Mentoring Women and Minority Officers in the 21st Century U.S. Army


This paper is a research proposal for the thesis with title, ‘Mentoring Women and Minority Officers in the 21st Century U.S - Mentoring Women and Minority Officers in the 21st Century U.S. Army introduction. Army’. Different aspects of the research have been discussed in the following sections.

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Research Background

The US Army divide officers work in different area’s of the America. These locations have different forms of technology and different forms or level of communication system, environmental conditions, civilization and many others.  In such type of case or scenario the transformation of information and data’s becomes very challenging. It has been observed much time that organization lacks of information and proper knowledge and number of the training service. Even sometime it also happened that people are involved in more personal work and these all reasons lead to unavailability of the physical presence of the mentor. Due to help of such platform bridge can be gap of protégées and adviser or mentor. If we take the case of Army it can be clear that mentor can be at the high priority services and it can also telecast the virtual mentorship program to target at the time of convenience.

Murray (2001) has explained number of profits of formal mentoring through high technology in the 21st century, however at the same time numbers of challenges and difficulties are liked. ( Ncube and Wasurn, 2006). The experience between Telemachus and Mentor is similar to present mentoring system with U.S Army Reserves. According to the data collection  American Armed forces comprise members to defensive freedom of America at domestic and abroad level, securing its homeland and defending democracy through out the worldwide. Mentor helps to develop of Telemachus. U.S Armed forces embodies their physical strength, emotional feelings and they due to this strength they purpose young members to became self sufficient, encourage people and make them to stand for the next day or future for their country. Full-time and part time U.S Army Reserves is complex  due to the conflict liked between geographically and divided mentors and mentees whole across the distance ,civilian careers and military both are managed by time and space. U.S Army work schedules are one weekend a month and two additional weeks in a year, the primary mode of communication is through telephones and electronic email. The diminutive amount which work face-to-face and lead guiding, coaching and molding of young people of American armed reserves members for challenges for the defense of national security.

“The chief main of this study is to recognize the possibilities of bridging the gap of  the training of U.S Army Reserve officers through the virtual platform. ”  Through this study it will be  explore  experiences, perceptions and information or knowledge of prior which is listed for service of American armed forces to develop a practical or virtual mentoring program that can be used as a leadership development policy  and assist to develop and bridging existing relationship and also help in communication disparities between geographically divides Army Reserves members across time, space and distance.

Twenty U.S. Army Reserve Officers in the Atlanta, Georgia metropolitan area, with prior enlisted service experience will be interviewed. The topics that will be discussed will be relate to  certain activities that are dangerous to a virtual mentoring program, relationship construction and preservation, measuring program success, technology and technical competency. As more workers function independently, electronic mentoring is of value in employee preservation, motivation, creativity, and career progress.


Mentoring is defined by Witte and Witte (2003) in a following manner: ‘It can be defined as the process that used to direct and facilitate a learner’s education growth. “Although related, providing instruction is not the same as mentoring, as instruction and mentoring entail two distinct sets of responsibilities and roles. Using the suitable role requires smiled decision and is needy on exactly addressing the learner’s needs.”

According to National Mentoring Partnership (as cited by Buckley and Zimmermann, 2003) an accountable mentoring has subsequent elements:

It is a formed one by one relationship or company that focuses on the requirements of the mentored participants.
It fosters caring and helping relationships
It encourages an individuals to boost their fullest potential
Its helps an individual to grow his/her own vision power for the future.
It is also a strategy to develop actives and community partnerships.
According to Hezlett and Gibson (2005), some  research studies focused on comprehending and  formal mentoring relationships. Allen, Eby, and Lentz (2006; in Wanberg, Welsh, & Hezlett, 2003) stated  that formal mentoring organizations is addressed widely, yet research text has examined informal relationships and  failing to evaluate and contrast formal and informal mentoring.

Allen et al. stated, “Particularly missing from the literature of  research studies that mainly focus on the relationship between formal mentoring program, design characteristics and   participant reports of program effectiveness” (p. 126).

Mentoring in U.S. Army

“The USAF has had given  formal orders and direction on mentoring since 1996 (U.S. Department of the Air Force, 1996, 2000a, 2000b). The directive states, “Mentoring is a primary liability of all Air Force supervisors. They must know their people, believe to accept  personal liability for them, and to  be responsible for their professional development” (U.S. Department of the Air Force, 2000a, p. 1). The instruction adds here that , “Commanders are responsible for promoting a healthy mentoring program within their unit” (U.S. Department of the Air Force, 2000b, p. 2).

 Despite formal guidance, definitions of mentoring, topical examples and process guides, and obvious explicit responsibility for its achievement, mentoring appears to be one of those noble management behaviors that is occupy  only when time or availability allows. And in today’s swiftly downsizing and regularly deploying military environment, that may be uncommonly.” (Budd, 2007:16)

Problem Statement

“The mentoring needs of a diversified organization like U.S. army becomes more crucial when it comes to the mentoring of women and minorities in the U.S. army”

U.S. Army Reserve members from different with geographic locations are backgrounds can get training and mentoring. A successful and great high mentoring program could also help in strong building and bridging of the communications disparity and disputes among U.S. Army Reserves mentor and mentee relationships.

Research Aims and Objectives

Research Objectives

To hold the higher understand of the mentor-ship  and crucial role and importance of the technology in mentorship
To explore and explain of  the current  mentorship model and values in the US Army Reserves
To identify and to observe clearly  the possibilities,  difficulties and  challenges of the virtual mentorship in building the gap of mentoring in the US Army Reserves
To high and extensive growth of roadmap or model t\which  deals with all the challenges whatever identified above.

