By Jason Chudy
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - Far East District
SEOUL, Republic of Korea - Far East District engineer Jacob West was recently awarded the Chief of Engineers 2011 Military Contingency Responder of the Year award for his service in Afghanistan.
West, a civil engineer with the district’s Parcel 2 Resident office at U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys, was presented the award by district commander Col. Bryan S. Green on behalf of Chief of Engineers Lt. Gen. Thomas P. Bostick during a ceremony at the district headquarters in Seoul Aug. 30. He was also recognized as the employee of the month for June 2013.
West, of Fayetteville, N.C., earned the award for his service in Afghanistan between September 2010 and October 2012. There, he spent 1 ½ years as part of a provincial reconstruction team in Paktika and Ghazni provinces and six months as the deputy district program manager in Kabul.
“Your efforts as lead Provincial Reconstruction Team Engineer and lead Brigade Engineer for your AO [area of operations] was exemplary, as was the tenacity you demonstrated in collaborating to develop and execute infrastructure projects and the constructing/refurbishing of schools, clinics and District Centers,” wrote Maj. Gen. Todd T. Semonite, then-acting commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in West’s award citation.
“Your technical analysis, quality control direction and supervision of over 50 critical infrastructure projects totaling over $70 million, resulted in a better quality of life and economic prosperity for the Afghani people,” wrote Maj. Gen. Michael R. Eyre, commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Transatlantic Division, which oversaw the Corps’ operations in Afghanistan, in a letter commending West’s work in Afghanistan.
He had also previously received the Secretary of Defense Medal for the Defense of Freedom, which was established to acknowledge Department of Defense civilian employees who are killed or wounded in the line of duty.
West was injured by a roadside bomb, called an improvised explosive device, or IED, by the military, on Oct. 19, 2011. Navy Seabee Chief Petty Officer Raymond Border and Staff Sgt. Jorge Oliveira were killed in the attack.
“You experienced much more than most civilians during your deployment to Afghanistan,” wrote Eyre. “Even after the loss of two military comrades, Chief Petty Officer Border and SSG Oliveira in an IED incident, and escaping a near death situation yourself, you persevered and stayed in theater seven months more.
“This level of dedication to duty is unparalleled,” Eyre wrote.