialize with cadets and other members of the 23d WG before lunch at the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo., Oct. 4, 2012. The lunch at Mitchell Hall was just one stop as part of a multi-day event in which Airmen from Moody Air Force Base, Ga., mentored cadets. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Nicholas Benroth/Released)
Individuals from the 23d Wing have lunch at Mitchell Hall as part of their tour at the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo., Oct. 4, 2012. The Airmen who participated in this tour spent Oct. 3-6 with cadets in an effort to mentor and help them grow to become successful officers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Nicholas Benroth/Released)
by Senior Airman Nicholas Benroth
23d Wing Public Affairs
10/11/2012 - U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- It's a long road to becoming an Air Force officer, but with the help of experienced mentors, U.S. Air Force Academy cadets are given the building blocks to becoming a leader.
Airmen from the 23d Wing at Moody Air Force Base, Ga., traveled to the Air Force Academy Oct. 3-7 to speak with Cadet Squadron 9, which is sponsored by Moody.
"As cadets here, we don't get a lot of experience regarding the operational side of the Air Force," said U.S. Air Force Cadet Benjamin Dewar, Cadet Squadron 9. "So when speakers come and talk to us, it helps us get a perspective of how things are ... and what to look forward to."
The group of mentors who attended came from all different aspects of the Air Force, including commanders, enlisted members and company grade officers. All of these Airmen brought something different to the table and could reach out to the cadets in a way others could not.
"There are some people here that just don't know what to expect or what career they would like to pursue," said Dewar. "These mentors really helped to give us as much experience as we could get without actually doing the job."
Moody Airmen made multiple stops during their trip, which included lunch with cadets, a question-and-answer session and a tour of the cadet campus.
One of the major opportunities the cadets had to speak with these mentors was during the question-and-answer portion where Col. Steven Ramer, 23d Wing vice commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Frank Batten, 23d WG command chief, spoke about what they think helps make a good officer.
Batten spoke about his days when he was a senior master sergeant and had a new lieutenant come into his shop.
Batten's job was to ensure the lieutenant was up to speed and ready to go. One day there was an Airmen's call and even though everyone knew Batten, it was the lieutenant who had to stand in front and be the leader.
The moral Batten wanted to reach to the cadets was they will enter as leaders and should be prepared for the road ahead.
The tour provided an opportunity for the mentors to pass on their knowledge to cadets who are about to make the transition to becoming an officer and possibly help them succeed that much more when they serve in the U.S. Air Force.