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Posted 3/15/2012

Release no. 12-017

Todd Lyman

CAMP ZAMA, JAPAN – Camp Zama is home to one of America’s most promising government engineers.

Cedric V. Bazemore, one of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Japan Engineer District’s finest, was feted at a banquet last month in Philadelphia by Career Communications Group, Inc. (CCG). As a project engineer and team leader, he is a valuable member of the Department of Defense’s agent for comprehensive professional quality engineering and construction services to all US Forces in Japan in support of peacetime and contingency operations. With teammates like Bazemore, there is little wonder why the Pacific Ocean Division is the nation’s premier public service engineering and construction organization in the Asia-Pacific region. Quality begets quality.

Baltimore-based CCG selected Bazemore as one of the nation’s most promising government engineers from nominees worldwide. In addition to producing the annual Black Engineer of the Year STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) Global Competitiveness Conference and the Women of Color STEM Conference, CCG publishes US Black Engineer & IT magazines and has been recognizing prominent STEM professionals for more than 25 years. CCG chose Bazemore from hundreds of applicants based on the following the fact that he is an engineer early (3-10 years) into his career and demonstrates ‘tremendous potential for future contributions.’ His package demonstrated the uniqueness of his contributions to the organization, his leadership abilities and initiative, professional and technical achievements,  potential for advancement, and the social and economic value of Bazemore’s development.

Bazemore’s nomination was promoted by Kellis L. Nobles, Chief, Construction Branch at Japan District and endorsed by Catheren B. Gill, Chief of the district Engineering and Construction Branch. Nobles wrote in the nomination, “I have personally witnessed and have been impressed by his many accomplishments as a project engineer and leader and his potential for added responsibility is exceptional. Mr. Bazemore is extremely forward thinking and has proven to be highly effective toward the many demands of his position.” Nobles listed ‘thoughtful,’  ‘diplomatic’ and ‘trustworthy’ when describing Bazemore; traits that serve him well in an environment with Japanese co-workers and contractors.

Bazemore, the unassuming, soft-spoken Queens, NY native credits his teammates at Japan Engineer District, and specifically Nobles, Gill and his wife, Tonya, for having faith in his work and confidence in his ability to compete for such an honor. Bazemore earned his degree in civil engineering from North Carolina A & T State University, one of only twelve students to do so in 2005. Bazemore and his family relocated to Columbia, SC where he attended high school.  His interest in science and math prompted his interest in civil engineering. He worked part-time and graduated in the top 10 percent of his high school class.

Bazemore learned of North Carolina A & T State University from a man with whom he attended church. The man was so impressed with Bazemore’s drive that he offered to carry Bazemore’s college application to the school for him.

Bazemore has strived to learn as much as possible about his chosen field even before he finished his studies. He accepted an internship with a North Carolina Department of Transportation office that required him to walk four miles to the work site. He built upon this foundational civil engineering experience when he was selected to be an intern for the Corps of Engineers Savannah District in 2003.

“I wasn’t sure I would be able to get the Corps internship. I’d wanted to do it earlier but I accepted the position with NCDOT and thought the Corps opportunity was gone,” Bazemore explained. “However, I held on to the business card of Ken Gray, with whom I’d spoken about the USACE position. I called the number later and Vicki Gatling answered because Ken was deployed.”

Gatling was a project engineer in the Corps’ Fort Bragg area office. Gray was the area engineer. Gatling told Bazemore that there was an opening coming up and he applied for a cooperative position that allowed him to work a semester on/semester off schedule.

“I got a response quickly,” Bazemore recalled. “I found out in the spring of 2003 that I had a position in the fall. Vicki was most influential in my early career and for my future decisions. She treated me as a worker on her team, not as a coop applicant. She made me a team member, which allowed me to perform real engineer work. As a result of her trust, as a student I refocused my effort to my classes where I should have been focusing before. I like to say that Vicki and my coop opportunity with the Savannah District saved my GPA.”

Gatlin recalled her time with our awardee, "Cedric is truly a diamond in the ruff! I had the pleasure of mentoring him when he first started working for the Corps of Engineers. His first day on the job I sat him down and gave him some big sister advice that I told him would make a lifetime impression on the job. He was receptive and immediately implemented my advice without any hesitation. Cedric proved to be a good listener, hard worker, very dependable and hungry to learn. I was excited to hear about his prestigious award and I know that he will continue to shine as he soars to the top! I am blessed to have Cedric as a friend in my life." Gatlin is now the Senior Project Manager, Installation Support Team (PM-MF) US Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah District.

Bazemore’s opportunity to perform real engineer work involving engineering theories and techniques with the Corps of Engineers set him on his professional career course. An engineer he worked alongside recommended that he contact Nobles, an engineer with a similar career path and experiences. Bazemore contacted Nobles, who informed him of the opportunity to work in Japan with the Corps. He learned of an opening in late 2007, applied and was accepted. Bazemore has been here since 2008 working projects important to the region, our alliance, the services and family members here.

The BEYA most promising government engineer has significantly contributed to, or led projects involving barracks, health clinics, work spaces, youth centers and schools, plus earned his Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification and successfully completed the USACE Leadership Development Program (ULDP).

As if that isn’t enough for an entire career, Bazemore received notification that he earned the BEYA award last year, and this December 2011 he learned he had earned is Professional Engineer (PE) License.

Bazemore shares his experiences and talents with area students by sponsoring and supporting the West Point Cadets during their Cadet Troop Leadership Training rotation with USACE Japan District and a bid proposal contest involving Department of Defense Dependent Education Activity high school (STEM) students. He also mentors younger students in the annual Groundhog Job Shadow Day at Camp Zama.

‘Exceptional student,’  ‘talented professional,’  ‘loyal government employee,’ ‘team mate,’ ‘friend’ and ‘BEYA Most Promising Government Engineer’ do not adequately convey Cedric V. Bazemore’s contributions to our nation, Japan, the Japan Engineer District, Pacific Ocean Division or the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Colonel Bryan P. Truesdell, Commander and District Engineer, Japan Engineer District describes Bazemore as a “visible and active team member in our engineering and construction community who has made significant contributions and achievements at the district, and is a credit to the engineering profession and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.”