WIESBADEN, Germany - When Nilay Yardimci walks into the office Friday mornings, the smell of breakfast greets her at the door. ItAca,!a,,cs got to be Charlie.

Charles Truesdell has been the sole quality assurance representative for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Europe DistrictAca,!a,,cs Turkey Resident Office for the past four years, running from project to project, and yet still finds time to cook breakfast for the office, said Orkun Dincer, a project engineer in the TUSEG office.

Aca,!A"When youAca,!a,,cre around Charlie, not only will you be well fed, but youAca,!a,,cll also learn a lot from him,Aca,!A? Dincer said.

According to his colleagues, Truesdell also excels outside the kitchen, relying on his sharp mind, sage patience and 27 demanding years of field experience to become the best of the best.

Aca,!A"He has this magnitude of experience he can pull from and he has skills in multiple areas,Aca,!A? Dincer added. Aca,!A"IAca,!a,,cve seen a lot of QAs, but IAca,!a,,cve never seen one like him. He just loves what heAca,!a,,cs doing.Aca,!A?

So itAca,!a,,cs no surprise to them that Truesdell will receive the 2009 USACE Hard Hat of the Year Award in August as the yearAca,!a,,cs most outstanding construction field office team member.

Okan Nalbant, the officeAca,!a,,cs resident engineer, said Truesdell was nominated for his corporate knowledge and tireless oversight over the officeAca,!a,,cs projects over the past year, including Incirlik Air BaseAca,!a,,cs Eagle Housing, Consolidated Communications Facility, and miscellaneous job order contracts valued at more than $22 million.

Aca,!A"HeAca,!a,,cs the best at what he does Aca,!" and he does everything,Aca,!A? Nalbant said. Aca,!A"HeAca,!a,,cs extremely experienced and skilled, both in technical proficiency and in personality. HeAca,!a,,cs a coach and a mentor for the office and for the contractors he works with.Aca,!A?

In the award announcement, James Dalton, USACE chief of engineering and construction, added that Charles, and the other nominees for the award, are Aca,!A"outstanding examples of BUILDING STRONG for the engineering profession, the Corps, the Army, and the nation.Aca,!A?

Truesdell said he had no idea he was being considered for the award and thought the entire office ought to be recognized.

Aca,!A"I am just one part of the team that brings these projects to fruition,Aca,!A? he said. Aca,!A"My main role is to be out at the sites to ensure weAca,!a,,cre getting what our contracts call for. Many times my responsibilities overlap with the project engineers, so if IAca,!a,,cm successful, then that means these guys have also done their parts successfully.Aca,!A?

Truesdell was an electrical superintendent for a civilian company before he joined the Corps of Engineers in 1984 in Misawa, Japan, as part of a rapid development program. Although he went to the St. Louis District after his tour ended, he found himself back in Japan for several years before relocating to Turkey in 2001.

His variety of experience is what makes Truesdell the right guy be honored, said Volkan Tunay, a project engineer in the TUSEG office.

Aca,!A"HeAca,!a,,cs a problem-solver. Whenever you ask him for his opinion, he comes up with all of these great ideas he pulls from his experience over the years,Aca,!A? Tunay said. Aca,!A"IAca,!a,,cve only been here for four months, but even in that short time, IAca,!a,,cve learned so much from him. He is very friendly, very helpful, humble, hospitable and very cooperative individual.Aca,!A?

But even more, Yardimci said he is the glue that holds the office together like a family.
Aca,!A"The work I do in this office is not just work to me. They are my family and when they need me, IAca,!a,,cm there to help them. Charlie brought that environment to the office,Aca,!A? Yardimci said. Aca,!A"He has friends all over the base. Everyone who knows Charlie or works with him is an instant friend.Aca,!A?

At 71 years old, Truesdell said the word retirement comes up often. But he recoils at the thought, Nalbant said.

Aca,!A"Charlie laughs when others mention Aca,!Eoeretirement,Aca,!a,,c telling his younger counterparts that Aca,!EoeI got the best retirement plan Aca,!" IAca,!a,,cm on the WTID [Work Aca,!EoeTil I Die] plan,Aca,!a,,cAca,!A? he said. Aca,!A"But Charlie isnAca,!a,,ct on the WTID because of any financial need. He enjoys passing on his skills to the next generation of engineers and construction workers.Aca,!A?

And Nalbant said they will be happy to have Truesdell for as long as they can hold on to him.

Aca,!A"There is a Turkish proverb that fits Charlie like a glove: True wealth is not abundance in property, but a generous heart,Aca,!A? he said. Aca,!A"And like King Midas of ancient Turkey, everything Charlie touches turns to gold, but in CharlieAca,!a,,cs case, it is a blessing he gives to the projects he works on and to the people he works with.Aca,!A?