Happy Birthday Galveston District!

Happy 137th Birthday to our “Custodians of the Coast,” the Galveston District!   Wow – 137 years; one of the oldest Districts in the Corps.

Your remarkable history of withstanding disasters to provide dedicated support to local communities and the nation served you well this past year, as you took on Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath. With an impact on so many of your mission areas—emergency management, flood risk management, navigation, regulatory, and others– Harvey challenged each member of the District to accomplish even more.  And accomplish you did.  We all applaud your efforts and actions.

Galveston District has had a strong record as Pacesetters since the arrival of the Galveston engineer to oversee river and harbor improvements on Feb. 25, 1880.  The District built the world’s longest jetties in 1897, helped Galveston recover from the devastation of the Great Storm in 1900 and build the iconic Galveston Seawall, served though two World Wars and other conflicts.  And of course, and more recently, the District withstood and handled Hurricanes Ike and Harvey, two of the costliest hurricanes in our history.  All the while, you have continued your strong tradition of maintaining and protecting the Texas Coast, with its fragile ecosystem and economic powerhouse,   and the people who live there.

The Galveston District has earned quite a birthday celebration this year!  Celebrate your iconic past and all your accomplishments, and continue to look forward to exciting and challenging times to come.

Happy Birthday to each of you!


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

Leadership Development takes Center Stage

The Little Rock District’s Level Two Leadership Development Program class of 2017 completed their year-long endeavor toward greater leadership opportunities with their graduation event Feb. 1.

Little Rock District’s Level 2 Leadership Development Program Class of 2017 celebrate after their graduation ceremony Feb 1. Class members are: (top row, left to right) Michael Ellis, Kevin Patterson, Caleb Young, Michael Worthington, Lee Kirkpatrick, Dylan Edwards, and Miriam Thomas, (front row, left to right) Frank Jordan, Jessica Foiles, Liz Anderson, Siobhan Fabio, Amanda Kovak, Raven Coleman, and LaTasha Braggs.

The program’s director, DeAnn Lehigh encouraged the graduates to take what they had learned from this experience and continue to grow personally and professionally.

“Be yourself and be great at yourself,” said Lehigh. “Leadership is a calling…lead where you can.”

Level two LDP provides participants with experiences designed to increase self-awareness and understanding of their personal strengths and potential for leadership. The program’s objectives are to allow employees to learn about the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; to expose them to leadership principles; and to gain team-building skills.

Little Rock District’s Level 2 Leadership Development Program Class participated in a “ropes” course to help build confidence.

“These graduates have shown they are life-long learners,” said Col. Robert Dixon, Little Rock District Commander. “During your LDP session, you were challenged to think. You had the opportunity to think about different things and look at problems from different angles. Now I challenge you to look critically at the things we do every day and find new solutions to our everyday problems.”

Colonel Dixon, the keynote speaker for the event, went on to stress the importance of relationships formed during learning opportunities like LDP2.

“Relationships matter. The relationships you have formed will serve you well in the future. I look back on relationships I formed over the years during numerous Army training opportunities. These relationships proved most valuable time and time again throughout my career.”

Little Rock District’s Level 2 Leadership Development Program Class works on balance and teamwork prior to the “ropes” course.

He closed his keynote remarks with two stories of personal relationships helping accomplish the Army’s mission and a challenge for each of the graduates.

“Take advantage of opportunities. This was a great opportunity and I know you took full advantage of each session over the last year. If you pass up an opportunity to challenge yourself, you may never know what you may have missed out on in your career.”

And with that, each of the 14 graduates stepped-up to receive their diplomas, a hearty handshake, and congratulations for completing another step of their life-long learning journey.