U.S. Army Col. Jim Chevallier, in his new position as the 502nd Air Base Wing and Joint Base San Antonio vice commander, discusses his vision Aug. 24 at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston.
JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO,Texas —
As Joint Base San Antonio bids adieu to Army Col. Robert Bridgford, JBSA is simultaneously welcoming Army Col. Jim Chevallier to take his place as the 502nd Air Base Wing vice commander and JBSA deputy commander.
Chevallier brings to JBSA prior experience as the chief of staff of United States Forces in Afghanistan, his last assignment.
"My initial impression is that there are many great teams doing great work all across Joint Base San Antonio," he said.
Before he received this assignment, Chevallier was originally going to be stationed at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston with a different role. Once he returned from Afghanistan, he received orders to the 502nd ABW.
Chevallier is highly optimistic about the opportunity.
"The great thing about being in the installation business is we support people in the execution of their mission," he said. "There's a lot of wear and tear on the military services right now. I look forward to being able to influence the support that is given to service members and their families."
Chevallier approaches leadership the same way he thinks everyone should view it within their lives, because he believes everyone has the capability to be a leader.
"I probably have a different definition of leadership than most people," he said. "Most
folks think of leadership as someone who is in a duty position that places them in a supervisory capacity. I would offer that there is leadership at all levels."
Chevallier said being placed in a position coded with a leadership title doesn't matter.
"All it takes is identifying what needs to be done and gathering the necessary resources to take on that challenge," he said. "Whether you're a private, airman basic or four-star general, that's what a leader does."
Chevallier also highlighted selflessness as a quality of a leader and a model service member.
"The ideal service member, in my opinion formed over the years, is disciplined, physically fit, competent in whatever their skill set is and, lastly, recognizes that it's not a job," he said. "We're in a duty position - serving in the armed forces and our mission and our responsibilities are bigger than the individual," he said.
Chevallier is already considering available resources to take on some of the JBSA and wing challenges he will tackle in his role as vice commander.
"There is no secret about the state of the economy for the United States or the world," he said. "Whenever there are economic difficulties, the Department of Defense and all the services take a money cut. We are in a period of dwindling resources - and that's not necessarily a bad thing. It forces us to determine what is really important and focus on those priority efforts that will have the biggest impact on the mission, services members and their families."
Chevallier arrived at Fort Sam Houston about three weeks ago and he has visited all San Antonio locations.
"I've been able to meet a large amount of the team here at Joint Base San Antonio, and I'm looking forward to working with them," Chevallier said. "I'm happy to be joining this team."