By Stephen Satkowski
USACE Far East District Public Affairs
KUNSAN, South Korea - The new resident engineer at the Kunsan resident office brings a wealth of experience and a team oriented attitude to his new role. Chris Martin officially became the resident engineer at Kunsan on June 14.
“I believe this assignment will be great, everyone here knows their job and performs it well,” said Martin. “I will gain experience from everyone here, probably more so than I can teach them what I know. My goal will be to share my experiences and hopefully make this team better than it already is.”
Martin arrived at the Far East District in September 2012 and was assigned at the parcel 2 resident office outside US Army Garrison Humphreys working in the land, development, utility and infrastructure area. He previously worked for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Afghanistan and at Fort Benning, Georgia.
“Before working for the corps I worked with the Georgia Department of Transportation so I have a lot of road construction experience,” said Martin.
He caught the engineering bug as a child watching his dad work with heavy machinery.
“That sparked my interest in civil engineering,” said Martin. “I enjoyed trying to figure out how things were built. Math also seemed to come natural, so engineering was an easy career choice. “
Martin heard about the Far East District from co-workers while in Afghanistan and was immediately interested in the possibility of landing a job with the district and learning about another culture.
“I meet a number of people over in Afghanistan that told me about Korea and the huge program here,” said Martin. “I was intrigued. I like the challenge and the opportunity to see multiple cultures. I like the Asian culture. “The food is good too. I love bulgogi and kimchi.”
Not only was Korea an opportunity to do the job in a new culture, it also provided the avenue for career development for Martin who is trying to get his acquisition level II requirement and become an administrative contracting officer.
“I do like constantly learning and challenging myself,” said Martin. “Experience in a different position will allow me to grow as an individual and hopefully assist others to grow.”
As he settles in to his new role Martin said his main goal in the immediate future is to familiarize himself with the contracts and to respond timely to any issues or concerns.
“Of course job transitions are tough at the beginning, but I have a great staff here at Kunsan that will teach me and help me along the way,” said Martin. “So far, the people that work here have treated me like family. I feel welcomed and valued. I will strive to do my best to help others feel the same. I want to promote, encourage and mentor my employees, but also have fun. After all, if work is an environment that encourages you to be the best, you can be, and it’s fun and everyone wins.”