Louisville, Ky. – Dave Kopecky has worn quite a few hats, and military ranks, since he first enlisted in the Army in 1996. He went on to serve for 25 years before retiring from military service. Now he continues to serve the nation and other veterans as member of the Louisville District’s Louisville VA Medical Center construction team as a project engineer and contracting officer’s representative.
This is Kopecky’s second time working in the Louisville District. His first assignment with USACE was from June 2011 to June 2013 while he was still on active duty. During that time he served in the Fort Knox Resident Office as a project engineer for the Warrior Transition Unit construction project; then as the Deputy Chief of Engineering Division. He was later hired on to the Louisville VA Medical Center project as a project engineer in November 2021.
His journey with the military began when he enlisted as Signals Intelligence Voice Interceptor/Linguist where he specialized in Arabic languages. He later decided he wanted to apply to become an officer and entered the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York in 1998, and later graduated as a commissioned Engineering officer in 2002.
Kopecky’s time in the Army allowed him to hone his skills as an engineer and a leader while serving in units like the 27th Engineer Battalion, Fort Liberty, North Carolina, the 173rd Infantry Brigade, in Vicenza, Italy, and the 5th Special Forces Group, at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, U.S. Army Europe Headquarters, in Wiesbaden, Germany, and Special Operations Command Headquarters, at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. He also completed two deployments each to Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as a deployment to Syria, Turkey and Jordan.
“My military service has offered me the opportunity to be exposed to a wide variety of organizations and leadership styles, in a multitude of environments and mission sets,” he said. “That has enabled me to better navigate the complexities of life - from a private focused on getting assigned tasks done well, and quickly, through being a field grade officer and planner trying to piece an entire Army’s worth of resources together to figure out how to best enable an operation, I have learned how to filter out the less important and trivial matters that seem to bog down a lot of other people.”
Kopecky said he feels his military experience has helped prepare him for his career with USACE and the Louisville District
“Spending those 25 years, working my way up to the Combatant Command level, I worked all levels of policy and system development and task tracking,” he said. “I think it has been really beneficial as I was hired while this LOUVAMC project office was still getting staffed only weeks after the contractor received notice to proceed. I’d like to think I’m making a difference with helping develop the systems and resources to make the team better.”
“I’m keeping an eye on the long-game, making sure anything that any system/process/procedure that I touch gets improved upon in a way that will enable the VA Division to have tools that could be effectively used when they have to establish another project office in the future,” he added.
Kopecky said being on the team bringing such a large project to life that will benefit thousands of veterans is allowing him to continue to serve.
“I am truly honored and humbled to be working with so many great people coming together to bring this new facility to life,” he said. “I know it has been a long time coming, but now that it is underway it’s great to see everyone dedicated to play their part to ultimately provide great care for all us veterans. There are not many mega projects out there, so I count myself lucky to be on one and part of this team.”
The $900 million project includes the construction of a new 910,115 square-foot medical center, parking structures, a 42,205 square-foot central utility plant, roadways, sidewalks, and other site improvements.
Construction is anticipated to be complete in 2026.
To learn more about the project visit: www.va.gov/louisville-health-care/programs/new-robley-rex-va-medical-center.