VICKSBURG, Mississippi — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Vicksburg District recognized dedicated personnel at the annual Corps of Engineers Day Awards Ceremony at district headquarters.
The following employees received individual honorary awards:
Maurice Gilmore, Mat Sinking Unit (MSU) chief, received the Employee of the Year Award for his exemplification of Army Values and serving as an outstanding role model for fellow employees.
Keisha Davis, Equal Employment Opportunity specialist, received the Commander’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in EEO. She developed and implemented an Affirmative Action Plan, namely a Disability Program, that emphasized requests for reasonable accommodation.
Ronald Packer, Blakely Mountain Power Plant senior mechanic, received the Paddle Wheel Award for designing and fabricating a portable hydraulic manifold that assisted with expansion joint repairs.
Joshua McCurley, Levee and Drainage Section Design Branch student trainee, was named Headquarters Student of the Year for his valuable assistance and AutoCAD knowledge.
Ryan D. Hellums, DeGray Lake Field Office student trainee, was named the Field Office Student of the Year for his exemplary performance and serving as a point of contact for Recreation.gov.
Rebecca Sigh, budget analyst, received the Volunteer Leadership Award, which recognizes employees who lead special projects that benefit the community, fellow employees and the district.
Stacy Sigman, Lake Ouachita Field Office natural resources manager, received the Gregory C. Raimondo Public Affairs Award for his outstanding support of community and media relations between his office and the district’s Public Affairs Office.
Douglas Ward, Operations and Maintenance supervisor, received the Wage Grade Leadership Award, which recognizes a wage system supervisor who has demonstrated a pattern of excellence in performance of their duties leading their crew to accomplish quality, productive and safe work, serving as a role model for other wage system employees.
Wanda Ashmore, Design Branch budget technician, received the Administrator Award, which recognizes non-supervisory employees in the business-technical or administrative support occupations.
Laura Barlow, program analyst, received the Professional Award, which recognizes employees in positions covered by the Office of Personnel Management’s qualification standards for administrative, management, professional and scientific positions other than engineers and scientists.
Kyle Tedford, natural resources specialist and Enid Lake program manager, received the Park Ranger Award for his outstanding performance in visitor assistance, water safety and natural resource management duties.
Bryton Hixson, environmental specialist, received the Scientist Award, which recognizes employees in environmental fields.
Robin Blake, area engineer, received the Engineer Award for exemplary performance.
Johnathan “Robbie” Morphew, park ranger, received the Emergency Manager of the Year Award for his dual role as Mission Manager and Action Officer for the Vicksburg District’s Debris, Planning and Response Team during the Hurricane Ian response and recovery operations.
Julie Vicars, data scientist, received the STEM Employee of the Year Award, which gives special recognition to the employee who has demonstrated a pattern of high achievement, excellence, and leadership in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math.
The following teams received honorary awards:
The district’s Navigation Team was recognized for their performance and professionalism during the 2022 low water event on the Mississippi River. They worked tirelessly to complete all dredging work, which keeps waterways navigable for commercial vessels.
The Mat Sinking Unit (MSU) Revetment Team received the Wage Grad Team Award for their accomplishments during the 2022-2023 season. They continue to demonstrate excellence and dedication to the district’s mission.
The crew of the Motor Vessel William James received the Team Safety Award for working in treacherous river conditions last year while successfully performing their duties.
The Vicksburg District Dive Team also received a Team Safety Award for their bravery and dedication to their clients.
The following employees were also recognized:
Lance Gullet, River Operations Branch Maintenance Section chief, received an Achievement Medal for his work from January 2022 to February 2023, which included completing the Lindy C. Boggs Lock and Dam dewatering, Everglade restorations, repairing over 30 levee and dam slides and multiple diving missions.
Roger Gaston, towboat captain, received an Achievement Medal for assuming responsibility of both Maintenance Section vessels and towing a crane barge to assist the USACE Memphis District’s articulated concrete mat (ACM) loading efforts.
Matthew Clark, assistant district counsel, received a Commendation Medal for providing legal services, advice and guidance to the Commander and to supervisory staff throughout the district.
Emergency Operations Center Manager Marc Gerald, Emergency Management Specialist Blair McWhirter and Aviation Manager Stephen Kellet each received Commendation Medals for supporting an unprecedent number of emergencies in 2022.
Jesse Huskey, engineering equipment operator supervisor, received a Commendation Medal for his leadership in the River Operations Branch.
Michael Parker, load handling equipment program manager, received a Commendation Medal for assisting the Lindy C. Boggs Lock and Dam de-watering, the Dredge Debuque and USACE Memphis District’s mat loading operations.
Michael Warren, supervisory facility operations specialist, received a Commendation Medal for his role in the Lindy C. Boggs Lock and Dam dewatering, Everglade restorations, repairing over 30 levee and dam slides and multiple diving missions.
Laura Barlow, program analyst, received a Commendation Medal for providing management support for funding and budget matters during the 2022-2023 Low Water Campaign on the Mississippi River.
Charles “Chuck” Ashley, Dredge Jadwin master, received a Commendation Medal for supervising his vessel and successfully dredging difficult areas in multiple districts throughout the 2022-2023 Low Water Campaign on the Mississippi River.
Keisha Davis, Equal Employment Opportunity specialist, received a Commendation Medal for her outstanding service.
Demetric Erwin, Small Business Office chief, received a Commendation Medal for leading the district’s Small Business Program, which was named the Federal Buying Agency of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Government Purchase Card Coordinator Nekeidra Anderson, Budget Analyst Liddelle Ditto, Senior Contract Specialist Judy Huell, Senior Contract Specialist Andrew McCaskill and Senior Contract Specialist Genna Wall each received Certificates of Achievement for their outstanding contributions to the district’s Contracting Division.
Contract System Administrator Michael Ballard, Government Purchase Card Business Manager Jaime Lynn Barnes, Supervisory Contract Specialist Branch Chief Dustin Cannada, Contract Specialist Lead Richard Hester, Supervisory Contract Specialist Branch Chief Robert Ellis Screws received Achievement Medals for their contributions to Contracting Division.
Electrician Roger Arnold, Construction Control Representative Gerald Bland, Construction Control Representative Tanner Chambers, Civil Engineering technician Robert Michael Dale, engineer Leah DeYoung, Vessel Pilot Shannon Montgomery, general equipment mechanic supervisor Thomas Parrish, Facility Operations Specialist Carl Smith and Environmental Specialist Robert Turcotte received Achievement Medals for their exceptional achievements during the 2022-2023 Low Water Campaign. They supported vital dredging operations.
The USACE Vicksburg District is engineering solutions to the nation’s toughest challenges. The Vicksburg District encompasses a 68,000-square-mile area across portions of Mississippi, Arkansas, and Louisiana, that holds nine major river basins and incorporates approximately 460 miles of mainline Mississippi River levees. The Vicksburg District is engaged in hundreds of projects and employs approximately 1,100 personnel.