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Corps of Engineers general visits Fort Hood

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Posted: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 4:30 am

The Fort Worth district, which includes Fort Hood, recently hosted the commanding general of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at various projects within the district’s oversight.

Lt. Gen. Thomas P. Bostick, chief of engineers, spent two days meeting district team members, toured current and recently completed projects and briefed on the various relationships the district has cultivated with its customers.

The 53rd U.S. Army Chief of Engineers’ visit began at Fort Hood, where he received command briefings from Southwestern Division Commander Brig. Gen. Thomas W. Kula and Col. Charles H. Klinge Jr., commander of the Fort Worth district. Prior to an overview of the Central Texas Area Office and windshield tour of the various projects at Fort Hood, he was briefed by Kevin Burgin, wounded warrior liaison, on the district’s support and initiatives for wounded warriors.

“We need to keep going at it to help our wounded either return to duty or help them transition successfully,” Bostick said. We must make a difference and find that win-win scenario. It’s the right thing to do.”

Burgin continued to expound on the volunteer efforts of the district to put on hunts and other events for the wounded warriors while on route to see what the district was doing to enhance the quality of life for all at Fort Hood.

Darnall update

Bostick’s first stop was to the new Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center construction site. The chief was briefed by Bryan Kotalik, construction representative, who shared some of his personal story.

“I was very pleased to have had the opportunity to meet with Gen. Bostick and share my story with him, to include my transition from active duty to (the Corps of Engineers) and the experiences I have gained,” Kotalik said.

According to the chief, the corps needs to find ways to recruit, train and grow its people.

“We grow them through education, assignment and experience. We need to send them to school and offer them assignments that provide a wider range of skills,” Bostick said. “It’s great to spend time with interns. They are passionate about their involvement.”

Kotalik said he left the group inspiring and encouraging words for the younger generation in the corps. “He reinforced (the corps’) vital role in the Army, specifically reinforcing everything we do, especially the building on the new hospital, is to provide the best possible conditions for all the soldiers,” Kotalik said.

From the hospital site, Bostick got the opportunity to visit a completed Warrior Transition Barracks and the Spirit of Fort Hood Chapel. From site to site, the reports to the chief were positive and praised the working relationships between the district and the end users.

According to Brian Dosa, director of Fort Hood’s Directorate of Public Works, the corps has always been results oriented and focuses on “How can we? Vice, why can’t we?”

San Antonio stop

The second leg of the corps commander’s visit was to the San Antonio Area Office on Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston and to the San Antonio Military Medical Center.

At the office, Bostick held a town hall meeting with more than 100 district team members.

“Thanks for the hard work, dedication and how you represent the Army values and professionalism,” Bostick said. “This is where the work really happens, at the districts. When you look at all you do and have done, you should be proud.”

He recognized several individuals for their hard work and dedication. One presentation was to Wayne Carter, chief of San Antonio’s Technical Engineering Branch. Bostick presented Carter with the Bronze de Fleury Medal.

“It was a humbling experience to be considered by my fellow engineers as being worthy of such a prestigious award,” Carter said. “The icing on the cake was the opportunity to visit with our new chief and be the recipient of the de Fleury Medal presented by Lt. Gen. Bostick. Wow, what a way to end my (corps) career.”

Bostick concluded his tour with a look at the Emergency Department at the San Antonio Military Medical Center.

“When it comes down to it, the future of (the corps) is in its people,” he said. “It’s not about facilities, weapon systems or buildings but about our people. We have people with good hearts and good heads; I’ll take those people that we have in this district and around the corps, any day.”

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