NORFOLK (NNS) -- Commander, Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) and Chief of Civil Engineers Rear Adm. John Korka announced Lt. Cmdr. Billy Woodward as the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) 2019 Moreell Medal recipient, Dec. 23.
Woodward, a native of Comanche, Oklahoma, is the Resident Officer In-Charge of Construction (ROICC) for Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station New River, North Carolina.
“Billy is most strongly deserving of this award,” said NAVFAC Mid-Atlantic Commanding Officer Capt. Rich Hayes. “His superb engineering judgment, bold leadership, and detailed planning efforts in directing his staff, led to the delivery of $1.1 billion in architecture and engineering, service, and construction contracts, directly supporting the installation and II Marine Expeditionary Force operational missions. I am extremely proud of his selection as the Moreell Medal recipient for 2019.”
The medal, first awarded in 1955, is given annually to an officer of the Navy Civil Engineer Corps, regular or reserve, on active or inactive duty, or retired, or to a civilian employee of NAVFAC, in recognition of outstanding contributions to military engineering.
Woodward expertly led his team in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, which was one of the worst hurricanes on record for the East Coast. His team brilliantly managed the immediate recovery of the installation's facilities and utilities infrastructure. His efforts led to a quick, effective, and efficient return to operations within days, allowing units and organizations to continue their missions while the Public Works Department (PWD) began the task of planning and executing permanent restoration and repair efforts.
Woodward accelerated his performance in 2019 by overseeing the execution of 182 construction contracts valued at $1.05 billion and work-in-place of $410 million while minimizing risks to quality, delay, and safety. The projects attracted high levels of attention from national, state, and local political leadership, highlighting the resiliency and capability of military engineers to support sustained operations that defend American interests around the world.
His efforts directing construction and service contracts directly supported the 38th Commandant of the Marine Corps Planning Guidance in alignment with the priorities of the National Defense Strategy.
“I am humbled and honored to receive this award,” said Woodward. “It's important to recognize that the entire PWD Camp Lejeune team deserve accolades for the tremendous volume of work we continue to execute since Hurricane Florence came through in September of 2018. Specifically, the ROICC is a phenomenally high functioning team, I may be the one receiving an award but everything has been a team effort.”
Woodward enlisted in the Navy in 1996 as a recruit and separated from the Navy in 2000 as a petty officer second class Aviation Electronics Technician. He rejoined in 2004 under the Collegiate program and was commissioned in the Navy as an ensign in 2006. He has a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from San Diego State University and a Master of Science in Civil Engineering (Construction Management) from the University of Texas at Austin.
The medal is named for Admiral Ben Moreell, founder of the Seabees. Moreell, the first chief of the Bureau of Yards and Docks—the predecessor to Naval Facilities Engineering Command—was largely responsible for overseeing the bureau's vast construction programs, both domestic and overseas, during World War II.