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Posted 10/13/2014

Release no. 14-048

By Steven Satkowski
Far East District

SEOUL, South Korea - For every 47 civilians in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers there’s just one Soldier. It’s no different at the Far East District which has a comparable ratio. Apart from the commander and deputy commander, there are approximately 20 Soldiers with the district. Despite being small in number their tasks and mission are critical to the district’s success.

“We cannot live without these Soldiers,” said district engineer and commander Col. Bryan S. Green. “They are keeping us on track, on time, on schedule and on budget.”

A majority of these Soldiers are on Active Duty for Operational Support (ADOS) orders. These Reserve and National Guard Soldiers are used in varied positions including where the active army has a mission requirement for which no active duty Soldier can readily fill.

“I was able to resolve reserve component Soldier’s pay issues,” said Staff Sgt. Diomedes Tuazon, senior financial management analyst with the district. “Since I’ve been here I was able to solve these issues and train active duty Soldiers in handling reserve pay issues.”

Soldiers come from units across the United States filling key positions as project engineers, construction representatives as well as in the administrative, logistical and operations field. The experience they receive here often has a huge impact in their career progression as a Soldier.

“Because of all the training and new skills I’ve learned I was able to receive more points toward my promotion,” said Sgt. Luisa Capobianco, unit armorer and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear noncommissioned officer in charge. “I got qualified in different skill sets, sent to different schools. It’s given me the opportunity to train further and expand my military knowledge.”

Both commissioned and noncommissioned officers can utilize the program with unique benefits for each.

“It’s made me a stronger leader, a more well-rounded officer who is able to perform multifunctional tasks,” said Capt. Joseph Claros, project engineer at the Pyeongtaek resident office. “We talk about diversity in the officer corps and noncommissioned officer corps. What better way to do that than to bring experienced Reserve and National Guard Soldiers to enhance the Army and the direction it’s heading.”

Soldiers in the program bring distinctive civilian skill sets to the district and at the same time learn Soldier skills from the active component.

“They have technical capabilities that, in some cases, our civilians don’t have so they get to bring their expertise and knowledge into the system,” said Green. “At the same time, we’re transferring active duty ideas, concepts and needs back to them which they can take back to their unit.”

As of October 2014 Soldiers from the program are at three different resident offices on the peninsula contributing to the Far East District mission.