One of the highest honors awarded in the Corps of Engineers is the de Fleury Medal. There are four orders of the medal: Steel, Bronze, Silver and Gold.
Lt. Col. Antoinette Gant recognized Capt. Christopher Larson, Joan Roll and Christopher Parrish with the Steel de Fleury Medal at the District’s Winter Ball, Dec. 6, 2013. During the District’s quarterly town hall meeting Dec. 12, 2013, Gant recognized Glenn Roybal, chief of the Cost Engineering Section, with the Bronze de Fleury Medal.
The de Fleury Medal honors Francois Louis Tesseidre de Fleury, a French Engineer in the Continental Army. De Fleury’s courage under fire at the battle at Stony Point, New York, in 1779 won him the accolades of Congress. During the battle to recapture the point, the Americans scrambled up the rocky slope with de Fleury in the lead. First over the wall, de Fleury was followed by a wave of American bayonets. Rushing to the flag pole, de Fleury cut the British colors from their staff.
For his intrepid behavior, the Continental Congress awarded a medal struck in his honor. It is understood that the de Fleury Medal was the first Congressional Medal struck, if not the first medal authorized.
On the medal’s front is “A Memorial and Reward for Courage and Boldness” in Latin. In the center appears the image of a helmeted soldier standing amidst the ruins of a fort, holding in his right hand an unsheathed sword, and in his left the staff of the enemy’s flag, which he tramples underfoot.
On the reverse, again in Latin: “Fortifications, Marshes, Enemies Overcome.” In the center the fortress at Stony Point is depicted with both turrets and a flag flying. At the base of the hill are two shore batteries, one of which is firing at one of six vessels on the Hudson River. Beneath the fort is the legend: “Stony Point Carried by Storm, July 15, 1779.”
The Steel de Fleury Medal recognizes “superior service to the Engineer Regiment as it supports the Army to assure mobility, enhance protection, enable expeditionary logistics, and build capacity in order to provide commanders with the freedom of action required for full spectrum operations in an era of persistent conflict.”
Capt. Larson served as a Squadron Engineer in Afghanistan prior to joining the Albuquerque District. While here, he served as a Project Engineer at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., supporting the military construction program of over $500 million, which is 20 percent of the Air Force military construction budget. He personally managed projects worth over $50 million. He was also the Action Officer for the Albuquerque District Emergency Power Team and ready to deploy in support of domestic emergencies, if needed. Currently Larson is heading off to Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., to complete the Engineer Captains Career Course.
“It was an honor receiving the de Fleury Medal and I would like to thank everyone who I have had the privilege to learn from during my tenure in the Albuquerque District,” Larson said.
Engineer Technician Joan Roll provides a pinnacle example of what a strong work ethic looks like. “For the past 18 months she has provided home station “cover” for a peer employee as he was deployed to Afghanistan. Ms. Roll assumed a good portion of this employee’s duties and even more amazingly did it during a period in which the Albuquerque District was awash in a large number of in-house design projects. Roll has provided key technical support in over 10 projects of this type with a value of over $100 million in the past year.” Roll also performed important key ancillary duties behind the scenes in such a matter that “things just appear to get done.” Additionally she has a desire to gain and share knowledge, positioning her and her team for the future.
"I have always believed in hard work, core values, self-discipline and treating others with respect. But I also believe that I could not have accomplished my goals without the help of my coworkers," Roll said after receiving the medal.
Chris Parrish is a junior project manager in the Albuquerque District Regulatory Division and received the Steel de Fleury award based upon his outstanding work ethic and demonstration of the Army values of duty, selfless service, integrity and personal courage.
“After just over two years of service to USACE, he has consistently demonstrated the qualities that this award embodies. In a short time, he has become an extremely valuable and irreplaceable part of the Regulatory team and rapidly took on increasingly complex projects. Chris also exemplifies the value of selfless service.” In addition to his normal job duties, Parrish has volunteered for numerous initiatives that are important to the Albuquerque District team.
“I am very moved by the actions of my coworkers to nominate me to receive this award. It was quite unexpected, and I was a bit overwhelmed by the experience of being honored in this manner with the attendance of my colleagues and the many distinguished guests at the Winter Ball,” Parrish said on receiving the recognition.
The Bronze de Fleury recognizes an individual who has rendered significant service or support to an element of the Engineer Regiment. Roybal’s citation reads in part: “The Army Engineer Association, on behalf of the Engineer Regiment, is proud to award the Bronze Order of the de Fleury Medal to Mr. Glenn G. Roybal, P.E. For Inspirational leadership to the United States Army Corps of Engineers.”
Roybal has spent 33 years with the Corps of Engineers in Albuquerque and 24 years as a major in the New Mexico Air National Guard. His career has spanned many areas of planning, project management, cost engineering and construction. He is directly responsible for coordinating the hiring, development, and placement of nearly 50 Department of Army interns in the Albuquerque District. Roybal was instrumental in the development and implementation of several standard operating procedures which are still widely used in the Albuquerque District and Corps of Engineers today. And through his efforts and the leadership of his team, “the Albuquerque District has been able to secure contracts for construction and negotiate modifications; in essence, finding savings to the government for programs in excess of $700 million.”