By Ms. Cathy Kropp (IMCOM)April 20, 2010
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. -- The former environmental division chief at the Army's Daegu Korea installation received recognition at the Army's annual Installation Symposium in San Antonio, Texas.
Mr. Robert Chartier captured the individual award in the environmental quality category of the fical year 2009 Secretary of the Army Environmental Awards Program. Though presented by Lt. Gen. Rick Lynch, commanding general of Installation Management Command, Chartier competed with teams and individuals from across the Army for this honor; the only individual Army award bestowed this year.
Chartier was recognized for his superb management of all environmental program areas for the Daegu garrison. "It's always an honor to be recognized, especially at this level; however, many of these achievements would never have been possible had it not been for the outstanding support I received from my entire environmental staff and the Daegu garrison leadership who supported my vision for the direction of the environmental program."
From recycling to wetland restoration to electric vehicles, Chartier's vision was felt throughout the garrison, and even outside the gates.
Chartier's efforts to inform and involve the community through environmental awareness events, such as the Earth Day 5K run, a Chilgok County/Waegwan City tree planting, Arbor Day mass tree planting in Daegu city, and environmental displays at the Armed Forces Day open house helped advance the installation's environmental goals and enhance the partnership between the community and the U.S. military.
Development of the first ISO-14001 environmental management system for an overseas garrison is attributed to Chartier. He envisioned and put into practice a cross-functional team to ensure implementation of the environmental management system supported the mission of the Daegu-stationed units.
Working with the local public works contract management office, Chartier combined the solid waste and recycling contracts to increase profits, help reduce solid waste generation and increase the solid waste diversion rate.
A program rewarding units for their participation in the recycling program sparked renewed interest at the unit level. Daegu's qualitative recycling program continues to be recognized as the best program in Korea.
Two noteworthy projects implemented under Chartier's leadership are the zero air pollution electrical trucks and the wetland restoration project at Camp Carroll.
Chartier recognized the alternative fueled vehicles and neighborhood electric vehicles used at U.S. installations were not available in Korea. His research led to the discovery of ZAP vehicles which the installation purchased to help meet its fleet vehicle management goal.
Chartier's vision included a nature park with educational venues, walking trails and viewing platforms for those who live and work on Camp Carroll. In addition, Chartier designed this project as a watershed protection buffer and attenuation zone for the natural runoff and monsoonal storm water flow passing through the installation.
The goal was to re-establish the hydrologic and vegetative community of a historic wetland habitat on Camp Carroll. A number of aquatic invertebrates, raccoons and other small mammals have already established footholds in the wetlands, with future increases in faunal biodiversity of the installation expected.
Chartier understands the connection and need for balance between the environment, the community and the mission. He has shown through his example how one person can make a difference and how an installation can maximize cost savings through innovation, collaborative solutions and continuous learning and sharing.
An independent panel of judges made up of professionals from federal, state and Army organizations recommended Daegu's nomination for the award. The Secretary of the Army Environmental Awards represent the highest honor in the field of environmental science and sustainability conferred by the Army.
Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for the Environment, Safety and Occupational Health Tad Davis recognized Mr. Chartier and the winners of the other eight categories as the best examples of how environmental stewardship and sustainability play a crucial role in the Army's mission readiness.
"The Army recognizes successes that demonstrate mission-driven solutions that protect the environment at installations here and overseas. Whatever we do needs to revolve around supporting the mission, taking care of our Soldiers, civilians, and Families," said Davis. "In simplistic terms the Army, our Army, your Army - is building green, buying green and going green. These winning environmental programs make the Army sustainable thereby impacting generations to come."
For details about the Secretary of the Army Environmental Award recipients, visit the U.S. Army Environmental Command's Web site at http://aec.army.mil/usaec/newsroom/awards00.html.