For Mentoring Month, we are continuing to hear from people all over the U.S., learning about their mentoring experiences and the mentors who have greatly influenced their lives. We spoke with Jason Nichols, a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army, who is currently attending flight school in Fort Rucker, Alabama. During his flight training, Jason discovered a true mentor in his instructor pilot Mr. Martin.
From 2nd LT Jason Nichols:
I had an instructor pilot named Mr. Martin. He had been teaching the initial part of flight training for about 25 years, so needless to say, he knew what he was doing. To be honest, he made my life rather miserable, my days long and stressful for 8 weeks straight. However, it wasn’t until the end that I realized what he had done. He had taken me from a regular college graduate and had given me the basic skills to not only fly a helicopter, but the beginning qualities of an aviator. As I progressed through the subsequent phases of flight training, many of his lessons and “tedious” tasks held true, even through the more advanced portions. While I strongly disliked him for it at the time, he taught me more than I could have ever known. The work ethic that he pushed me to adopt and the thick skin he helped me grow will help me throughout my time here at flight school, and most likely into the Army. I would like to sincerely thank Mr. Martin for what he does, and all the hard work that he puts into making us young aviators the best we can be.
2LT Jason Nichols