JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas –
"Your measure of success will not be the rank you achieve or your below the zone promotions; your measure of success should be if your Airmen follow you."
Col. Christine Erlewine, 502nd Security Forces and Logistics Support Group commander, heard these words early in her career when she was a lieutenant. They have helped shape her success and are part of the lasting footprint she will leave behind as she moves on to her next assignment.
Erlewine relinquishes command of the 502nd SFLSG to Col. Michael Gimbrone Tuesday at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph.
Erlewine is headed to Scott Air Force Base, Ill., to return to Air Mobility Command as the A-4 staff director of resource integration.
"I started my career in AMC so I'm very excited about getting to go back now," said the former AMC squadron commander.
In the summer of 2012, Erlewine arrived at JBSA to be the 902nd Mission Support Group commander and became the 502nd SFLSG commander following the 502nd Air Base Wing's transformation in December 2013.
"I was very excited to join the 902nd MSG," Erlewine said. "At the same time, I knew the wing was going through a transformation effort and I was looking forward to being a part of that, too.
"I think seeing the whole transformation effort come to fruition and actually seeing some of the efficiencies from it has been very gratifying to know that all the work we put into setting up this joint base structure is making us more efficient."
As changes continue to take place at JBSA, Erlewine expressed the importance of embracing progress.
"Change is a constant," Erlewine said. "I have seen many changes in my career and I think you just need to be flexible and not get too set in your ways. Be an advocate for the change, be a part of it and try to understand the bigger picture."
The work Erlewine and her team has done taught her that no issue was too large that it could not be overcome.
"I think here in this environment there were a lot of really large and complex issues that just hadn't been tackled because they were difficult," Erlewine said. "We took on some of those issues and we followed them through."
One of the challenges the team faced was a manpower issue with the 502nd Security Forces Squadron.
"Assigned manpower in the 502nd SFS was lower than we would have liked it to have been," Erlewine said. "Over the past four years, as the joint base stood up, our manpower authorizations were there, but the assigned number stayed level, and we could never get it up to where we needed. We made some changes and swapped some civilian authorizations for military authorizations between our three security forces squadrons and we were able to overcome that manpower challenge. Now we are able to keep our manpower numbers such that we can offer a better level of service across JBSA."
As she prepares to leave, Erlewine will face the familiar challenge of saying farewell to friends and colleagues.
"The thing I will miss the most is the people," Erlewine said. "There have been so many great people here, in the wing, and in the community that love the military. They will certainly be missed as I move on. I think I took care of my group, as their leader, and together we made the mission happen."
To her successor, Erlewine offered a few words.
"Enjoy it," she said. "The time is going to go by really fast. There will be frustrating days, but at the same time there will be a lot of things that, with the help of your team, you will be very proud of.
"This has been a great assignment. JBSA has been a great place to be and San Antonio I truly believe is Military City USA. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. It will definitely be a highlight of my career."