Mentoring nearly 100 shipmates, civilians earns NATEC officer award

CWO4 Jon Mangilit (right) was presented with the inaugural AIR 6.0 Mentor of the Year Award by NATEC Deputy Director Rhonda Hunt.

CWO4 Jon Mangilit (right) was presented with the inaugural AIR 6.0 Mentor of the Year Award by NATEC Deputy Director Rhonda Hunt.

Jun 20, 2018

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NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, PATUXENT RIVER, Md. – A Naval Air Technical Data and Engineering Service Command (NATEC) officer who mentors 99 people recently received the Naval Air Systems Command Logistics and Industrial Operations (AIR 6.0) Mentor of the Year Award.  The recognition was created in January 2018 to recognize AIR 6.0 Sailors, Marines and civilians who serve as mentors for their contribution to the workforce.

NATEC Administration Officer and Deputy Department Head Chief Warrant Officer 4 (CWO4) Jon Mangilit is the award’s first recipient. Assistant Commander for Logistics and Industrial Operations (AIR 6.0) Tom Rudowsky said Mangilit’s influence on Sailors and civilians alike is immeasurable and will be felt for years to come.  “He went beyond what is usually expected from a mentor,” he said. “AIR 6.0 is a better and stronger organization because of his desire to see others excel and his willingness to share what he has learned over the course of his career.”

Mangilit directly mentors 45 officers, enlisted and civilians in NATEC and provides guidance to 54 individuals assigned to 19 other commands.  His efforts resulted in a 100 percent retention rate and two earned bachelor's degrees among his military mentees. Nine Sailors were promoted while under his tutelage, four to second class petty officer, two to chief petty officer and three selected for entry to the limited duty officer/chief warrant officer program.

Chief Petty Officer Ronell Bledsoe cited Mangilit’s experience, forthrightness and genuine concern as reasons why he is a valued mentor and sought after by both senior and junior Sailors and civilians alike.  “I asked him to be my mentor because I admired his tenacity and professionalism,” Bledsoe said.

“I wanted to become a warrant officer and he helped me through the process for several years.  Because of his mentorship and guidance, I will be commissioned on April 1, 2019,” Bledsoe said.

“He tells it to you like it is—no sugar coating,” Petty Officer 1st Class Yara Paredes explained.  Paredes, who is a command career counselor assigned to Navy Construction Training Center Port Hueneme, sought advice from Mangilit during a tough time in her career. “He helped me push through the issues I was experiencing. Because of him, I overcame the hurdle I faced and can say that I’m still serving in the Navy.”

“He’s the type of leader that you respect and work hard for because you don’t want to be a disappointment,” she added.

CWO3 Maria Zorrilla, an administration officer assigned to the Naval Special Warfare Center in San Diego, California, credits her successful bid for a leadership position on the San Diego Mustang Association board to Mangilit’s nomination and guidance.  A “mustang” is an officer promoted from the ranks of Navy enlisted personnel with no interruption in his or her active duty status.  The organization promotes and addresses issues of interest to the community and supports enlisted Sailors in their pursuit of becoming Navy officers.

“After choosing him, I learned that he has several mentees,” Zorilla said. “I admire that commitment. Sailors in all paygrades, junior and senior, and civilians call and visit, seeking his advice and opinions.”

Treating Sailors and civilians as though they are a part of his family is essential to Mangilit’s success—an approach influenced by his wife. “As a seaman recruit in 1989 and not knowing what to expect in my first year in the Navy, my wife served as my confidant as I learned my trade as a Sailor,” Mangilit said. “She mentored me on how to carry myself better professionally and personally.  Most importantly, she taught me how to take care of people.  She inspired me to become a mentor.”

Being selected to run the Air Department Administration Division aboard USS Constellation (CV-64) in 1993 was another seminal event in his career. “Of all the senior first class and chief petty officers aboard the ship, Master Chief Aviation Boatswain's Mate William R. Smith, III, who was the Air Department leading chief petty officer, handpicked me—a brand new second class,” he said. “He believed that I was the right Sailor for the job and would grow to become a solid leader and mentor.”

Smith once told Mangilit not to be judged on appearances alone, but on his capabilities that bring value to the Navy team.  “That resonated throughout my career,” he said.  “To this day, I’ve shared with Sailors and leaders everything he taught me.”

Chief Petty Officer Roxanne Canada, a Navy Counselor Career assigned to Naval Base Point Loma Headquarters, California, sees Mangilit as an example of how leadership should be proactive and engaged. “CWO4 Mangilit volunteered at the last moment to be a panel member on my warrant officer appraisal board,” she said. “He took time out of his schedule to respond to a need.” 

As the board began, he asked Canada if she had a chief warrant officer mentor in the administration community.  After responding that she didn’t have one, Mangilit asked if he could serve as hers. “I was shocked at his selfless gesture and nervous at the same time.  I accepted his offer.”

“Although I have 18 years of service in the Navy and advise Sailors each day on how to maintain a balance between one’s personal life and professional goals, he reminded me that I fall into that category as well—something I had forgotten,” Canada said. “I was striving to be the best at everything until he challenged my perspective with a simple piece of advice: No one is perfect; Don’t try to be.”

Previously named as the NATEC Site Mentor of the Year, Mangilit expects every Sailor and civilian he advises to share what they’ve learned from him.  His advice to prospective mentors is listen to Sailors and civilians and demonstrate commitment to each of them.

“The Navy is a small place,” Mangilit said. “When you are known in your community for your guidance and leadership, you are easily recommended by your peers and those who you’ve helped.”

His example has inspired others who said they will take on that task. “With guidance and support from CWO4 Mangilit, my successes have positioned me to give back and mentor others,” Zorilla said. “He has impressed and inspired me to be the type of warrant officer that he is.”

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