It’s entirely possible that you’ve not yet met new Far East District employee Richard T. Byrd, but he started as the Chief of the Army/Navy/Marine Corps and Funds Management Branch in the Programs and Project Management Division in November 2015.
Though he arrived here most recently from Wiesbaden, Germany, he’s no stranger to Korea. It’s his fifth tour here and first as a civilian. Byrd served as an Army Combat Engineer as both an enlisted man and later as an officer, retiring after 24 years of service. He logged about a third of his active-duty time in Korea. While it’s his second time in Seoul, he’s still getting used to apartment life, especially with two West Highland terriers.
He’s also no stranger to working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Byrd began with the Corps in 2009, working at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington. He earned his Master’s degree in construction management from the University of Oklahoma.
One of the key duties assigned to Byrd and his team is funds management, a job Byrd compares to being “our bankers” with regard to managing appropriated funds for projects at the programmatic level. Though this responsibility is high-level planning and execution, it’s critical to meeting schedules for allocation and disbursement, Byrd explained.
Another of the team’s functions is to evaluate customer requirements, specifically as relates to renovation, build or design, “whatever they require,” Byrd said. It’s an essential component of good project management: “helping stakeholders define what’s needed and then defining what can be done to meet the need,” Byrd said.