WIESBADEN, Germany -- Scott Swanson, a quality control representative and contracting officer representative for Europe District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Mediterranean Resident Office, won the 2018 Hard Hat of the Year.The award recognizes the most outstanding construction field office employee across the Corps, said Col. John Baker, commander of Europe District."We have a great mission and a great team," Baker said. "Scott winning this award proves that; well done, Scott!""I'm surprised -- it's pretty awesome!" Swanson said. "Winning makes you feel pretty good."Bryce Jones, Mediterranean Office resident engineer, nominated Swanson for the award."Scott is very deserving of this award," Jones said.When Swanson arrived in Vicenza, Italy, 16 months ago, Jones said Swanson asked to be the COR on a "critically important project" -- the Villagio Senior Staff Housing. His initiative positively affected the first phase of the project being delivered on schedule and, using the lessons learned, improved efficiency and ensured the quality of the project's second phase.
Swanson, a retired master sergeant who spent nine years in the Infantry before joining the Reserves as a carpentry and masonry specialist, has worked for USACE for 10 years. He PCSed from the Omaha District where he worked at the power plant at the Gavins Point Dam in Yankton, South Dakota."I love working for the Corps," Swanson said. "This is the first time I've worked as the COR -- I'm very busy and engaged in the process."Swanson is proactive in working with the contractor, Jones said. A key example is a renovation project for U.S. Army Africa. Meeting with stakeholders, he developed a site modification that met all requirements and resulted in saving the government more than 250,000 euros.Another example of Swanson's technical acumen resulted in garrison leaders requesting him to be the COR on future barracks projects. He expertly managed a five barracks renovation project, Jones said."All the barracks experienced differing site conditions and had the potential for a significant time impact," Jones said. "As the COR of this critical Soldier housing project, Scott managed all modifications and negotiated a bilateral agreement at half the time the contractor initially requested. He ensured the project quality was met for this on time delivery."Swanson has worked at forts Benning and Gordon, Georgia; Kandahar, Afghanistan; Romania on the missile defense project and was TDY in Israel for several months."This is the best job yet," Swanson said. "It's a nice area and I'm busier than I need to be."