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MLK Day – A Day On, Not A Day Off! 

MLK Day 2018

On Monday, Jan. 21, we honor the life and legacy of a great American, Dr. Martin Luther King Junior.  Dr. King was one of the most beloved and dynamic civil rights leaders of this Nation, with a legacy of compassion, justice and equality for all. Martin Luther King Jr. Day is truly a unique event:  not only is it a celebration of his birthday, but also a National Day of Service.

In 1983, legislation was signed making Dr. King’s birthday a federal holiday. In 1994, Congress designated MLK Day as a day of service and giving back to our communities, a reflection of his often quoted statement: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?” The theme for this year’s observance is Remember! Celebrate! Act! A Day On, Not A Day Off!

Dr. King served as a Baptist minister and civil rights leader from the mid-1950s until his assassination in 1968. He earned a PhD at the age of 25, and the Nobel Peace Prize when he was only 35 for non-violent resistance to racial prejudice in America. The previous year, at the age of 34, he delivered his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech at the March on Washington. He was a leader with immense personal courage and his love for all people paved the way for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

The U.S. Army and the Southwestern Division are dedicated to leveraging the strength of our diverse force and ensuring equality for all our team members. When individuals succeed, America succeeds. All Soldiers, civilians and family members are a valued part of our team, and their contributions are vital to our success and history. The timeless values Dr. King taught through his example –courage, truth, justice, compassion, dignity, respect, humility and service – are Army and American values.  When we celebrate Dr. King’s dream, we celebrate the American dream.

Find a project in your community or register your own project so that volunteers can find it.    You can go to for more information and to find ways to support the legacy of Dr. King.

Mission/People/Teamwork – PACESETTERS!

Paul E. Owen, P.E.
Brigadier General, US Army Corps of Engineers
Commander, Southwestern Division

Hurricane Maria Deployment Awards Presentation

Among the many missions that the Corps undertakes each year, disaster relief is among them. The Corps deploys personnel to assist with relief efforts in times of crises. Oftentimes, these missions involve relief efforts pertaining to but not limited to hurricanes, wildfires, and earthquakes. Team members work 12 hour days seven days a week for 30 days at a time, with some deployments lasting more than 90 days.

During 2017 and 2018 a catastrophic hurricane pummeled the Caribbean (Maria) causing this region to suffer severe damage, with aftereffects still being felt in 2019. As a result, personnel were needed to assist with various recovery missions. Today, some of the deployed employees are being recognized for their efforts.

The Little Rock District deployed 53 team members to assist with roofing missions during Hurricane Maria.

Deployed employees being recognized for their efforts during Hurricane Maria.

Amber Turnage, Benjamin Bremer, and Mark Harris received the Commander’s Award for Civilian Service for their contributions to the roofing missions.

Ryan King, Telia Mahomes and David Howell received the Achievement Medal for Civilian Service for their contributions to the roofing missions.

Randy Devenport received the Superior Civilian Service Award for his efforts as a local government liaison.  Devenport deployed multiple times for over 90 days.

Emergency deployments are a great opportunity for employees to serve individuals and communities impacted by natural disasters and gain valuable experience outside of their normal USACE job,” said Tony Hill, the Little Rock District’s supervisory emergency manager.

The experience gained in 2017 with Hurricane Maria proved invaluable as the entire SWL Roofing Team deployed  to Hurricane Michael in Florida this past year.

“The hours they were working and how hard everybody was working was just humbling. I was so proud to go down there and see the great things our team was doing. It was an outstanding job,” said Maj. Wade Welsh deputy commander of the Little Rock District.


The official U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Southwestern Division publication