Brian Scolpino, who has had a 40-year career with Naval Air Systems Command, believes that a mentor can provide valuable career advice and guidance to help individuals succeed. Scolpino was recently selected as the NAVAIR Headquarters ‘Mentor of the Year’ based on his professional development advocacy and honest career advice to his mentees.

“I am both honored and humbled to be selected,” Scolpino said.

Brian Scolpino, the CMV-22B Osprey Integrated Product Team Lead with the V-22 Joint Program Office (PMA-275), discusses his experience as a mentor with Kayla Groves, PMA-275 Operations. Scolpino is one of nine 2022 national award winners selected as Mentor of the Year, representing NAVAIR Headquarters. Credit: U.S. Navy

According to Scolpino, finding the right mentor involves determining the objective of seeking mentorship and being mindful of the mentor’s time. Additionally, a mentor can help individuals understand the various career paths available in their organization and overcome obstacles they encounter.

“I appreciate you doing this [mentoring], it is not a requirement of the job but you see the value and make it a priority,” said Taylor, following the event. “Your efforts make the overall organization better.”

“Brian not only listens, but also provides guidance and assists with overcoming obstacles,” said Heather LeRoy, colleague, PMA-275 MV-22 IPTL and one of his nominators. “In addition, he is quick to realize your strengths and how to grow those to become a better version of yourself.”

Scolpino actively participates in the command’s Mentoring Program, the PMA-275 Mentoring Focus Group, and the Navigator initiative, which are all aimed at institutionalizing mentorship within the office and helping new employees acclimate to their jobs.

“One of my earliest mentors when I was a junior engineer taught me the value of articulating my position to a diverse set of stakeholders, including program managers, who may not have a background in engineering,” recalls Scolpino. “It seems like a no brainer, but that small piece of advice, early in my career, was a game changer.”

Based on his experience, Scolpino offers advice on finding a mentor.

“Determine your objective in finding a mentor. Are you looking for professional advice or training support? Are you looking for a senior perspective or a peer who has recently worked through challenges similar to your own? Considering these and other goals will help you find the right person for the job,” he offered.

“In addition, be mindful of your mentor’s time and how that may impact their ability to meet with you regularly. Find a drumbeat that works for both of you that helps keep consistency but also allows for flexibility as needed.”

Read more about NAVAIR’s mentor program and recognition opportunities here: NAVAIR names its 2022 Mentors of the Year | NAVAIR (

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/EditorEditor-in-Chief

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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