MOBILE, Ala. – Growing up in North Carolina, Josh Davis love to spend his days outdoors interacting with nature at John H. Kerr lake.
When he was in college at N.C. State University, Josh’s interest got piqued again, and he began an internship at Falls Lake.
That internship eventually grew into a job with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and eventually to his current position as Chief Ranger at Walter F. George Lake and Dam in Fort Gaines, Georgia.
“I really enjoy this job,” Davis said. “It’s not just a job, it’s a career, a vocation. Being the lead ranger is different, delegating is hard for me. But I’m working on developing those skills and I enjoy it.”
After college, Davis started his career with USACE working at Falls Lake in the Wilmington District. He then moved to Allatoona Lake, Georgia in 2015 and in December of 2021 he took the lead ranger position with Walter F. George.
Around that same time, he married his wife Marisa.
“That was a lot of change in a short amount of time,” Davis said. “Marisa and I got married in November. I found out I got the position at Walter F. George in December and moved here, and I started working here in January.”
Throughout his career Davis has looked for opportunities to pursue leadership opportunities, whether it be teaching boating classes or leading small groups.
Sara Jernigan, who is the Natural Resource Manager at Walter F. George, said the reputation that he had garnered along with his mindset is what led her to selecting Davis for his lead ranger role.
“Josh came to the Walter F. George Project highly recommended from his previous project and from peers who had worked with him throughout his career,” Jernigan said. “He has earned a reputation as a very professional forward-thinking ranger. He is willing to assist outside his duties. Josh never hesitates to offer suggestions to make tasks easier and workflows more efficient. Josh is proud to be a ranger in the Corps of Engineers and represents himself and the organization well.”
Bobby Moore, Operations Project Manager for the ACF Rivers Project, which oversees Walter F. George, said he expects Davis to do well in his new position.
“Josh started his new position in December of 2021 at the Walter F. George Resource Management Office as one of our Chief Rangers,” Moore said. “He is a valued addition to our team, and we look forward to his development and leadership as a new supervisor.”
Davis said his advice to those who are thinking about or want to become a ranger, is to volunteer.
“Get your foot in the door and see what the work is all about,” Davis said. “A lot of students come out of school with not a lot of experience. Volunteering is the best place to start. You will get experience, plus you can see if the career is really something you want to pursue and make a career.”
Davis said the main attributes a successful ranger has to have is the ability to adjust and to work well with others.
“You have to have the ability to change direction and adapt to emerging situations,” Davis said. “I may come in at 8 a.m. with a plan, but one phone call change my plans and I have to adapt to make sure that situation is handled. The ability to adapt also takes people skills. Being able to deal with people and being able to deal with change are the foundation of this job.”