JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Dec. 20, 2011) – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Jacksonville District honored and recognized 44 years of outstanding service by Stephen E. Schneider when he was awarded the Steel de Fleury Medal on Dec. 8 at the South Florida Operations Office in Clewiston.
“This special award reflects the respect and admiration you have earned during 44 years of outstanding contribution and service,” said Jim Jeffords, chief of the USACE Operations Division in Jacksonville, as he presented Schneider with a certificate signed by the Chief of Engineers.
Lt. Col. Michael Kinard, deputy district commander for south Florida, presented the Steel de Fleury medal to Schneider.
“The engineer regiment adopted the de Fleury medal as an award because of the values demonstrated by the man for whom it was struck – values of special meaning to Engineer Soldiers,” said Kinard. “The de Fleury Medal was the first congressional medal struck. It recognizes both civilian and military personnel for outstanding contributions to the United States and to Army engineering. This prestigious award is named after Lt. Col. Francois Louis Tesseidre de Fleury, a French engineer who served with the American Army during the Revolutionary War.”
“No man can be great without others,” Steve Schneider said, as he dedicated the medal to his teammates. “This belongs to the office. This isn’t mine, it’s ours. There isn’t anyone who gets something like this on their own. They gave it to me, but the office earned it.”
Schneider worked his entire 44-year federal career at the South Florida Operations Office in Clewiston. He began as a laborer in 1967 and was promoted to equipment operator, diving supervisor and Civil Engineering Technician. He is the most experienced civil engineering technician for all major maintenance and repair projects in the South Florida Operations Office. His vast knowledge, skills, and abilities in dewatering, inspecting, repairing, and rewatering structures are shared with leaders and teammates who seek his guidance on the best ways to handle complex field tasks. Schneider provided much-needed emergency support through more than a dozen major hurricanes that struck the Lake Okeechobee Region.
“Steve has dedicated 44 years to our office and helps others do their jobs better every day. He always finds the best solutions to field challenges," said Steve Dunham, chief of the South Florida Operations Office in Clewiston. “All supervisors, work leaders and fellow employees highly respect Stephen for his superb dedication, work ethic, and exceptional knowledge of Lake Okeechobee and its vast array of water control structures.”