By Terri Kojima
USACE Pacific Ocean Division
FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii – Gary Kitkowski has been appointed to the Senior Executive Service by the Secretary of the Army and selected for the position of director of Regional Business for the Pacific Ocean Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Kitkowski, whose prior position was chief of the Business Technical Division at POD, recently served in the Regional Business position as the acting director. His appointment and selection was announced Dec. 21 by Lt. Gen. Thomas P. Bostick, Army Chief of Engineers and Commanding General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
"Mr. Kitkowski brings over 30 years of civilian leadership and expertise in program and project management, engineering, construction, and technical expertise to our senior executive corps," Bostick said. "Prior to 2014, Mr. Kitkowski served as chief of Programs and Project Management Division, Japan Engineer District, headquartered near Tokyo at Camp Zama, Japan."
In his new position, Kitkowski provides leadership and direction for the Division and its four diverse subordinate districts—Alaska, Honolulu, Japan, and Far East Districts—to operate as a Regional Business Center. He is responsible for executing strategic planning, corporate objectives and regionalization initiatives for a program exceeding $3 billion. The area of responsibility covers one-third of the earth’s surface, including the Indo-Asia-Pacific region, and includes approximately 1,700 active duty military, U.S. civilians and foreign nationals.
POD’s Commanding General, Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Milhorn, said, "We’re all so very proud of you (Kitkowski) and grateful to have you on the POD Team and in the POD Family!”
“While technical competencies are vital to carrying out the mission, a good leader must also be able to relate to people. That is why you are an SES, today.”
Kitkowski served in multiple positions at Pacific Ocean Division, Japan and Honolulu Districts through his career progression. He was the former chief of Engineering and Construction Division at Japan District, and served as a senior program manager and team leader for POD. Kitkowski also served in numerous positions as chief of Programs and Project Management; as well as area engineer and resident engineer at Honolulu and Japan Districts. He began his career with the Corps as an engineer intern at the Los Angeles District, where he worked as an office engineer and project engineer in a construction Resident Office.
Kitkowski was quick to credit his fellow employees and mentors for his successful career path that led him to where he is today.
“Throughout my career, I’ve been surrounded by people who supported me and taught me through their words and actions, whether knowingly or not, what and how they did their jobs,” said Kitkowski. “The hard work of people have all contributed to my promotion in their own way from the lessons that I have learned from them along my growth.
Kitkowski defined the letters “P.E.,” also referred to as registered “Professional Engineer,” in a unique way.
“Looking back on my career, I realized that coaching, mentoring, motivating, developing, leading, and taking care of people are critically important responsibilities of my job for the success of the organization,” he said. “For this reason, I’ve come to believe that for myself, my “P.E” really stands for “People Engineer”.
The new Senior Executive Service leader said he’s excited and looking forward to working with the team.
"This is a great organization of professionals, and working together we can accomplish our mission in support of the POD region, Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Army and the Nation,” said Kitkowski.
A registered professional engineer in the State of California, Kitkowski earned a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering from the University of Hawaii. He is a member of the Society of American Military Engineers and the American Society of Civil Engineers.
Throughout his career, Kitkowski has received numerous awards, including the Army Superior Civilian Service Award and the prestigious Bronze Order of the de Fleury Medal.
Kitkowski will be inducted into the Senior Executive Service corps in Washington, D.C. The Senior Executive Service is comprised of the men and women serving as the civilian executives of the federal government. They hold the key positions just below the top Presidential appointees, and are the major link between the Presidential Appointees and the rest of the Federal workforce. The Senior Executive Service was established in 1979 as a result of the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978.