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October 30th, 2008

Building a Strong Body, Mind and Corps

As my kids and grandkids get ready for Halloween — I always look forward to seeing their pictures — I couldn’t think of a better way to finish off one of my favorite months.

Here in Washington, October has been a month of physical fitness and mental endurance. Earlier this month some of our Corps’ military and civilian members ran the Army 10-miler, while members of our team completed the Marine Corps Marathon last week. And of course, my military staff recently conducted their bi-annual physical fitness test.

Our military physical fitness tests always start by rising at “oh-dark hundred” (that’s military speak for early in the morning), and driving to Fort McNair in northern Virginia. There, we do as many pushups as we can in two minutes, as many sit-ups as we can in two minutes and we run two miles in a timed event along the parade field. We require our Soldiers to maintain a high level of physical fitness, because a healthy, fit and strong body goes a long way towards having a healthy and strong mind.

One of my top priorities as USACE commander is to build our organization “strong,” so that it is built to last. I want to keep this organization “fit,” so that we are able to make the best decisions at the right time.

One way we’re building strong is to hire passionate and talented people — folks who care about the role they play in providing the infrastructure our Nation needs. Folks who understand that they help to strengthen our economy and keep our country, Armed Forces and their families safe and secure. Folks who are willing to be stretched, who want to explore use of the latest technology on everything from geospatial mapping to the latest designing and drafting software.

The Corps is all about people. The right people make a difference, and they — more than our programs — will determine our organization’s ability to succeed now and in the future.

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