VICKSBURG, Miss. (Aug. 6, 2018)--Bill Woodard, chief counsel for the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, recently received the highest award conferred by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Lester Edelman Spirit of Arrowhead Award. Woodard was presented the award by David Cooper, chief counsel, USACE, at the USACE Worldwide Legal Services Conference in Fort Worth, Texas.

The award recognizes the accumulation of accomplishments during the recipient's career.

‟The award commends legal services leaders who achieve excellence by making significant contributions to the Corps' Legal Services Community of Practice, especially in terms of client care and leadership," Woodard said. "It was quite a surprise to me to be nominated by David Cooper and it's a great honor to be recognized by your peers for the legal work you've done."

This is only the second time in 30 years the award has been bestowed upon a managing attorney in a USACE research and development organization.

Woodard has been a managing attorney at every level in the Corps. He was with ERDC's Construction and Engineering Research Laboratory for 15 years; he served in both the Savannah and Nashville Districts; and he was division counsel for South Atlantic Division.

Woodard was deployed twice, serving as division counsel for the Gulf Region Division in Iraq and for the Transatlantic Division, Afghanistan Engineer District (North) in Afghanistan. He returned to the U.S. in 2015 and accepted a position as ERDC counsel at the Vicksburg site.

Since arriving at ERDC, Woodard has addressed issues associated with research and development contracts, service contracts and fiscal law. He has worked with labor relations and Equal Employment Opportunity issues. His office collaborates with the chief counsel's office to address authority issues associated with conference approvals, fiscal law, contracts, ethics, international agreements and complex section 219 issues.

Woodard is also leading the effort to develop a plan to reorganize USACE intellectual property legal services under ERDC.

Woodard recognized his colleagues for the roles they play in providing quality client care at ERDC. "This award is also a testament to the ERDC Office of Counsel and to all the outstanding attorneys supporting the office," he said.

The Spirit of the Arrowhead Award refers to the first USACE Worldwide Legal Services Conference held in Lake Arrowhead, Georgia, in 1984. The gathering was led by Lester Edelman, who also articulated a commitment shared by all attendees to pursue excellence in client care leadership; the award is given in the spirit of that first meeting.