By Antwaun J. Parrish
USACE-Far East District Public Affairs
SEOUL, South Korea— Col. Stephen Bales, Far East District commander, announced Lawrence Grant, Korea Program Relocation Office (KPRO) project manager, as the District’s nominee for United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Project Manager of the Year.
Grant, who has been an engineer for 45 years, has been part of the Corps of Engineers both as a Soldier and as a civilian.
“I was a member of the Corps of Engineers as a soldier for 24 years, wearing the engineer castle branch insignia for my whole career,” said Grant.
He initially enlisted in the Army in 1969, and since retiring in 1993 he has held fond memories of being a Soldier. Some of the highlights of his career were serving on the US Army Parachute Team, “The Golden Knights” for 3 years, being a Drill Instructor at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., for 3 years and being one of the original Sapper Leader Course instructors.
Since retiring from his military career, Grant has served three tours with the Far East District. He first worked with the district in 1996 as an Engineering Support Assistant in Programs and Project Management Division, followed by an assignment as a Quality Assurance Engineer (QAR) at Camp Casey in the Casey Resident Office. His second tour was from 2001 to 2009 where he served as a QAR, Project Engineer, and Project Manager. For his current tour he arrived in May 2013 to work as a project manager in the Korea Program Relocation Office.
This is Grant’s first time being nominated as project manager of the year and was surprised when he heard the news. He feels honored to represent the district as this year’s nominee.
“In my mind this is really a team award and I am representing the team in this role. I have sent my thanks, in the way of email messages, picking up lunch tabs after team meetings, pats on the back, recognition of accomplishments by specific members to their supervisors and senior district managers, and by words of encouragement for hard work in making projects we are working on successful,” said Grant.
A vast majority of the projects at the district directly benefit the military community. Grant said that while the job is at times overwhelming he feels gratitude when a project comes to a successful fruition.
“Getting the big “woohoo” from the district commander when we get a DD1354 signed by the garrison representative is the most rewarding part of the job for me as this milestone pushes us further along the path to completing the Land Partnership Program (LPP) - part of the relocation of forces to Humphreys,” said Grant.
The experience he gained throughout his career has given him a distinct insight in how the district can continue to succeed at every level.
“As long as we focus on staying within the project’s scope and maintaining the standard set for quality, schedule, and cost, the Far East District will continue to deliver projects that we can be proud of and smile every time we drive by a building that sports an engineer castle corner stone,” said Grant.
Grant plans to relocate this summer to Fort Worth District where he will be the account manager for the White Sands Missile Range.