For the first time since he took on his role as the USACE Chief of Engineers, Lt. Gen. Thomas P. Bostick inventoried projects on the land and sea in Charleston, South Carolina.
Bostick kicked off 2015 with a visit to two South Atlantic Division districts, concluding his trip in Charleston. Bostick is making a point of visiting all of the USACE districts to see for himself the work that is being done and he received a whirlwind of experiences in the Lowcountry.
Addressing more than 125 Charleston District employees, Bostick began his visit with an internal “town hall” discussion where he touched on the major issues facing USACE and discussing his leadership goals. Bostick explained that he wanted to develop a long-term change in the way the Corps is run, even after he leaves, including issues such as future personnel.
“Recruiting and retaining the best people is the most crucial thing to mission success,” said Bostick. “Succession planning for future talent, including STEM outreach, is extremely important to the nation.”
A five minute car ride took Bostick to visit the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center, where he received a tour of the recently-completed Mental Health Research Facility. The $8.5 million, 16,000 square foot structure hosts labs and clinical space to speed treatment discoveries for our nation’s heroes. When Bostick awoke that day, he didn’t realize he would be medically examined, but an electrode test to show his emotional state allowed him to really see what happens inside the facility.
Finally, a harbor tour on a cold, but sunny, afternoon concluded the trip to Charleston. Here, Bostick met with representatives from the South Carolina State Ports Authority to discuss the Post 45 harbor deepening project. Getting his first look at one of President Obama’s “We Can’t Wait” initiative projects, Bostick came face to face with massive container ships, allowing him a unique perspective on the industry.
Summarizing his thoughts on the trip in a report to USACE leadership, Bostick wrote, “This past week, I visited with the Mobile and Charleston Districts... both are doing great work locally and for the nation...very proud of both teams. In both organizations I saw important work accomplished locally, but that is making a strategic difference. From the Deep Draft Navigation Center in Mobile to the outstanding VA medical facility constructed by Charleston, local teams are making a difference for the Corps and the nation.”