MIAMI, Fla. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and U.S. Southern Command honored USACE Mobile Deputy Commander for Latin America, Lt. Col. Humberto Boppell, during a retirement ceremony Dec. 16 at the Conference Center of America's in Miami, Fla.
During the ceremony, USACE South Atlantic Division Commander Brig. Gen. C. David Turner, Mobile District Commander Col. James DeLapp, and the Command Engineer for U.S. Southern Command, Col. Charles Samaris, thanked Boppell for his distinguished service to the nation and reflected on his accomplishments.
“You have done a great job in everything you have done,” said Turner during a phone call at the beginning of the ceremony. “On behalf of the nation, the Army, and the South Atlantic Division I want to extend my appreciation for (your) 27 years of service…and the sacrifices that you and your family have made.”
Earlier this year, Delapp had the opportunity to meet Boppell for the first time and present him with the Bronze De Fleury Medal for his service and support to the district. In just the short time he has gotten to know him, DeLapp has been highly impressed by Boppell’s dedication to mission.
“He is probably one of the most dedicated, most caring and most professional people I have ever worked with,” said DeLapp, “and (his) expertise has been a huge benefit for U.S. Southern Command and the Corps. He knows this area very well, (which) has made my life real easy. As a commander that puts you at ease because you have an expert running the show and I really appreciate that.”
“He has made an incredible mark on the Engineer regiment, and he really epitomizes the leadership we want,” he continued. “Whether it was building a school down in Central America, a police station in Afghanistan, or a Pediatric Oncology Hospital in Iraq he has made a significant difference. That’s not something everyone can say they have done in their life.”
Following the homage by his fellow peers, an emotionally charge Boppell thanked everyone for their kind words and explained why it was so special to forge his craft as an Army engineer.
“Thank you for honoring me with your presence today (and) thank you for expressing your heartfelt words of appreciation for my career,” said Boppell. “I joined the Army with a conviction of duty and selfless service to our nation (and) I can say that 27 years later, my convictions have not changed. I served along great people… with a sole purpose of selfless sacrifice to our nation (and) we share a special bond that will perpetuate and last a lifetime.”