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Posted 7/3/2018

Release no. 18-045

Chuck Walker

Mobile, Alabama – When Col. Sebastien P. Joly assumed command of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Mobile District in a change of command ceremony on June 29, 2018, he knew he was in for some challenges.

      Coming off of a two-year tour in Washington, D.C. serving as an Operations Officer in the Directorate of Regional Operations in the Directorate of Regional Operations and Global Force Management for the Joint Staff, Joly understood coming to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and commanding USACE Mobile District would be different.

     Although he thinks it will be both challenging and different, Joly said he is looking forward to working with and leading the District.

     “I’m nervous as I begin as this is something very new,” said Joly. “But, I have had to operate and lead in the operational Army and the skillset translates. I will start my command by leading the people and focusing on learning all the processes and figure out where I can focus after that. Treating people with dignity and respect, those are the tools to be successful.”

     For Joly and his family, wife Vanessa and children Emma and Gabriel, it is a chance to be near family. Vanessa is from Excel, Ala., and the family will live in Spanish Fort, where Emma will attend the Alabama School of Math and Science and Gabriel will go to Spanish Fort Middle School.

     The Joly family, who have made 11 moves during the commander’s military career, will also look forward to the stability that the three-year tour will bring. He also understands how rewarding the job will be from a career standpoint.

      “We’re extremely happy,” Joly said. “To be near family, both of our parents who are aging, was important to us. USACE directly serves the American people. This will be one of the most rewarding jobs of my career.”

     Joly said he is looking forward to working hand-in-hand with the civilian workforce of the Mobile District, who he said has already made an impression upon him. He also said he also understands what his role will be as he begins command.

     “When you are working with professionals, you explain what you want to achieve, rather than dictate the path,” said Joly. “I describe where I want to go and the let the people get me there. You have to be humble in this job. I’m impressed with the professionalism of the workforce. When you combine their experience level and their longevity, it makes for a well-run organization.”

     As Joly begins to command the District, he stated he has set four goals for himself and the District:

  1. Maintaining trust of the American people.

  2. Supporting the Chief’s efforts to revolutionize the Corps

  3. Deliver the existing program

  4. Taking care of the people     

     Joly said he wanted to make the Mobile District a place where people look forward to coming to work to.

     “I will focus on recruiting, retaining and developing the workforce,” Joly said. “The people, they make this place work. People will stay where they are happy.”

     One of the added benefits to coming to work for the Mobile District, Joly said, is the exposure it will give his children to the Corps. He is also looking forward to watching a certain team from Tuscaloosa hoist another trophy.

     “My family is very important to me,” said Joly. “This is an opportunity to expose my family and children to USACE. An opportunity to expose them to the work they do, maybe inspire them to become engineers or Corps employees. I am also looking forward to actually being in Alabama, when Alabama wins another championship.”

     Joly said he is looking forward to helping the Mobile District maintain its excellence and success.

     “I’m happy to join the Mobile District team and look forward to engineering solutions to the nation’s toughest challenges,” said Joly.