Research Aim

The research aim of this study is to explore different aspects of mentoring Women and Minority Officers in the 21st Century U.S. Army

Research Methodology

This study mainly depends on qualitative approach. It will be qualitative and phenomenological study. Researcher will explore and explain all the available of resources for mentoring  and for the US Army Reserves.  The structure of the questionnaire will help in collecting data from the direct respondents of the US Army Reserves.

The study of leadership and mentoring has already  been explored in many studies (Allio, 2005; McAlearney, 2005; Sosik & Lee, 2002). Clarke and Iphofen (2006) suggested that by the help of the examination of similar experiences, the possibility alive for researchers to clear understand a certain form of  phenomenon and use this high form of developments to create improvements, guides and direct or better form of practices. Research fundamentally  focused on certain institution and organizational leader’s perceptions of mentoring which probably bring and give a new phase and perspective for leadership development by the help of  various methods and policy  of mentoring. The nature of this qualitative phenomenological study is to use a methodical approach to explore if a virtual mentoring program could be used as a leadership development strategy and aid in bridging relationships and communication among geographically separated future leaders of the U.S. Army Reserves. The research will be designed and constructed  to explore and explain  the perceptions of the success and failure of a virtual mentoring program of 20 or more, prior enlisted service, U.S. Army Reserves officers in the Atlanta, Georgia metropolitan area who have participated in mentoring leadership programs and system.


Study of what appears to be. This is the highly systematic analysis and observation  of the consciousness and focus on point of the respondents. This study is highly and fundamentally  a subjective study of judgments, perceptions and feelings of specific experiences. Intentions, intuition, evidences, empathy and other experiences are the basis of the study of experiences of the objects.

Qualitative Study

These are complex studies based on exploratory methods of researches where researchers’ focus on finding new theories and hypothesis. It involves critical thinking of the data collected. The data collected is usually of subjective nature and can not be quantified. It helps in understanding different kinds of issues.

The nature of problem as discussed in chapter one requires an understanding of human experience for the mentoring process in Army. There is a need to understand the phenomenon from specific information to have a general understanding. This kind of information can be collected from the phenomenology research. Phenomenological method provides qualitative framework to study human experiences and analyze the intentional experiences of the respondents (Heath, 2000). This is an effective tool of characterizing human experiences and elucidating the meaning of performance experiences of the different professionals.

This is an empirical phenomenological research where the experiences of the respondents are collected in the naïve form trough open ended questions and conversations. This provides reflection of the respondents view points of his experiences. Researcher collects the information and interprets it from the respondents’ perspective to their experience. This allows researcher to derive general meaning of the naïve information collected from different respondents (Moustakas, 1994).

“Polkinghorne (1989) describes bracketing as self-reflection by the investigator to examine his or her own beliefs, in order to become aware of any hidden or potential presuppositions and biases that could change the way the investigator obtains the data and interprets the results. It is one of the key features of phenomenological methodology and is done not only before the interviews are performed but also repeatedly throughout the data analysis. The second method of preventing bias is the use of imaginative variation. This involves playing with the sentences to see if they could have more than one possible meaning.” (As cited by Heath, 2000)


The respondents are from the defense background with the experience of leadership and mentoring. They represent different ranks and divisions and share various experiences.


Small sample size of 5-10 is sufficient for the study (Williams, 2004). This sample is studied in depth.

Data Collection Procedure

Data is collected with the help of structured questionnaire with open ended questions. The information has been collected on one to one basis from the respondents through personal interactions. The responses have been collected by the researcher in the form of statements.


The data regarding experience or phenomenon can not be achieved through the quantitative measures of studies. The research objectives and research questions require information regarding human experience that can not be quantified and validated as quantitative data.

Data Collection

The data is collected from the people with the experience of mentoring in the US Army Reserves. The data is collected with the informed consent of the respondents. All the respondents are ensured for the confidentiality of their information they provide as well as their identity.


The instrument chosen for this research purpose is the questionnaire with open ended questions for the data collection of phenomenological research. The data is collected in the form of comments and responses of the respondents regarding their experiences. The data is collected in the form of statements of the objects. The relevant statements are given equal values and meaning units are listed to cluster of common themes. This helps in generalization of specific knowledge and experience of objects and constructs meanings and essences of phenomenon.


According to Giorgi (2002) “phenomenological qualitative research is not at all similar to the situation one finds in test construction. Rather, phenomenological qualitative research is closer to experimental situations and so the validity issue is not as pressing as is often supposed.”

The validity of phenomenological data depends on how the data has been collected in order to gain valid knowledge and avoid errors. In this form of qualitative research there is no threat to the advance of science and meaning of objectivity is discriminated (Giorgi, 2002). The chances of error increase with the subjectivity of the information. The knowledge and subjectivity is correlated with each other. In order to maximize the validity issue, it will be required to clarify the role of subjectivity in the knowledge achieved. In order to ensure the validity of the information, the role of subjectivity has been justified.

Time Line

May 24 -June 24
June 25 to July 25
July 25-August 25
August 25-Septer 25
Initial research

Designing Questionnaire

Conducting interviews

Data compilation

Preparation of the draft

Final Thesis


This study will be significant for the US Army Reserves because it aims at studying the possibilities of one of the technologically solutions to the training need gaps. The organization is facing a challenging situation that could be dealt with the help of technology. The findings of this study should reflect the drawbacks and strengths of using virtual platform, the level of acceptance among the prospective protégés for the virtual mentoring program, level of comfort of the mentors for the virtual mentoring programs.

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