By Lisa SimunaciAugust 20, 2019
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. - Golden shovels, ceremonial hard hats and nearly four decades of engineering awards are among Claudinette Purifoy-Fears' highest career honors.
"But the best recognition is knowing the difference I've made for the men and women who serve our country," Purifoy-Fears said. "That impact is monumental."
As the Sparkman Center on Redstone Arsenal marked a quiet 25-year anniversary, Purifoy-Fears recalled her contribution to the project and to the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command.
Purifoy-Fears worked for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District, as a civil engineer for the final phase of the Sparkman Center in the late 1990s, which added three buildings and a central plant to the original project. She also worked projects from the Base Realignment and Closure that brought several organizations to Redstone Arsenal.
She now works for the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command as a general engineer in the G4 - and as fate would have it, her office is located in the Sparkman Center.
"They always say to build a project as if you would someday live in it," she said laughing. "Who would have thought?"
While she always knew her work was important, Purifoy-Fears said when she came to AMCOM, she experienced a paradigm shift in the way she viewed her efforts.
"It has always been primary for me that the mission is carried out," she said.
But working at AMCOM helped her see how all she had done at the Corps of Engineers and the work she continues to do for the command impacts the national security.
"I have come to understand how my work really affects the warfighter," Purifoy-Fears said. "It is so important that the men and women who support us are provided the tools they need and how what we do supports that effort. I always knew it, but did not fully realize the impact of getting projects approved and completed."
To that end, Purifoy-Fears said AMCOM is very successful. Recently approved upcoming AMCOM projects totaling more than $300 million include corrosion control facilities, aircraft hangars and a fire station at locations across the country, including Corpus Christi and Letterkenny Army Depots, Fort Stewart, Georgia, and Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.
"Claudinette developed her skills at the Corps of Engineers and came to AMCOM as an accomplished project manager," said her second-line supervisor, AMCOM Engineering and Property Chief Perry Johnson. "Now on the AMCOM team, she is instrumental in AMCOM's success in military construction projects."
Looking back over her career that began as an intern, Purifoy-Fears said she is grateful for the many opportunities, from spending time on construction sites to serving as a mentor to students and new engineers. Beyond her understanding of engineering and construction, she also imparts the importance of providing leadership onsite.
"The role of project manager is all-encompassing - from safety to fiscal stewardship. You have to be a jack of all trades," she said. "I also view my role in any job as a mentor and teacher. I give what I know -- because I had it given to me." And, she does it all from an office in the Sparkman Center, a building she helped to build.