JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (NNS) -- Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southeast Asset Management business line coordinator (BLC) retired Nov. 1 after dedicating more than 40 years to government service.
Bill Sloan said goodbye to many of his co-workers and friends at an informal retirement luncheon held on board Naval Air Station Jacksonville Oct. 31.
"I would like to express my sincere appreciation and gratitude for your superb performance over the past forty-three years of service to the Naval Facilities Engineering Command and the Department of the Defense," said NAVFAC Southeast Commanding Officer Capt. Christopher Kiwus. "NAVFAC Southeast is losing an extremely valuable employee, team member and leader."
Sloan, an unassuming quiet professional, began his engineering career serving as an officer with the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers from 1970 to 1973. He began his service with NAVFAC in August 1973.
"My first civil service job with NAVFAC was as a PDC (Professional Development Center) intern in the Environmental Branch, Utilities Division at SOUTHDIV (NAVFAC Southern Division)," said Sloan.
"I was a sanitary engineer at the time but my main job was NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) planning. I wrote environmental impact statements for construction, dredging, and land acquisition projects and conducted environmental compliance assessments at installations in the Southeast," said Sloan.
Sloan went on to assume positions of great responsibility with the NAVFAC Southeast leadership team and Executive Support Group serving as Capital Improvements BLC from 2006-2008 before finishing his career as the Asset Management BLC.
"I have a lot of fond memories working here," said Sloan. "My most memorable experience was being part of the establishment of NAVFAC Southeast (in June 2006), particularly since I was able to participate in the transformation and establishment of two very different business lines (Capital Improvements and Asset Management)."
"The biggest test we faced back then was the transition of the Capital Improvements Business Line from SOUTHDIV (in Charleston, S.C.) to NAVFAC Southeast (in Jacksonville, Fla.). Moving from Charleston to Jacksonville and reorganizing and transforming during a time of record high workloads was particularly challenging," said Sloan.
During the transition from Charleston to Jacksonville, NAVFAC Southeast lost more than 80 percent of its engineers and architects and more than 90 percent of its Real Estate professionals. Sloan's first task was to rebuild the Command's engineering organization during the largest construction program on record for either Southern Division or the newly established NAVFAC Southeast organization. His efforts were immensely successful enlisting a diverse and talented body of professionals capable of designing, managing, and constructing more than $1 billion a year of facility improvements.
"Teamwork and the efforts of dedicated professionals across the organization made the reorganization successful," said Sloan.
And asked what sage advice he would be willing to pass on to others, Sloan circled back to a familiar theme. "Always remember the value and importance of good teamwork."
"Your versatility and vast knowledge were invaluable in providing warfighter mission and family support, not only at NAVFAC Southeast, but directly supporting the warfighters in Iraq, Afghanistan, Haiti, and other locations throughout the world," said Kiwus. "I hope your retirement provides you with new challenges as rewarding and fulfilling as those you have achieved throughout your combined 43 year civil service and military career."
Although Sloan wanted to quietly slip into retirement, his friends and co-workers at NAVFAC Southeast would have none of it. Said Sloan of the luncheon, "I enjoyed the kinds words and the luncheon, all of it, very much."
Sloan plans to spend his early retirement years traveling with his wife to the national parks in the western United States.
Bravo Zulu for a job well done shipmate as we wish you fair winds and following seas!