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Employee Spotlight

SWD welcomes Ollar as new deputy commander

Southwestern Division Deputy Commander Col. Donovan Ollar (Photo by Andre Mayeaux)
Southwestern Division Deputy Commander Col. Donovan Ollar (Photo by Andre Mayeaux)

by Martie Cenkci
Southwestern Division Public Affairs

Col. Donovan D. Ollar became the Deputy Commander of the Southwestern Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, on July 17, 2015. Prior to this assignment, he was Sidewinder 07, the Senior Engineer Trainer, National Training Center, Fort Irwin, Calif.

The Colorado Springs, Colo., native has served in a variety of command and staff positions, including Commander, Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 4th BCT, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kan. Prior to taking command, he served as the Battalion Executive Officer and Operations Officer for the 84th Engineer Battalion and Maneuver Planner with the 25th Infantry Division, both at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. He also served as a Project Engineer with the Far East District, Korea; Engineer Captain’s Career Course Small Group Instructor and Aide de Camp to the Commanding General of the Maneuver Support Center, Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.

His overseas deployments have included Uphold Democracy in Haiti (1995-96); Operation Enduring Freedom in the Philippines in 2004; and in Afghanistan from 2004-2005 and again 2012-2013. He also deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2006-2007 and 2009–2010.

“Col. Ollar is an outstanding addition to our leadership team,” said Brig. Gen. David C. Hill, Southwestern Division commander. “He brings proven command and leadership experience, combined with engineering and professional expertise, all of which will help us as we work to deliver value to the region and to the Nation.”

Ollar is a 1993 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering. He also holds a Master of Science degree in Engineering Management from the University of Missouri at Rolla and is a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Missouri.

His military awards and decorations include four Bronze Star Medals, five Meritorious Service Medals, two Army Commendation Medals, the Joint Service Achievement Medal, three Army Achievement Medals, the National Defense Service Medal (with Bronze Star), the Iraqi Campaign Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Korean Defense Service Medal, the United Nations Medal, the NATO Medal, and the Armed Forces Service Medal. He has also earned the Combat Action Badge, the Parachutists Badge and Air Assault Badge.


Half a Century of Dedication, Duty to Our Nation

Dr. Randy Hathaway, Little Rock District’s Deputy Engineer, recounts more than 20 years of dedicated to the Corps during Henry Hollins’ retirement ceremony in Little Rock this spring.  Hollins, seated next to his wife Eva Hollins, coupled more than 20 years of civil service with 30-plus years of active duty in the U.S. Air Force for a total of 51 years of total federal service.
Dr. Randy Hathaway, Little Rock District’s Deputy Engineer, recounts more than 20 years of dedicated to the Corps during Henry Hollins’ retirement ceremony in Little Rock this spring. Hollins, seated next to his wife Eva Hollins, coupled more than 20 years of civil service with 30-plus years of active duty in the U.S. Air Force for a total of 51 years of total federal service.

By Miles Brown
Little Rock District
Public Affairs Office

Retiring after more than 20 years of service to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is no small feat and deserves proper recognition for dedicated service. Retiring for the second time in a career that spanned 51 years of total federal service commands respect and admiration from most if not all who hear the story.

Henry Hollins, a facilities specialist for the Little Rock District, retired from active duty with the U.S. Air Force as a Chief Master Sergeant after 30 plus years of honorable service. For some that would have been a satisfying and fitting end to their full-time working days – but not for Hollins. He soon found a new way to serve our Nation.

He started his second career with the Corps in 1995 shortly after his retirement from active duty and never missed a step. According to Dr. Randy Hathaway, the District’s Deputy Engineer, from the moment Hollins started working in Little Rock he was constantly moving.

“One thing you could always count on from Henry was a smile and a good morning sir – if you could catch him,” said Hathaway. “He would move so quickly from one office to the next that it was almost like he was running all day. And I don’t remember a time when he used the elevators in our seven-story building – he always took the stairs.

“What I will forever remember about Henry is his attitude,” added Hathaway. “We could all learn a lesson about how to go about your work, your day and your life from the way Henry approached every task. He arrived every morning with a positive attitude and tried his very best to make everyone here feel important and valued.”

Hollins’ duties brought him in contact with almost every member of the District, and many expressed their appreciation and admiration for having known him over the last two decades and beyond.

One of the guests in attendance at this second retirement recounted his first meeting with then Chief Master Sergeant Hollins more than 25 years earlier.

Dean Erickson, Little Rock District’s Chief of Logistics, presents a crystal Corps Castle to Henry Hollins in appreciation for his service and dedication to duty.  Hollins served as the District’s facility manager for more than 20 years.
Dean Erickson, Little Rock District’s Chief of Logistics, presents a crystal Corps Castle to Henry Hollins in appreciation for his service and dedication to duty. Hollins served as the District’s facility manager for more than 20 years.

Retiring after more than 20 years of service to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is no small feat and deserves proper recognition for dedicated service. Retiring for the second time in a career that spanned 51 years of total federal service commands respect and admiration from most if not all who hear the story.

“Chief Hollins made a big impression during my early years as a second lieutenant,” said A.J. Brown, a District contract specialist. “He taught me how to be an Air Force officer and much more.”

Another guest attempted to sum-up Hollins’ life and career in one word, “honorable.”

“Henry conducts himself honorably in every aspect of his life and work,” said Sandra Easter, Chief of the District’s Contracting Division. “I believe he is the most honorable person I have ever met.”

When it was finally time for the man of the hour to say a few words, in typical Hollins fashion, he was humble and thankful.

“I want to thanks each of you for coming out today and making the last 20 years the most wonderful and memorable of my career,” said Hollins. “I had the privilege of coming to work every day with some of the best people in the Corps. Thanks again for your thoughtfulness. I will truly miss all of you.”

Many in attendance at Hollins’ final retirement ceremony and those who could not be in attendance wish him the best that life has to offer and a slower paced life – although most do not think he will ever slowdown.