By Stephen Satkowski
USACE-Far East District Public Affairs
SEOUL, South Korea -- Basil Meyer, construction representative at the Seoul Project office, has engineering in his blood.
“My father was a carpenter,” said Meyer. “He could look at something and replicate it and I just got bit by the engineering bug watching and learning from him. Engineering just seemed to fit with me. When it came to crunching numbers or where to put things - how much to put in, what type of materials. I’ve always loved it. I ate it up!”
A retired Army combat heavy construction engineer, Meyer’s first duty station was at Camp Humphreys in 1979.
“It’s changed quite a bit”
Since that time he has come to appreciate everything South Korea has to offer.
“The culture, food and entertainment it’s all great,” said Meyer. “Meeting the locals in the countryside is always fun. They’re really friendly and they appreciate that I’m interested in their culture.”
Meyer has worked with the Far East District since 2003 and has overseen projects at installations across the Republic of Korea.
“I’ve been everywhere from the Demilitarized Zone on down,” said Meyer. From Camp Falling Water and Camp Red Cloud to Yongsan, Humphreys and Kunsan I’ve been pretty much everywhere in this country.”
Meyer said some of his most rewarding projects in his time with the district include doing a complete makeover of Warrior Base, near the Demilitarized Zone.
“We built the barracks, headquarters and support facilities,” said Meyer. “It went from nothing but old beat up tents with a few permanent buildings to Soldiers being able to take hot showers and have buildings to protect them.”
The K-16 commissary is another project that Meyer takes pride in.
“Before we built the commissary there people only had one row of shelves for items, now they have an 8,100 square foot facility,” said Meyer.
Meyer’s next move will be working with the district at U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys where he is set to move in April 2015. When he eventually goes back to the United States he’d like to continue working for the Corps.
“If I can make a career out of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and retire when I’m 70 that would be perfect,” said Meyer. “We have a good track record when it comes to safety and quality construction. “They have a lot to offer and I have just as much to offer them.”