Blue and Gold - Fall 2021 | Winter 2022 Volume 2 - Issue 2 - Page 53

became General Mine Foreman . He also served as a member of the West Virginia State Mine Rescue Team .
In 1984 , having earned his Bachelor ’ s degree , Bob left mining and was hired as a construction manager for LPA Group in Columbia , SC . He was assigned as a project engineer for the replacement of a primary taxi way at Shaw and attached to the 20th Civil Engineer Squadron as a contract employee . This squadron is responsible for maintaining the base ’ s infrastructure .
Not long after , having demonstrated his skills as a project manager , the Air Force hired Bob as one of their own civil service employees .
During his next 36 years , Bob oversaw projects totaling $ 1.2 billion . Among his most noted accomplishments were the replacement and rebuilding of both runways and runway components . In addition , he oversaw the maintenance of forty miles of roads and streets , enough for a small city .
As a result , Shaw ranked among the top two airfields in the Air Force .
In the aftermath of the 9 / 11 attacks , Shaw was among many military installations deemed vulnerable to possible terrorist attack . In response , Bob supervised the construction of new entry gates .
In 1989 Hurricane Hugo hit with more than 100 mph winds , causing nearly $ 50 million in damages and dealing a crippling blow to the base ’ s capabilities . Bob stepped in to coordinate recovery efforts , then to rebuild mission critical facilities .
In the aftermath of the 9 / 11 attacks , Shaw was among many military installations deemed vulnerable to possible terrorist attack . In response , Bob supervised the construction of new entry gates . He also redesigned inbound and outbound lanes to slow significantly any forced entry by unauthorized vehicles .
“ I could not have had the life I ’ ve had without Bluefield State . I had professors who became mentors and deserve credit for helping me reach goals I did not think were possible . In particular , John Duffy and Frank Hart were two fantastic role models who offered lessons and life skills that helped me repeatedly through my career .”
At retirement , Bob was awarded the Air Force ’ s Outstanding Civilian Career Service Award . This is the highest award given by the Air Force to a civilian employee .
Looking back on his Bluefield State years , Bob said , “ I could not have had the life I ’ ve had without Bluefield State . I had professors who became mentors and deserve credit for helping me reach goals I did not think were possible . In particular , John Duffy and Frank Hart were two fantastic role models who offered lessons and life skills that helped me repeatedly through my career .”
Bob retains one other tie to the college . He is the brother of Bluefield State ’ s Financial Aid Manager , Tammy Martin .
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