You voluntarily choose to deploy as a Civilian member of the USACE team to support the construction mission taking place in overseas countries. One member who chose to selflessly serve was Derland Ellison, an Office Engineer/Contract Closeout Manager.
Deployed with the USACE Afghanistan District he processed construction change orders/modifications for the Kabul Resident Office, performing Quality Assurance and oversight on the District closeout policy, making sure contracts were properly closed out.
Ellison, who also served in the U. S. Air Force for nine years in two Red Horse squadrons, arrived at the Afghanistan District in late August from the Mobile District at MacDill Air Force Base Resident Office, Tampa, FL. “People who know about USAF Civil Engineers know Red Horse,” said Ellison.
He has been with USACE for 10 years, starting with the Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) in the Geosciences Lab, and was recruited by USACE ERDC after performing several Airfield Damage Test/Repair studies that included Red Horse and the Navy Seabees.
“If you are looking to make money while in a fast pace and steep learning curve environment, then this is the place for you as long as you can handle a little distance from your loved ones,” said Ellison as he spoke about his shortened deployment with the District.
His message to those planning to join this great team at the Afghanistan District or on any overseas deployment is to prepare for deployment as much as you can. Prepare your home, car, family, and mail personal affairs, etc. before you get to where you are going, because the less stress you have at home he says the less stress you will have deployed. He mentioned that five previous deployments have taught him this lesson.
Ellison was offered an opportunity he couldn’t turn down and had to redeploy sooner than expected. For his service to the NATO mission and the USACE mission in Afghanistan he was presented with the NATO medal and the Global War on Terrorism Medal.