Southwestern Division Commander Brig. Gen. Paul Owen and his wife, Wendy, were recognized with awards prior to the Division Change of Command ceremony June 25, at the Division Headquarters in Dallas.
Lt. Gen. Todd T. Semonite, the 54th Chief of Engineers and Commanding General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers presented Owen with the Distinguished Service Medal for his service to the Southwestern Division. The award cited the Owen’s “exceptionally” meritorious service from July 2017 to June 2020 while serving as the Commanding General of the Southwestern Division, United States Army Corps of Engineers. Brigadier General Owen led the Division through an era of great change and many challenges. His exceptional leadership directly contributed to the division’s ability respond to significant natural disasters, support overseas contingency operations, and improve project delivery; all while executing challenging civil works and military construction missions. Brigadier general Owen’s action are in keeping with the finest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon him, the United States Army Corps of Engineers, and the United States Army.
This is the highest award given to Owen, so far. “I’m honored to receive this very high, honored award,” said Owen. “It’s been an honor to serve at SWD, as well as working under you sir [Semonite] as one of your Division Commanders for three years.”
Semonite also presented Wendy Owen with the Essayons Award for her dedication, devotion and selfless service to the Engineer Regiment. Her efforts presented the Essayons spirit of “LET US TRY” and the sacrifice, commitment and steadfast loyalty to your Engineer, the United States Army Corps of Engineers and the United States Army.
The Essayons award honors spouses of members of the Engineers Regiment who have made significant voluntary contributions to the morale, welfare and spirit of Engineers units and organizations.
“We really enjoyed the SWD family and were going to miss them,” said Wendy Owen. “I have enjoyed following this guy [Owen] around. It’s been a pleasure and enjoyed being a part of SWD and apart of USACE.”
Brig. Gen. Owen will be the commander and Division Engineer for the South Pacific Division. He will take command in July.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, all awards were presented while practicing social distancing.