By Isidro Reyna
GALVESTON, Texas — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District celebrated the Corps' 237th birthday with an awards ceremony, June 7, to recognize an Employee, Engineer and Supervisor of the Year, as well as to honor staff for their contributions to the community, state and nation.
"We're here to reflect on the hard work and achievements of our predecessors, to celebrate our heritage and to acknowledge the people who make this organization great," said Col. Christopher W. Sallese, USACE Galveston District commander. "This celebration honors you, our employees, for a job well done in support of our great nation."
Sandra Arnold, chief of public affairs, was named Supervisor of the Year for her tremendous efforts to increase understanding of the Corps' mission of providing vital public engineering services in peace and war to strengthen the nation's security, energize the economy and reduce risks from disasters. Under Arnold's direction and leadership, the public affairs office implemented new communications initiatives to instill confidence in both internal and external audiences using social media, community outreach, command information and media relations to meet and exceed organizational goals to proactively increase awareness of the value the Corps brings to the local community, state and nation and facilitate two-way dialogue with residents living in the USACE Galveston District.
William (Bill) Krampe, an engineer equipment operator in the district's Houston Project Office, was recognized as the Employee of the Year for his outstanding work ethic and dedication at the Addicks and Barker reservoirs and dams. In his 22 years at the project office, Krampe has served as a liaison between staff and other offices, agencies, visitors and small contractors, in addition to keeping up with maintenance at the office and dams. His knowledge of the project, historical sites, parks and structures have made him an invaluable resource. Additionally, Krampe played an important role in fighting fires that ignited in the reservoir last summer, assisting firefighters with significant information on access capabilities and water sources.
Mark (Steve) Peterson, a structural engineer in the district's Geotechnical and Structures Section, was awarded the Engineer of the Year award for his significant contributions toward several district initiatives, including both the Bridge and Dam Safety programs. Peterson integrated state of the art 3D modeling in his design work to ensure complete and accurate analysis in his projects. Additionally, Peterson provided invaluable mentorship to interns and other engineers in the district throughout the year.
"We do many great things at the Corps, but the heart of our organization is the people and this ceremony serves to recognize their accomplishments," said Sallese. "A special acknowledgement and presentation of a blue star flag to a supervisor of a USACE Galveston District civilian scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan and service awards to recognize employees who dedicated 5 through 40 years of federal service were among the highlights of the celebration."
George Washington appointed the first engineer officers of the Army, June 16, 1775, during the American Revolution, and engineers have served in combat in all subsequent American wars. The Army established the Corps of Engineers as a separate, permanent branch on March 16, 1802, and gave the engineers responsibility for founding and operating the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
Established in 1880, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District plays a key role in America's well-being by keeping waterways open for navigation and commerce and serves the nation as part of the world's largest public engineering, design and construction management agency. Encompassing the Texas coast from Louisiana to Mexico; an area that spans across 50,000 square miles, includes 48 counties, two parishes and 16 congressional districts, the Galveston District successfully executes its mission and remains fully committed to building strong.