By Spc. Aislinn Amig, 18th Eng. Bde. Public AffairsOctober 28, 2010
WURZBURG, Germany - The 18th Engineer Brigade hosted the 2010 European Castle Ball, inviting hundreds of engineers across Europe to the Fortress Marienberg here Sept. 24.
Engineers from the 9th, 15th, 40th and 54th Engineer Battalions, as well as guests from the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff of Engineers and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers were present along with U.S. airmen and seamen as well as Polish, Austrian and German soldiers, officers and engineers. The event, among many things, helped encouraged relationship building across the engineer community in Europe.
Some of the highlights of the night included a live performance from the U.S. Army Europe Band, the awarding of the de Fleury Medal to several of Europe's top noncommissioned officers and officers, and a speech from USAREUR Commanding General Gen. Carter F. Ham.
Videos showing the engineer efforts across Europe were played throughout the night, highlighting the different units' achievements. Ranging from construction missions to route clearance missions, it showed how versatile engineers are today.
Several Soldiers were awarded the engineer regiment's esteemed de Fleury medal, named after Francois Louis Tesseidre de Fleury, who served in the French army as an engineer and volunteered to assist the Continental Army in recapturing Stony Point from the British in 1779.
The de Fleury is awarded to Soldiers who exemplify the spirit of the Corps of Engineers. The Bronze de Fleury Medal may be presented to an individual who has rendered significant service or support to an element of the engineer regiment. It is no small task to accomplish with such a diverse regiment.
An example of this was the awarding of the Bronze de Fleury to the 18th Eng. Bde. safety officer, Michael Wells-Smith, a retired Marine Gunnery Sgt. and native of Moses Lake, Wash., for his assistance to the engineer regiment during his time with the brigade.
Ham shared with the audience his experiences with engineers throughout his career. His remarks struck true to every engineer in the room, attesting to the rugged determination, adaptability and ingenuity of the engineer on the battlefield. Ham told stories of engineers who have been there to get the job done.
Col. Paul M. Paolozzi, the commander of the 18th Eng. Bde., initiated the event to gather the multi-national, multi-branch engineer community together to begin new relationships and encourage working with one another.
"The camaraderie and teamwork that we build here will sow the seeds of victory in another location," Paolozzi said.