SEATTLE –Robert Frazier, former Seattle District Resource Management Division Chief, has more time to pursue his interests and hobbies now that he’s retired from the federal public service. Its last official day was December 31, 2021.
Retirement is nothing new for Frazier, a native of Iowa, who spent 27 years in the US Navy in 1995. He then ran his own engineering and construction company for 14 years and was an entrepreneur. for the U.S. military until the recession hit around 2008 – which led Frazier to consider joining USACE in 2009.
Although Frazier attributes the recession as the external force that led him to join USACE, he said these are the values of the Corps, which include loyalty, respect, duty, selfless service, honor and integrity, and its mission – to provide expertise in the engineering and stewardship of water resources and to deliver world-class solutions to protect and serve the Pacific Northwest – that resonated with him the most.
But the navigation was not easy for the former commander of the Navy.
“I had to prove myself as a foreigner and a former entrepreneur,” Frazier said. “Some people knew me, but I had to earn the respect of my colleagues,” added the US Naval Academy graduate.
During his first three years in the district, Frazier thrived, moving from program manager in the Environmental and Interagency Services Branch to Branch Leader within a year. Following the retirement of the former head of resource management, former district leaders chose Frazier to fill the post, according to Frazier, because of his background with the Corps, his previous expertise and experience in the field. industry and his MBA.
Looking back, Frazier said he wished he had joined USACE sooner, although the former Naval Surface Line Officer and Weapons Systems Engineer believes his experience in the industry has given him knowledge. , concrete skills and technical know-how that he applied in his many positions. with the Body.
A crucial organizational change that Frazier witnessed and welcomed during his time at USACE was his transition to a more business-oriented organization.
“The Corps has become better at running things,” he explained. “Technological improvements have changed the landscape of the way we do business. The pandemic has accelerated the way we do business now and in the future, but we must remain flexible and remain viable, as we remain focused on our mission and look to the future in the environment in which we find ourselves.
By sharing the wisdom with the younger generations of USACE employees, Frazier advises taking every opportunity to get more training, stay relevant and marketable, stay flexible, and encourage ‘thinking outside the box’ as they earn. in seniority. He also recommends embracing diversity and inclusion, as these are essential to the success of the Corps.
“There are great talents in various corners of our society just waiting for the opportunity to prove that they can be high performing members of the Corps team,” said Frazier. “Once you’ve built a diverse team, engage them fully in the execution of a successful mission. I have made it a priority in my career to support diversity and inclusion, like “Star Wars” and “Star Trek”, and I have seen with my own eyes just how powerful a diverse and engaged team can really be. “, he added.
Frazier’s last stint with the Corps was with the District of Portland as interim resource management division chief. His short-term retirement goals include cabinetmaking, woodworking and all that is outdoors, while his long-term aspirations include international travel, building his new home in Lake Chelan, Wash., and retirement with his wife.