NEWS | Nov. 4, 2019

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Kicking Off the Journey

By Anthony Mayne

Japan -- "Leaders are made, not born" Vince Lombardi

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is an Army organization that is predominately civilian. The majority of these civilian employees are technical experts. They have honed their skills in multiple disciplines including various types of engineering, architecture, resource management, public affairs, project management and logistics. All of these skill are necessary for the success of the Corps mission.

To guide and mentor these experts you need leaders. USACE recognizes that and has developed a four level program to develop leaders at all levels of the enterprise, the USACE Leadership Development program (ULDP).

Japan Engineer District (JED) kicked off its 2019-2020 ULDP level II program.

"The ULDP Level II Kick Off was a great success," said Earnest L. Patterson, JED training and organizational development specialist. "Each of the students learned more about who they are as a person, and this will help them develop into a better leader."

The Kick Off began with a two day retreat, bringing together the selected employees from around the District to Tama Hills Recreation Center. Here the students met their facilitators and classmates.

"Thank you to Bill Craven and Earnest Patterson for guiding us through the two day Kick Off retreat," said Frederick T. McNeely, electrical engineer. "The twelve of us work in different areas of Japan, Sasebo, Okinawa, and Zama. We all have different strengths and experiences, but the curriculum showed us how leaders transcend differences among people."

Patterson and Craven serve as the facilitators and mentors for the class. Their job is to challenge the class and also to keep them focused on their journey of discovery on how to be better leaders.

"Leader development is a critical area that greatly benefits the individual and the entire team," said Lt. Col. Daniel A. Segura, JED deputy commander. "It's important that the District continues to invest in our workforce."

The highlight of the Kick Off were the two speakers, Segura and United States Army Garrison Japan Command Sgt. Maj. Billy J. Norman, who shared their leadership experiences throughout their Army careers.

"Lt. Col. Segura explained how leaders establish purpose and Command Sgt. Maj. Norman explained why leaders act with empathy," said McNeely. "Breaking away from our normal offices to the silence of Tama Hills, we were able to focus on drawing out the strengths we will cultivate to become better leaders for the Army Corps of Engineers."

"The ULDP Kick Off was not what I had expected," said Amanda R. Faulkner, electrical engineer. "I didn't think I would learn as much about myself as I did. I am excited to see where the program will take us next."

This was the first session in the nine month multifaceted leadership and management development program. The program will meet monthly and culminate with a class project that will have a direct impact on the District and its programs.

"I applied to the ULDP II to get the opportunity to network with others outside of my section/branch, learn to look at challenges from different perspectives, and understand people's emotions to create a good teamwork, improve productivity, and achieve a common goal," said Erika Miyagi, project manager. "The two days kick-off event was very dynamic, interactive, and very fun. I am thankful for this opportunity, and even more for the amazing people participating in this program, and I will try learn as much as I can from them."

Japan Engineer District is one of four Engineer Districts in Pacific Ocean Division, which focuses on the design, management and construction of various host nation and military construction projects. JED's workforce contains a wide range of engineers, architects, and program managers to provide engineering solutions to our customers and deliver positive impacts for today and tomorrow. It delivers high quality, sustainable, comprehensive engineering and construction services in Japan in support of peacetime and contingency operations throughout the region. You can find our job openings at USA JOBS website.