News: Career spans more than four decades Man of few words leaves lasting impression
Story by Jo Adail Stephenson
FORT LEE, Va. - Eric Erickson is a man of few words but when he talks, he speaks words of wisdom acquired during his 42 years of federal service.
Erickson, a Defense Contract Management Agency Combat Support Center program analyst, is retiring at the end of December almost to the day he began his federal service career in 1969. He offered sage advice to new and long-time DCMA employees.
“You have to expect some change. You have to be flexible,” he said.
The advice served Erickson well as he began his career serving in the Air Force from 1969 to 1974 as a missile launch officer stationed mostly at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont., and later beginning employment with the organization which would eventually become DCMA. Erickson would come to know change well as the organization changed from the Defense Supply Agency to the Defense Logistics Agency and then to the Defense Contract Management Command, a command within DLA, and finally to DCMA.
Having experienced a lot of change, Erickson said it can sometimes “morph” into new forms. “You don’t even know what it’s going to change into, so you have to be flexible,” he added.
His flexibility has been an asset throughout his career. Erickson touched the entire spectrum of the agency’s Combat Support Center as he performed his responsibilities and assignments in support of DCMA-assigned personnel who deployed in support of operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo and Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation New Dawn.
For his service, Erickson was presented the civilian career service award by CSC Director Alva Pace at a recent ceremony held at DCMA headquarters.
During the ceremony, when the time came for Erickson to speak, his brief 20-second speech left a lasting impression with the few words he spoke. “It’s been an honor to serve these 42 years and it’s time to thank everyone who’s helped me on my journey as I journey into retirement. I just want to remind you that you are doing a very important job and continue, as always, to do your best,” he said.
As he begins a new stage in his life in the coming new year, Erickson indicated “it is time” for another change. Displaying the dry sense of humor with which others attribute to him, he said, “Full-time idleness isn’t very promising but part-time idleness is appealing.”
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