Tag Archives: Little Rock District

Little Rock District Civilian of the Year

The 2017 Little Rock District Civilian of the Year award was bestowed on Joel Epperson, deputy operations project manager for the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System (MKARNS) project office, during the district’s annual Corps Day award ceremony June 21.

“I was completely shocked when my supervisor told me that I was selected for this award,” said Epperson. “It is a humbling experience to be nominated much less win such a high honor.”

Joel Epperson (center) receives his award from COL Robert Dixon, Little Rock District Commander and Craig Pierce, District Deputy for Programs and Project Management.

Epperson started his Corps career more than 31 years ago working at Lake Dardanelle on the MKARNS. He has always believed that hard work would pay-off and did not go looking for promotions. Those promotions found him over the years.

“I never thought about my next job or promotion, but somehow things just lined-up perfect and I was selected for new opportunities at just the right time for me, my family and the Corps. My most recent move had me leaving a staff of 17 to leading a team of more than 200 people up and down the MKARNS,” said Epperson.

And according to Epperson, a native of Conway, that move came with its share of challenges and rewards.

“My current position has a lot of moving parts and a huge annual budget. My team works all shifts, 24/7, 365 days a year. Making sure we have the right people in the right places at the right time, with all the challenges of employee turnover, deployments and temporary duty assignments keeps me on my toes.

“But I find the most rewarding part of the job is the people. Hiring quality people to fill key positions and helping them learn their new job is very rewarding,” according to Epperson.

Joel Epperson, Little Rock District’s 2018 Civilian of the Year, discusses operations at Toad Suck Lock on the MKARNS. Epperson, a native of Conway, Arkansas has worked in the district for 31 years.

Those people working across Arkansas on the navigation system in turn help drive Epperson.

“I am inspired by our people,” said Epperson. “What they do each and every day pushes me to do better. I work hard every day to take care of our people and keep my main focus on the site offices across the [MKARNS] system so they can remain focused on their mission.”

According to the award submission, Epperson “displays professionalism and integrity in all actions, both on and off duty. In addition, Epperson has performed his supervisory duties in an exemplary manner while taking the time to mentor the next generation of leaders within the organization.”

The one main theme that recurs while talking with Epperson is family and friends. Their support has helped him reach his current position and be recognized with this award.

Joel Epperson, deputy operations project manager for the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System (MKARNS) project office, is the Little Rock Distirct’s 2018 Civilian of the Year

“I could not have accomplished half the things I have during my career without the love and support of my family,” said Epperson. “They have always stood with me and that goes for all my brothers and sisters in the [Little Rock] district. I feel like all the people I work with day in and day out are my extended family. That is a great feeling to have at work.”

SWD is Hiring

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Southwestern Division is hiring! We are looking to fill several hundred positions over the next few years.

The Southwestern Division is a HIGH PERFORMING ORGANIZATION that reliably delivers QUALITY engineering products and services to the region and around the world. SWD needs to RECRUIT → HIRE → DEVELOP → RETAIN several hundred positions in order to maintain our HIGH levels of service. SWD has approximately 2,700 civilians and soldiers that carry out our complicated missions on a daily basis.

Jobs range from all aspects of coastal/water resources engineering, construction, flood control, navigation, disaster response, and military construction activities. In support of other programs, we hire large numbers of environmental science professionals, biologists, physical scientists, geologists, hydrologists, and others.

To see available openings go to:

SWD:                    https://go.usa.gov/xUdCR
Galveston:         https://go.usa.gov/xUdCn
Little Rock:        https://go.usa.gov/xUdCP
Fort Worth:       https://go.usa.gov/xUdCy
Tulsa:                     https://go.usa.gov/xUdCw

The Corps offers a robust package of benefits to its employees:

  • 10 paid Federal Holidays
  • Annual Leave— Our beginning employees earn nearly 3 weeks (13 days of annual leave)
  • Sick Leave— USACE employees earn 13 days of sick leave every year, with the ability to carry over existing sick leave to following years
  • Medical Insurance— Employees chose from a number of options to include Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO) and Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs).
  • Dental & Vision— Our employees use the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP).
  • Flexible Spending Accounts— Our employees may contribute a portion of their salaries on a pre-tax basis to pay for heal or dependent care costs.
  • Long Term Care Insurance— USACE employees are eligible to purchase coverage for themselves and/or eligible families to provide financial relief should they require lengthy or lifelong assistance.
  • Life Insurance— Our employees eligible for the Federal Employees Group Life Insurance. They may choose form the Basic Options and three forms of Optional Insurance.
  • Retirement— USACE employees are covered under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS). Employees accrue a retirement benefit of 1% of their annual salary for every year of service.
  • Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)— A tax-deferred savings and investment plan with the same type of savings and tax benefits as 401(k) plans with private corporations. USACE matches your contributions on the first 5% of your pay.
  • Alternate Work Schedules— Our employees may fulfill their 80-hour biweekly work schedule in a number of ways.
  • Telework— Eligible employees may arrange to work from home when their work can be performed away from the office.
  • Working Overseas— USACE employees are eligible for exciting and rewarding assignments in Europe, the Middle East and the Far East.
  • Advanced Education — USACE employees may compete for paid programs to finish their degree or to receive their Master’s degree from the Army War College or National Defense University.