After 32 years, Fowler moves on to a new mission

USACE - Louisville District
Published Nov. 29, 2022
Updated: Nov. 29, 2022

The Louisville District Scott Air Force Base Area Engineer Jay Fowler has been with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for more than 32 years. With the exception of a few brief assignments in operations and engineering, he has spent his time in the Louisville District and St. Louis District Construction Divisions.
“Jay has been a tremendous leader in construction division, with his combination of construction management subject matter expertise and his humble servant leader attitude,” said Kirk Dailey, Louisville District Construction Division chief. “His professionalism and quick dry wit are among the many things about Jay that will be missed when he retires.”
Fowler began his career with USACE in 1990 as a student intern while attending Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. The majority of his time as an intern was spent working on the construction of the Melvin Price Locks and Dam, which was the largest civil works program in USACE at the time.
Upon graduation in 1994, Fowler began working for the construction program at St. Louis District continuing his work on locks and dams, levee repair and rehabilitation of dikes and revetments on the Mississippi River. Eventually, he became the chief of construction for the St. Louis District, which mainly involved civil works projects. After 25 years, he transferred to the Louisville District, where the focus of his work became military construction projects.
“Jay can see the big picture but is equally able to get his boots dirty digging into the details to safely deliver quality projects on time and within budget,” said Dailey. “He's built a great team in the Scott Area Office, bringing in an incredible collection of talented engineers and construction management personnel.”
Fowler said he liked military construction because it was more fast paced than civil works and that the projects were larger and involved more vertical construction.
He recalls the construction of two of his most memorable construction projects at Scott AFB - the Scott AFB Visiting Quarters and U.S. Transportation Command Operations Center. He stated that he really liked working on these projects because they were more involved and hands on from a construction perspective.
“I think they are all kind of special,” Fowler said. “When you get done, there’s a lot of satisfaction it brings to say you were part of the team that actually delivered that project.”
Fowler reflected how technology changed the way construction projects are completed now as compared to when he began his career. He described how the transition from paper to electronic documentation provides a real time indication of how the project is progressing. He also stated that the focus on safety and reduction of safety incidents has improved through improved communication.
After retirement, Fowler will spend time with his grandchildren, travel and serve as a deacon with his church.
“I like the people aspect,” Fowler said. “That is why I like construction - we are kind of wired to deal with issues. It is part of the job that some of us like - trying to figure out how to solve the problems.  It is a similar role as a deacon - dealing with people with problems. It is something I’m looking forward to.”