All posts by dbraxton

Whitney Lake Park Ranger recognized for saving drowning victims

Whitney, TEXAS – Park Ranger Jarod Briscoe received the Fort Worth District Castle Hero Award Nov. 16 at Whitney Lake.

The Castle Hero Award was established at the request of former District Commander Colonel (ret) Christopher Martin, to recognize district employees who in the course of their duties, have taken direct action which resulted in saving a life.

Based on Briscoe’s actions during a recent drowning incident at Soldier’s Bluff Park at Whitney Lake, demonstrates why he is deserving of this award.

On July 31, 2018, Park Ranger Jarod Briscoe responded to a local law enforcement dispatch on the radio for a drowning in progress at Soldier’s Bluff Park, Whitney Lake. Ranger Briscoe was near the park and arrived in less than three minutes, well ahead of any other first responders.  He took a rescue throw bag and two personal flotation devices and responded to the shoreline where the incident was occurring.  When he arrived, one male – who later was confirmed as a fatality, had already gone under and two more men were struggling in the water.  Two of the individuals had been swimming and cliff jumping, and the other jumped in to help. The shoreline is a sheer rock bluff, approximately eight feet above the waterline, with no way up for hundreds of feet in each direction.

Ranger Briscoe threw a life jacket to the individual who jumped in to help, and he was able to put it on and stay afloat.  Another bystander was trying to help the other young man, who was struggling to stay afloat in the rough water, as he pounded against the cliff. Ranger Briscoe threw him the rescue throw bag, but he was too fatigued and panicked to hold on to it. Briscoe then threw the second PFD and he was able to hold onto it and regain some composure.  He was not able to pull himself up with the rope, so Ranger Briscoe pulled him up the cliff face and onto shore.  First responders then arrived and assisted the young men up the cliff and onto shore.

Ranger Briscoe is relatively new to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Fort Worth District.  He is a former Army Ranger and responded very well to an emergency situation.  Despite one tragic loss, without Ranger Briscoe’s timely and effective response, the event would have almost certainly involved three fatalities.

Park Ranger Jarod Briscoe received the Fort Worth District Castle Hero Award Nov. 16 at Whitney Lake.
The Castle Hero Award was established at the request of former District Commander Colonel (ret) Christopher Martin, to recognize district employees who in the course of their duties, have taken direct action which resulted in saving a life.

From the desk of the Commander, Fort Worth District – Another successful year end!

By Col. Kenneth N. Reed, Fort Worth District Commander

Team, first I would like to thank you for your hard work, support and attendance at the Change of Command ceremony. My family and I greatly appreciate the warm welcome and we look forward to being part of the Fort Worth District family.

One of the constants of being in the military or as a civilian, working alongside military members is change. For a predominantly civilian employee organization like the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, it can cause some disruptions as the “green suiters” come and go every two to four years as they navigate their career paths.

With each new leader comes different ideas, approaches and personalities that units must learn about and adapt to. The same is true for a new commander, but instead of learning how one person conducts business, a commander must learn about several hundred team members.

Over the next few months, to help make the transition easier I want to share my leadership philosophy with you all so you can get an idea of where I’m coming from.

Some of you may have already heard me talk about my leadership equation (DC3+4) that I have developed over the years. Discipline (D), competence, commitment and caring (C3), and the (+4) is protecting our reputation, leadership cannot be waived, have fun and never quit.

As I familiarize myself with the District’s people, places and projects our first challenge together is on the horizon, the end of year closeout. With the end of the 2018 Fiscal Year, I feel it’s a great opportunity to focus on discipline.

For a military organization like USACE discipline is the key to success on many levels. Self-discipline, professional discipline and organizational discipline breeds success. It ensures we take a professional approach to everything we do. Whether its quality assurance on job sites or taking a second and even third look at a report, having the discipline to take the extra time ensures we are delivering quality work to our nation.

I am sure we will have a successful end of FY closeout and I look forward to the beginning of a new Fiscal Year with the premier district in USACE.