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Posted 11/29/2017

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By John Barker, Mobile District, public affairs specialist

“Humble and thankful” is how U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District, human resources director Kerry Murray describes himself since his Puerto Rico deployment.

Murray said the most rewarding part of the deployment for him was, “to see the resiliency and faith of the people affected by Hurricane Maria. It has humbled me to be thankful for what I have and the resources we have in the United States.”

Murray arrived on the island Oct. 5 and will depart Dec. 5. He will return to Puerto Rico and continue supporting the mission after a brief stay at home.

“Kerry has been an incredible asset for the Puerto Rico Recovery Field Office,” said Col. James DeLapp, district commander. “He brings a wealth of experience and a sense of inventiveness to the position that helps us to get a lot accomplished in a short time. He has been instrumental in the hiring of numerous local Puerto Ricans to assist the Corps in executing its mission.”

As the Civilian Personnel Advisory Center, or CPAC, director, Murray has oversight of all recruitments, classification of position descriptions, adverse actions, workman's compensation and health benefit actions for the district.

While deployed, he oversees and maintains accountability of the administrative staff and local employees that are hired through a contract for the Recovery Field Office and. He also in-processes personnel arriving to Puerto Rico; as well as advises personnel on Workman's Compensation, pay entitlements, timesheets, conduct, sexual harassment and workplace violence policies. He advises supervisors and mission managers on adverse actions and performance issues and works with safety personnel, making recommendations on whether to send employees home due to health or performance concerns.

As a Civilian Human Resource Agency employee Murray has worked with the Corps and Mobile District for 10 years and deployed twice: to San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Birmingham, Ala.

“I haven't heard one complaint from anyone here in Puerto Rico that was affected by the storm since I have been here, which is amazing,” Murray said. “We complain of way smaller issues in the United States. Let's get over ourselves no matter what your race, religion or whatever the issue is and come together as one to make the world a better place. So many of us could learn from the people here in Puerto Rico.”