COMMANDER, FLEET READINESS CENTERS, PATUXENT RIVER, Md.– Outstanding technical leadership, guidance and passion coupled with more than 26 years of government experience describe Commander Fleet Readiness Center’s (COMFRC) 2020 Mentor of the Year, Brad Hierstetter.
COMFRC Executive Director, Roy Harris and Fleet Support Team (FST) Executive, Tony Miguelez presented Hierstetter with the award on Jan. 13 at COMFRC Headquarters. “Your dedication to guiding COMFRC and FST members on their career journey, embodies the ideal qualities and character of a Navy mentor and reflects the spirit of this notable award,” Harris said.
As Supply Support Leader with COMFRC’s FST Division, Hierstetter mentors current and future teammates at all entry points of the logistics and supply support pipeline. “It’s a very meaningful award to me,” said Hierstetter. “From the beginning of my career people have gone out of their way to help me. I’m just trying to pay it forward and help somebody with high potential that shows passion and interest. I want to help those people the way others have helped me in the past.”
In his role as both leader and mentor, Hierstetter created and implemented a robust supply support training curriculum and shadowing program that was instrumental in developing the skillset of newly trained supply managers. The program also emphasized the importance of early planning during the acquisition life cycle to foster readiness, and how to properly manage Integrated Product Support for the Fleet.
“The importance of our teammates becoming keenly aware of the command’s role in the Naval Aviation Enterprise is paramount. Through his dedication and mentoring techniques, Mr. Hierstetter finds innovative ways to educate and guide our teammates and this reinforces COMFRC and Naval Air Systems Command’s (NAVAIR) role in increasing warfighter readiness,” said Harris.
Hierstetter also generated opportunities for his mentees to gain knowledge through rotational development, technical training and offering guidance to tackle workplace challenges. His advice for others looking for an opportunity to mentor is, “When you hear mentoring or mentorship don’t get overwhelmed by the term, it doesn’t have to be some tremendously formal, preplanned thing. At the end of the day it boils down to people working together to do a job for the Navy,” he said.
“This positive attitude and willingness to guide others illustrates the importance of mentoring in order to build and retain a healthy workforce. There is great value in mentoring. It is important that we encourage others to mentor formally and informally as well. Seniority is not a requirement to be a mentor. Even the newest members of our workforce can mentor, at work or in the community,” Miguelez said.
Hierstetter will be recognized during NAVAIR’s National Mentoring Month virtual event Jan. 26.