LOS ANGELES — U.S. Army Corps of Engineers South Pacific Division Commander Col. Mike Wehr visited the Los Angeles District and conducted a town hall meeting with more than 300 Corps employees at the Sheraton Downtown Jan. 12.
To start the meeting, District Commander Col. Mark Toy took the opportunity to recognize four key players from the recent Department of Defense Command Cyber Readiness Inspection.
“I really wanted to take advantage of the opportunity, of the fact, that we had our Division commander here to help celebrate and thank our people for all the things that they do," said Toy.
The District received a rating of "excellent" in the five-day inspection held in December. Lt. Col. Steven Sigloch and Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey Koontz were awarded the Army Achievement Medal and civilians Ned Araujo and Mark Paytas were presented the Army Certificate of Achievement as well as on-the-spot cash awards.
“It takes a lot of individuals working hard, many of whom are in the audience today, to prepare all of us for what was going on,” said Toy. “We in the District want to take the time to reward people and recognize people not on their last day on the job, but when they do great efforts.”
Wehr started his talk by also thanking the District employees for their efforts.
“When you look back at the commanders (District), the people that come through and get to lead, are all trained by each of you, in one way or another and I am no different," said Wehr. "My job, I think, is to lead the Division so it adds value and I learn from each of you and a great team.”
Earlier in the day, Wehr and Toy participated in a ceremony that indentified the Los Angeles River Watershed as one of seven projects under the pilot program Urban Waters Federal Partnership.
“What struck me immediately, each of the speakers, from the Secretary (of the Interior Ken Salazar) to the elected congressmen and women; they all immediately identified the Corps as a staunch partner'" said Wehr. "And, a lot of that is based on the attitude that you carry in what is the art of the possible.”
Wehr is no stranger to the region. He grew up near Sacramento, was commissioned a second lieutenant through ROTC at Santa Clara University in 1985 and served as a lieutenant at Fort Ord in the 14th Engineer Battalion (Combat) of the 7th Infantry Division (Light).