Maj. Gen. Robert Whittle, Commander, Great Lakes and Ohio River Division, visited the Louisville District Oct. 29-31, 2019, as part of his effort to visit each of the seven districts which comprise the Great Lakes and Ohio River Division. This marked Whittle’s inaugural visit to the district since assuming command in July 2019.
His visit, which focused primarily on recognizing staff and touring key projects, began with a programmatic review briefing led by Louisville District Commander Col. Antoinette Gant and District Deputy Engineer Linda Murphy. Along with senior leaders, the pair provided Whittle with a snapshot look at the district’s $1.5 billion workload, the district’s 1,100-strong workforce and the vast array of capabilities and expertise that the Louisville District offers.
“The Louisville District has a very good reputation,” Whittle said. “That is a result of all of the hard work you all are doing.” Whittle added, “Your portfolio of projects and how your fingers are all over the region and the enterprise is amazing. I’m really proud of what you all are doing. I’m really excited to be here and meet everyone over the next couple of days.”
Throughout his visit Whittle toured several offices in the Louisville District and recognized more than 25 employees with Commander’s Coins for their outstanding contributions.
Whittle invited district employees to participate in a morning fun run/walk event across the Big Four Bridge over the Ohio River and along the city’s waterfront. More than 25 participants showed up to complete the 2.7 mile run, or 1.5 mile walk, complete with costumes and Halloween-inspired attire.
Following the run, the commanding general visited the Louisville District’s Fort Knox office, where he met with district employees, was briefed on the district’s Veterans Affairs projects and toured the new Ireland Army Health Clinic.
Louisville District Veterans Affairs Division Chief Matt Lowe presented Whittle with an update of the projects his team is currently working on, one being the VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic at Fort Knox.
“Active duty members will receive care at the new health clinic we are about to tour,” Lowe said. “And the CBOC, which is being built next to the clinic, will serve veterans.”
The Department of Veterans Affairs and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers work in partnership on several projects across the U.S.
“Nothing speaks louder than when people are seeking out our help,” Whittle said.
Maj. Gen. Whittle was impressed with the planning and construction progress of the new army health clinic which is scheduled to open in January 2020. While touring the new facility, Louisville District Project Manager Capt. Diana Bojorquez explained there was only a one percent cost growth for the project.
“That is incredible,” Whittle said in response.
To wrap-up his three-day visit to the district, Whittle visited McAlpine Locks and Dam and sat down with the district’s Leadership Development Program participants to discuss principles of leadership.
“The truth is we all know something about leadership that we’re going to teach each other,” Whittle said to the group which went on to discuss key leadership characteristics such as listening skills, discipline and the importance of adaptation. “Our best leaders are able to adapt,” Whittle said challenging LDP participants to be flexible.