Tag Archives: Dan Reeves

Eric Gillespie, Lockmaster and USACE Diver

Position: Lockmaster/USACE Diver

Years with SWL: 18

Hometown: Heber Springs, AR

Education: High School/Military

Certifications: USACE Working Diver, Diving Supervisor, CPR, AED, Dan 02 Emergency Oxygen Provider, Rigger, Signalman, Lock Operator Certified

Hobbies: Hunting, Fishing, Mud Riding with my boys


Q:  You have been with the district 18 years, how has your job changed over the years?

A:  The biggest change has been going from a Wage Grade employee to a Supervisor. Not only am I accountable for myself and my actions, but I’m accountable for my Locks and the men that work for me.

Q:  What positions have you held in the district?

A: Maintenance Mechanic at Ozark Power House

River Harbor Maintenance Worker at Dardanelle Maintenance Terminal

Rigger at Dardanelle Maintenance Terminal

Rigger on the M/V Shorty Baird

Lock and Dam Operator at Murray Lock and Dam

Quality Assurance & Quality Control Inspector in Iraq

Lock Leader/Mechanic at Murray Lock and Dam

Lockmaster over Murray and Toad Suck Ferry Locks

USACE Diver/Dive Supervisor
Q: What was your favorite job position and why?

A: Lock and Dam Operator

I would say it has been my favorite position because it was just me running the lock and dam. If something happened then it was on me to take care of it. I enjoyed the quiet time when on shift by myself, you come in do your job and go home. It doesn’t get much easier than that.

 Q:  What are your short and long term professional and personal goals?

A:  Professional –

My short term goal is to make the locks I’m over a better place to work and get the team and family atmosphere back in the locks.

My long term goal is to get back into hydro power and be the third generation Gillespie to retire from Greers Ferry Power House

A:  Personal –

Short and Long term goal is to be the best husband and father to my wife and kids, and to give them everything I can while the good Lord gives me the opportunity too.

Q:  What do you do to instill your veteran knowledge in new employees?

A:  I try to lead by example, there is nothing I would ask my guys to do that I haven’t done or won’t do. I will be right beside them no matter what the job is, teaching them what I know and learning new things and ways to do things together as a team.

Q:  What do you enjoy most about your job?

A:  Working hard to make things better for my guys at the locks and the divers on the dive team

Q:  What projects are you working on now and what are some of the challenges?

A:  Underwater inspections of the Center Post Receivers to determine if they are good or bad so we can set lock closure to preform much needed maintenance. The biggest challenge is the fact that you have zero visibility in the river so you just can’t look at it and say yes it’s good.

Q:  What has been your favorite project you have worked on?

A:   I would have to say my favorite project would be the 2015 dewater at Montgomery Point Lock, we finished the dewater two and a half weeks earlier than scheduled. I felt like I accomplished something every day when I left work.

Q:  What ways have you found to balance your home life with the busy schedule you have at work?

A:  Leave work at the gate when you leave at the end of the day to go home, it will be there when you get back. Enjoy home when you are at home.

Q:  Tell us something about yourself we don’t know?

A:   Anyone that knows me knows I’m pretty straight forward, what you see is what you get. Don’t ask if you don’t want to know, cause I’ll shoot you straight

Dripping in champagne the M/V Dan Reeves gets to work

With the traditional smashing of a champagne bottle, the latest addition to the Corps’ fleet of tow boats is officially christened the Motor Vessel Dan Reeves.

Corps employees, Reeves’ family members and friends, and people from across the navigation industry gathered at Murray Lock and Dam in Little Rock, Arkansas, to formally christen the M/V Dan Reeves as it is placed into service in the Little Rock District.

Corps employees, Reeves’ family members and friends, and people from across the navigation industry gathered at Murray Lock and Dam in Little Rock, Arkansas, to formally christen the M/V Dan Reeves as it is placed into service in the Little Rock District.

“By naming this vessel the Motor Vessel Dan Reeves, we get to honor a member of our Corps family who made a big impact on the Little Rock District, the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System and our country,” said Col. Courtney W. Paul, district commander.

Dan Reeves retired Jan. 3, 1991 after more than 30 years of service, all with the Army Corps of Engineers, Little Rock District. His dedication, loyalty, and faithful service contributed substantially to the successful operation of the MKARNS.

“His contributions have far outlasted his career and the system’s outstanding reputation for reliability is largely attributable to his work,” added Paul.






Lee Bass, former Reeves colleague, remembered his friend and coworker as a man who could be counted on to find solutions to the hardest problems.

“I think it [the new tow boat] is truly fitting and worthy of the name Dan Reeves,” said Bass. “Tow boats do all the heavy hauling and Dan was considered, a workhorse of an engineer.”

MV Reeves 2
Bass said that Dan’s genius helped establish the MKARNS as one of the most reliable in the nation. Reliable navigation system, reliable Dan.

“Dan had several unique qualities,” said Bass. “The most impressive was his problem solving capabilities. He could see what caused problems most people would miss. He also had a knack for finding solutions and developing detailed sketches to make the repairs. His ability as a human calculator and problem solving was utterly amazing.  Utterly amazing results from amazing Dan.”

The crowning moment of the ceremony came as Virginia Reeves, Dan Reeves’ widow, joined district leaders on stage to pass the ship’s Bible to the vessel’s new captain Allen Best followed by Reeves’ niece, Patrina Greenway, smashing a champagne bottle on the hull.

MV Reeves 3


“Our entire family was very pleased with the whole event,” said Gregg Greenway, nephew of Reeves.  “It exceeded all of our expectations and I learned things about Uncle Dan that I didn’t know. Plus the boat was way nicer than I pictured it. I know that Uncle Dan would be proud.”

And with that, the newest addition to the district’s inventory baring Reeves’ name is ready for service. The M/V Dan Reeves is a high-tech tow boat designed for maintenance and repair activities on the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System infrastructure. The system includes 445 miles of navigation channel, 18 lock and dam structures, four federal powerhouses, and numerous park and recreation waterfront areas and boat ramps. The majority of these activities require heavy lift capability and are inaccessible from land.