Transatlantic Division Commander Col. (P) Chris Beck and his wife Sally were both presented with awards prior to their departure from the Division during a ceremony June 16, 2020, at TAD’s Headquarters in Winchester, Virginia, held in conjunction with a formal ceremony where Beck relinquished command of TAD.
The U.S. Army and the Army Engineer Regiment presented Sally Beck with two awards for her service to the men and women of the Transatlantic Division. First, she was presented with the Meritorious Public Service Medal by Lt. Gen. Todd T. Semonite, the 54th Chief of Engineers and Commanding General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for her extraordinary contributions to USACE, the Department of the Army and the Department of Defense from June 2019 to June 2020. During this time she significantly improved the quality of life for Soldiers and their families through her dedicated and exceptional service as an Army spouse – and most importantly as a leader and volunteer.
“Since becoming an Army wife, Sally has immersed herself in the Army lifestyle focusing much of her energy on supporting families of other young soldiers. Her passion calls her to pursue this at each new assignment,” Semonite said. “Sally has devoted her time to develop deep relationships with the spouses of the officers under Chris’ command. Her goal is to ensure they fully understand – and take advantage of – the network of programs available to Soldiers and their families across the Department of the Army. She shows that same level of dedication and compassion to the Department of the Army civilian population that is inherent to most USACE organizations."
As he presented the medal Sally, Semonite said: “This is for all you’ve done for the families across the Army. [Because of their mission location] TAD always has people in harm’s way. Whether you have stepped up to take care of your teammates here in TAD or to take care of the teammates from across USACE to deploy on behalf of the Transatlantic Division from other districts, you’ve done a great job.”
Sally was then presented with The Essayons Award for Spouses for her inspirational leadership to the Army Corps of Engineers Regiment and in recognition of her outstanding dedication, devotion and selfless service to the Engineer Regiment. The award read in part: “Your efforts represent the Essayons spirit of ‘Let us try’ and the sacrifice, commitment and steadfast loyalty to your Engineer, the United States Army Corps of Engineers Regiment and the United States Army.”
The award was presented by Semonite’s wife, Connie, and Kim Houston, wife of USACE Command Sergeant Major Bradley Houston. When presenting the award, Connie said it was designed with spouses in mind. From the red and white ribbon representing the Corps of Engineers, to the service star from which the USACE Castle hangs, to the diamond in the center. “The castle represents our home because spouses are the center of the home, and because no matter where the Army sends us, our home is our castle,” she said.
Connie said a diamond was specifically chosen for the center of the award because diamonds are put under great pressure and go through many changes before they become diamonds, just as military spouses do over the course of their Soldier’s career.
Beck was then presented with the Legion of Merit for his service as the Transatlantic Division commander. The award cited the colonel’s “exceptional leadership through a period of great change,” including the ability to rapidly respond to increasingly difficult conditions while supporting overseas contingency operations in throughout the Middle East in the U.S. Central Command’s area of responsibilities, and for supporting the U.S. Special Operations Command construction program globally. These diverse missions were accomplished while the Transatlantic Division also executed its challenging construction missions while continuing to improve project deliver for TAD’s host nation and allied partners.
Following the presentation of awards, Semonite said the Becks are a great couple who have done a phenomenal job throughout their career. “What a tremendous, positive influence to the Army and the community at large these two have made,” he said.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, all awards were presented while practicing social distancing.