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USACE Vicksburg District celebrates history, inducts distinguished employees on Founders’ Day

USACE Vicksburg District
Published Aug. 17, 2023
A white man in an Army colonel's uniform claps beside a Black man in a green shirt and black suit. Between them in a framed portrait of the Black man with gold detailing on a gold easel.

USACE Vicksburg District Commander Col. Christopher Klein and former Visual Information specialist Alfred Dulaney react to the latter's induction into the Gallery of Distinguished Civilian Employees.

A blond-haired white woman in a white blouse and black slacks holds a red cloth between herself and a white man in an Army colonel's uniform. Behind her are the Mississippi and Arkansas state flags, the Department of the Army flag, and a red flag with a white emblem.

District Commander COL Christopher Klein and former Chief of Programs Management Branch Barbara Petersen unveil Petersen's portrait for the Gallery of Distinguished Civilian Employees.

A white man in an Army colonel's uniform stands in front of a project screen that reads "Founders' Day Celebration" in bold yellow letters. In front of him are the backs of several seated peoples' heads.

District Commander Col. Christopher Klein addresses retirees and current employees at the 19th annual Founders' Day Celebration, which commemorates the district's history.

A man in an Army uniform speaks to room of people in a conference room.

USACE Vicksburg District Commander Col. Christopher Klein provides remarks to employees at the annual Corps of Engineers Day Awards Ceremony. Employees were recognized for their dedication and stellar work over the past year.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Vicksburg District celebrated Founders’ Day and 150 years of service to the nation by inducting distinguished employees at district headquarters today.

Vicksburg District Commander Col. Christopher Klein recognized employees with five to 45 years of service to the federal government.

Two district retirees were inducted into the Gallery of Distinguished Civilian Employees. Ms. Barbara Petersen, former Programs Management Branch chief, and Mr. Alfred Dulaney, former Visual Information specialist, were commended for their years of service and dedication. The last inductees were recognized in 2019.

This year’s special award recognition included several employees.

The Arkabutla Lake dam safety emergency team members, which included Lanny Barfield, James Cumberland, Dalton Hanley, Dakota Kolb, Barrett Lewis, Brian Oliver, Dereck Redwine, Melinda Sisco, and Cory Winders, each received Civilian Service Achievement Medals.

Dam Safety Manager Mason Jarabica received a Civilian Service Commendation Medal for his dedication.

Jimmie Elliott received the Hydrologic Modeling and Statistics and Risk Hydrology, Hydraulics, and Coastal (HHC) Community of Practice Annual Award for improving the USACE Mississippi Valley Division’s (MVD) technical strength.

Anita Griffin received the Modeling, Mapping and Consequences Center (MMC) Award of Excellence for her contributions to labor and funding needs.

Eight employees graduated from the Vicksburg District Leadership Program (VLDP). The VLDP is a year-long undertaking that provides personnel with extracurricular assignments designed to acclimate them to future supervisory positions. The graduates included Cody Barfield, Laura Barlow, Jamie Lynn Barnes, Jennifer Brown, Mabry Dye, Resa Holmes, Judy Huell, Richard Jones, Lakenya Thomas-Coleman and Jon Munz.

The VLDP class of 2023 also organized a time capsule as part of their group project. Items include an original rivet from the nearly 90-year-old Dredge Jadwin, a vintage planimeter used for drafting, a year’s worth of The Current, the district’s employee newsletter, and a letter from the VLDP class of 2023 to the class of 2048. The time capsule will be kept at the Jesse Brent Lower Mississippi River Museum in downtown Vicksburg until 2048.

Finally, the incoming Emerging Leader (EL) class of 2024 was announced and includes Jamie Lynn Barnes, Brandon Griffing and . The two-year program is designed to allow supervisory personnel with hands-on experience and mentoring from leadership members.

The district was founded Aug. 18, 1873, when Capt. William Henry Harrison Benyaurd opened a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers office in Monroe, Louisiana. The first permanent Vicksburg office was established in 1884. Following the Great Flood of 1927 and subsequent Flood Control Act of 1928, the district created a comprehensive flood control program centered around the Mississippi River. The effort’s lasting effects include four Mississippi lakes and three Arkansas lakes created as flood control reservoirs, as well as numerous miles of Mississippi River mainline levees and other flood control structures. The Vicksburg District’s projects and personnel continue to serve the region, the nation, and the world. 

For more information, contact the Public Affairs Office at 601-631-5000.

The USACE Vicksburg District is engineering solutions to the nation’s toughest challenges. The Vicksburg District encompasses a 68,000-square-mile area across portions of Mississippi, Arkansas, and Louisiana, that holds nine major river basins and incorporates approximately 460 miles of mainline Mississippi River levees. The Vicksburg District is engaged in hundreds of projects and employs approximately 1,100 personnel.

Christi Kilroy

Release no. 23-029