Ryan’s “Senior Mentors” Still Going

About six years ago, Gen. Michael Ryan, as Chief of Staff, formed the operational command training program—also called the senior mentor program—comprising three retired USAF generals with operational command experience to provide peer-level advice. In other words, the three lieutenant generals—Chuck Heflebower, Joe Hurd, and Mike Short—can easily provide an unvarnished assessment of the work of current active-duty generals. Their most recent effort was to help keep the Joint Expeditionary Force Experiment 2006 on track. As part of the exercise, Hurd played the joint forces commander, as well as a technology mentor while working with airmen running new initiatives in the experiment. “It’s very satisfying to know we’re training new leaders at the operational level,” he said.