USAG Humphreys, Republic of Korea – After the relocation of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Far East District headquarters, from Dongdaemun to Pyeongtaek in 2018, the outdoor greenspace that once was is alive again, thanks to the 2020-2021 USACE Leadership Development II Program.
ULDP II is a District-level competitively selected, cohort-based leader development program targeted at emerging leaders at the GS-12 level and below. The program lasts for 19 months, with Defense Acquisition University instruction and FED ULDP committee oversight. The mission of ULDP is to develop results-oriented leaders with broad perspectives who lead people and lead change successfully in complex environments.
Each ULDP II cohort completes a capstone project as a requirement for graduation, which brings together what they’ve learned in the program.
The 2020-2021 cohort’s capstone project, the greenspace behind FED headquarters, was awarded (July 2021), constructed, and closed out (October 2021), in less than four months. This was achieved through partnership in the organization and teamwork from contracting, construction, logistics, resource management, project management and office of counsel.
Cohorts chose this capstone project because they believed that it would foster a sense of place for employees, create a location that can be used for various District events, and create an outdoor space that could be utilized by anyone on the nearby walking path.
This cohort consisted of Chris Carson (Programs and Project Management Division), David Hudson (Construction Division (CD)), Dennis Headrick (Information Management Office), Capt. Heathra King (Security Plans and Operations), James Degraff (CD), Kenneth Fitzgerald (CD), and Kim, Min-Chi (Engineering Division).
“ULDP II was an awesome experience with a great curriculum on various leadership topics, but the experience was really amplified by the people,” said Dennis Headrick, an FED application support specialist. “My peers, our facilitators, speakers, and leaders invested so much time and energy into the program, while balancing so many other commitments. All of them provided insight into how I should not only act as a leader within USACE, but as a father, colleague, and friend.”
The ULDP II class planted spring blooming tulips, strawberries, and varieties of hybrid tea roses in the new garden beds, which are part of the greenspace. The space, designed by Fitzgerald, includes two 13-by-13 foot gazebos, one for smokers and one for non-smokers, measured at 170 square feet each; and three 8-by-8 foot and five 3-by-3 foot boxwood garden beds.
“I have been involved with mega-projects and just about every mission in USACE,” said Chris Carson a PPMD project manager. “However, the ULDP greenspace is a project that I will remember throughout my career, because of the relationships we built in FED through this joint effort, to better the FED workplace. I look forward to the day when the big oak trees grow to maturity and future FED employees enjoy this greenspace.
“This ULDP II group persevered through COVID-19 and still kept the program going through virtual platforms,” he said. “This was an important lesson to the team, and I believe we knocked it out of the park. You have to figure out a way to move forward, no matter the obstacles.”