Meet Our: Maj. Paul Sipe

Published Oct. 5, 2018
Maj. Paul Sipe

Maj. Sipe is the new deputy commander for the Charleston District.

Describe your job. 

I serve in three roles. At times, I am a coordinating staff officer, working with District employees to develop concepts and refine those into actionable plans…for all types of initiatives. I supervise the General and Administrative staff, who are all experts in their field. So, much of my job is to understand how they enable key efforts in the District, and to synchronize those efforts to best serve our customers, stakeholders and partners. In this role, I work to apply a set of standards across the staff to communicate effectively, see the big-picture, identify problems and coordinate solutions, provide clarity to situations, and to support the leaders in the District. As the deputy, I remain always willing to serve as the commander. I continue to learn the “science” of the total job and feel the “art” of serving as deputy. My intuition tells me I must consider each situation, and choose which role best serves the District.

What is the most unique thing you bring to the District?
I pause to answer that to recognize that the District has had many great officers pass through as commander and deputy, and I am honored to follow in their footsteps. All personalities are different; mine encourages relationship-building. I intend to use that to strengthen networks within the District, to find opportunities to engage others and to generate solutions with others’ help. I continue to be interested in understanding what it means to be “human.” I appreciate the subtle (and sometimes not subtle) differences in each of us. While that is interesting to me, I find a certain peace in my belief that our differences are not good nor bad, but just “are.” I am a strong believer in reciprocity, and I intend to live that each day while engaging others.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
My answer is a resounding – THE PEOPLE. Since arriving, I have been received with kindness and openness. I sense that many employees act as family as I witness them interact. I enjoy the opportunities I have to work with the senior leadership and the daily interaction I have with employees across the organization. I find the Corps of Engineers a unique organization that has great values and produces amazing results for the nation.

Highlight a notable milestone or memory in your career.

I served in a previous Corps assignment at the Norfolk District, where I was assigned to Arlington National Cemetery, which is one of the most purposeful places I can think of. I was, and feel am still, part of a team that is committed to preserving the honor and beauty that is found all around those hallowed grounds. While there, we began the Millennium Project, which is a 27-acre development that allows the cemetery to continue to provide burial space to service-members and patriots. The project is substantially complete and provides an additional 30,000 in-ground burial spaces and crematorium spaces combined. That’s significant for several reasons, but one of which is that it allows the Cemetery to continue with burials for the next 10 years.

What goals do you hope to accomplish in your position?
To be successful, I want to support what the District is doing to “Deliver the Program” to Charleston, South Carolina, and the nation. I continue to learn who supports the total effort and how it all comes together to provide value for customers, stakeholders, and partners. As I understand that, I will focus the staff on key events and activities. I will feel successful as we provide value with our support while the District executes a wide range of important work to support the nation.