Former Walla Walla District Chief of Operations honored

WALLA WALLA, Wash. – Wayne H. John, retired U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Walla Walla District, chief of Operations Division, received the District’s highest employee award on Friday, June 24. 

John was inducted into the District’s Gallery of Distinguished Civilian Employees during an award ceremony to highlight employee contributions to the Corps. His photo and a narrative will be permanently displayed at the District’s headquarters building along with past-years’ inductees. 

“Throughout his federal career, Wayne John consistently demonstrated superb technical talent, exceptional leadership qualities, tremendous dedication to the Corps of Engineers and an unwavering commitment to the welfare of all employees,” Walla Walla District Commander Lt. Col. Timothy Vail said during the award ceremony. “He is most deserving of this prestigious honor.” 

After graduating from Washington State University, John began his federal-service career in 1970 as an engineer trainee for the Bureau of Reclamation’s Grand Coulee Project where he quickly advanced to supervisor of the Mechanical-Electrical Inspection Section. He transferred to the Corps’ Walla Walla District in 1979 where he was assigned to the Lower Granite-Little Goose Project. John served in many District leadership positions including operations project manager for Lower Granite-Little Goose Project; assistant chief, Operations Division; acting operations project manager, Dworshak project, and acting deputy district commander. John then served as chief of Operations Division from 1995 until his retirement in 2007. 

John’s career with the Corps included many notable achievements. He led the District’s juvenile anadromous fish collection, transportation and research programs. John graduated from the Engineers and Scientists Executive Development Program in 1995. He was a member of the 1997 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Operations & Maintenance Cost Saving Task Force. He initiated the United Power Trades Organization (UPTO) Partnership Council to improve labor relations. John was also a founding member of the Joint Operating Committee to manage the Federal Columbia River Power System as a business partnership between the Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation and the Bonneville Power Administration. 

As Chairman of the Power Plant Training Committee, John began recruiting trades and crafts employees from 2-year vocational schools, an innovation that provided greater opportunities for minorities and women. For this and other efforts, he was recognized in 1983 as the Federal Women’s Program Supervisor of the Year for increasing representation of women in the technical workforce. 

“I’ve always appreciated the professional quality of stewardship that is evident for the public lands and facilities entrusted to the Corps of Engineers here in Walla Walla District,” John said to a standing-room-only crowd at the Walla Walla District Headquarters in Walla Walla, Washington. “I must say that I am very proud of all of you who continue to fight the good fight each day to overcome obstacles and successfully carry out these important public missions.” 

John continued a tradition of public service after retiring from the Corps in 2007 — as Chief of Road Operations and Maintenance for Walla Walla County Public Works. 

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Walla Walla District Commander Lt. Col. Timothy Vail honored Wayne H. John, retired Walla Walla District chief of Operations Division, as the Distinguished Civilian Employee of the Year during an award ceremony held June 24 at the District Headquarters in Walla Walla, Washington.  (Photo by Jeremy Brownfield, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Walla Walla District Commander Lt. Col. Timothy Vail honored Wayne H. John, retired Walla Walla District chief of Operations Division, as the Distinguished Civilian Employee of the Year during an award ceremony held June 24 at the District Headquarters in Walla Walla, Washington. (Photo by Jeremy Brownfield, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)

Wayne H. John, retired Walla Walla District chief of Operations Division, and his wife, Glenda, add Wayne’s portrait to the Distinguished Civilian Employee of the Year gallery in the District Headquarters during a June 24 ceremony in Walla Walla, Washington. (Photo by Jeremy Brownfield, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)

Wayne H. John, retired Walla Walla District chief of Operations Division, and his wife, Glenda, add Wayne’s portrait to the Distinguished Civilian Employee of the Year gallery in the District Headquarters during a June 24 ceremony in Walla Walla, Washington. (Photo by Jeremy Brownfield, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)

Wayne H. John, retired Walla Walla District chief of Operations Division, and his wife, Glenda, add Wayne’s portrait to the Distinguished Civilian Employee of the Year gallery in the District Headquarters during a June 24 ceremony in Walla Walla, Washington. (Photo by Jeremy Brownfield, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)

Wayne H. John, retired Walla Walla District chief of Operations Division, and his wife, Glenda, add Wayne’s portrait to the Distinguished Civilian Employee of the Year gallery in the District Headquarters during a June 24 ceremony in Walla Walla, Washington. (Photo by Jeremy Brownfield, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)

 

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