The Secretary of the Army Meritorious Civilian Service Medal, was awarded to Ms. Emilija M. Kolevski for exceptionally meritorious service as the Chief of Engineering and Technical Services Division while deployed in support of Operation Freedom's Sentinel.

Kolevski oversaw the engineering and technical services (operations and maintenance) in support of the Transatlantic Afghanistan District mission. The Division headquartered at the Kandahar Project Delivery Platform included a cadre of engineers: civil, mechanical, electrical, cost, and architectural; a team of contracting officer's representatives (CORs), and in addition, more than 150 Local Nationals that provide site assessments and other technical work through the USACE District's personal service contract.

"My job responsibilities were numerous and reached across the organization," Kolevski said. She planned the work to be accomplished and set and adjusted priorities and schedules for completion of the work in this contingency environment. As the senior civilian for the Kandahar platform she oversaw hiring actions for the Division and recommended personnel appointments, promotions or reassignments of such positions.

Along with identifying and providing resources to accomplish the mission, she managed transitions in a dynamic environment.

Kolevski from the USACE Los Angeles District began with the Corps more than 10 years ago following an economic recession in 2010 which led to drastically reduced hours while she was working for URS (AECOM). She was the Deputy Chief of Engineering Division there prior to her deployment to the Afghanistan District.

The Transatlantic Afghanistan District supports the "train, advise, and assist" mission in theater. "This is how we contribute to the establishment of peace, and reduction of conflict in Afghanistan. Through our efforts to build facilities and infrastructure to support Afghan Self Defense Forces and the International Coalition Forces, and by training and employing hundreds of local national Afghan Engineers and technical support personnel through our personal service contract, we are establishing a foundation for peace in Afghanistan," Kolevski said.

What compelled her to apply for the opportunity to deploy to the District was the great mission USACE is enduring in support of a better future for the people of this country, even though she noted the challenges, but also the extreme rewards to be contributing in this way.

With a successful tour behind her and a great team to carry on the mission, she is now able to enjoy spending time with her kids, and curling up to a good book if not taking a hike or continuing on in her travels.

She returns with a great sense of pride and the Global War on Terrorism and NATO medal. Not to mention her name is forever written on the Kandahar Project Delivery Platform Brick Wall, joining many who have been here before her, and many more to join in on the mission to build capacity within the population of Afghanistan.