Vicksburg District celebrates 149th anniversary

Published 2:29 pm Tuesday, August 23, 2022

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Vicksburg District commemorated 149 years of service to the nation and recognized distinguished personnel service with Founder’s Day at district headquarters on Aug. 18.

Vicksburg District Commander Col. Christopher Klein recognized 154 employees with five to 45 years of service.

This year’s special recognition award ceremony included civil engineer Brian Oliver, who received the USACE Instrumentation and Performance Monitoring Award for his leadership in, and commitment to, the evaluation and assessment of instrumentation data.

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Chief Information Officer employees D.W. Long and Mark Gause also received certificates of appreciation for their technological support and exceptional customer service to the district.

Eight employees graduated from the Vicksburg District Leadership Program, a yearlong undertaking that provides personnel with extracurricular assignments designed to acclimate them to future supervisory positions.

The graduates included Rachelle Androwski, Tim Campion, Matthew Clark, Chris Gurner, Caleb McNair, Story Moller, Carrie Ogborn-Smith and Steven Tuggle.

The incoming VLDP class of 2023 was announced and includes Cody Barfield, Laura Barlow, Jamie Lynn Barnes, Jennifer Brown, Mabry Dye, Resa Holmes, Judy Huell, Richard Jones, Lakenya Thomas-Coleman and Jon Munz.

The incoming Emerging Leader class of 2024 was also announced and includes Cheryl Boyd and Jack Hinton. The two-year program is designed to allow supervisory personnel with hands-on experience and mentoring from leadership members.

The district was founded Aug. 18, 1873, when Capt. William Henry Harrison Benyaurd opened a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers office in Monroe, La. The first permanent Vicksburg office was established in 1884.

Following the Great Flood of 1927 and subsequent Flood Control Act of 1928, the district created a comprehensive flood control program centered on the Mississippi River and adjacent areas.

The effort’s lasting effects include four Mississippi lakes and three Arkansas lakes created as flood control reservoirs, as well as numerous miles of Mississippi River mainline levees and other flood control structures.

The Vicksburg District’s projects and personnel continue to serve the region, the nation and the world.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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