Archive for April, 2008

Rebuilding Trust in New Orleans

April 30th, 2008

I just returned from a visit to New Orleans, seeing some of the reconstruction progress as I toured the area with the Emir of Qatar, who generously donated a lot of money to the city to help with the rebuilding. The trip reminded me of a comment we received in a recent blog.

Ray Broussard of New Orleans posted the following comment:

“Public trust and faith in the Corps cannot even be earned again – not in the short term anyway. As before, the Corps will regain public trust very slowly over time as we slowly forget, forgive and die off, unless… structures fail again when tested by storms.”

I’m certain that Mr. Broussard’s comments reflect the feelings of many of his fellow citizens, and I appreciate his candor. I am genuinely empathetic for what the people of the greater New Orleans area have been through. I want you to know that rebuilding your trust is incredibly important to me, and enabling Gulf Coast recovery is our #1 domestic priority.

The progress I see each time I visit is really remarkable. The region has a better hurricane and storm damage reduction system in place than ever before in its history – and it will continue to get better.

But don’t just take my word for it! I encourage you to get out and see for yourselves the gates, the pumps, and all of the work designed to reduce your risk. And remember – that’s “reduce risk,” not “guarantee safety.” It’s incredibly important that everyone remember there is no way to eliminate risk altogether.

We know that we lost the trust and confidence of many citizens of southeast Louisiana in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and we fully understand that regaining their trust and confidence will not be the result of anything that we might say, but through the quality of the work we, and our many partners, are doing.  Deeds, not words.

Civil Works, Corps Projects, Gulf Coast Recovery, Levees , , , ,

Earth Day

April 22nd, 2008

The calendar says that today, April 22, marks the 38th celebration of Earth Day!

Most people don’t think of us this way, but the Corps is actually one of the Nation’s largest environmental agencies.  Taking care of and enhancing the environment is one of our major missions – a part of everything we do.  The same can be said for the sustainability ethic.  

Potential future engineers sport their new U.S. Army Corps of Engineers backpacks on the Capital Mall, while spending Earth Day at the National Sustainable Design Expo

Potential future engineers sport their new U.S. Army Corps of Engineers backpacks on the Capital Mall, while spending Earth Day at the National Sustainable Design Expo

The Army’s Earth Day theme is “Sustaining the Environment for a Secure Future.” That theme recognizes that sustainability is a national security imperative, a strategic framework, a combat multiplier and a driver for innovation.

It is not another “program of the month” only to be discussed during April or on Earth Day.  It’s much more than just an “environmental thing.”

It’s clear that sustainbility and security are connected — sustainability is all about ensuring that our Soldiers today have the capabilities needed to conduct their mission tomorrow. And the Corps’ missions support sustainability — we sustain our water resources, sustain our communities, sustain our Nation’s economic resources and sustain our national security.

We must continue to seek out opportunities to incorporate sustainability in everything we do and share our best practices throughout the Corps and the Army — not just on Earth Day, but every day!

Environment/Sustainability, Miscellaneous "neat stuff" , , ,

Corps Employment

April 21st, 2008

I talk a lot about the importance of getting the right people in the right seat on the right bus in the Corps, but that’s not as easy as it sounds.  So many times I’ve run into people who, when I tell them about the Corps, say to me, “I didn’t know the Corps did that!” So I thought I’d take a minute to talk about some of the many areas of exciting job opportunities we have at the Corps.

First of all, we have offices all over the world. You could work in Japan, Korea, Germany, Hawaii, Iraq or Afghanistan. You could work in any number of cities throughout the continental United States.

Click here for a map of our many district and division offices around the world.

And here’s the one thing that seems to surprise people the most. We’re not just a bunch of engineers. We are so much more than that. Here’s my attempt at a comprehensive list of all the job specialties – but forgive me in advance, because I’m sure I’m leaving some out:

Civil engineers, architects, ecologists, general engineers, geologists, park rangers, computer specialists, hydrologists, water resource planners, accountants, mechanical engineers, physical scientists, information management specialists, environmental engineers, attorneys, human resource specialists, cartographers, public affairs specialists, archaeologists, chemical engineers, economists, foresters, administrative specialists, electrical engineers, social scientists, environmental protection specialists, biologists, mathematicians, contract specialists, auditors, realty specialists, chemists, geographers, urban planners, industrial hygienists, safety specialists, and photographers.

I know – it’s amazing, isn’t it?  But it takes all that and more to manage the many missions of the Corps!

We’re always looking for fresh talent with a strong work ethic, public service orientation, and cutting edge skills.  If you’re at all interested, check out our employment website.

We look forward to having you on our team!

Employment , ,