District Digest News Stories

Nashville District says farewell to newly promoted deputy commander

Nashville District Public Affairs
Published Nov. 2, 2017
Maj. Christopher Burkhart, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District deputy commander, enjoys the moment as his wife and children put on his new rank of lieutenant colonel during a promotion ceremony in Nashville, Tenn., Nov. 2, 2017. (USACE photo by Mark Abernathy)

Maj. Christopher Burkhart, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District deputy commander, enjoys the moment as his wife and children put on his new rank of lieutenant colonel during a promotion ceremony in Nashville, Tenn., Nov. 2, 2017.

Maj. Christopher Burkhart, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District deputy commander, gets lieutenant colonel rank epilates put onto his dress uniform by his parents Peter and Laura Burkhart during a promotion ceremony in Nashville, Tenn., Nov. 2, 2017. (USACE photo by Mark Abernathy)

Maj. Christopher Burkhart, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District deputy commander, gets lieutenant colonel rank epilates put onto his dress uniform by his parents Peter and Laura Burkhart during a promotion ceremony in Nashville, Tenn., Nov. 2, 2017.

Lt. Col. Christopher Burkhart, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District deputy commander, poses with his wife Constance and children while holding his promotion certificate during a promotion ceremony in Nashville, Tenn., Nov. 2, 2017. (USACE photo by Mark Abernathy)

Lt. Col. Christopher Burkhart, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District deputy commander, poses with his wife Constance and children while holding his promotion certificate during a promotion ceremony in Nashville, Tenn., Nov. 2, 2017.

Lt. Col. Cullen Jones (Left), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District commander, presents the U.S. Army Meritorious Service Medal to Lt. Col. Christopher Burkhart, deputy commander, for distinguished service during a farewell ceremony at the district headquarters in Nashville, Tenn., Nov. 2, 2017. (USACE photo by Mark Abernathy)

Lt. Col. Cullen Jones (Left), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District commander, presents the U.S. Army Meritorious Service Medal to Lt. Col. Christopher Burkhart, deputy commander, for distinguished service during a farewell ceremony at the district headquarters in Nashville, Tenn., Nov. 2, 2017.

Lt. Col. Cullen Jones, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District commander, presents a certificate of appreciation to Constance Burkhart during a promotion ceremony for her husband Lt. Col. Christopher Burkhart, deputy commander, in Nashville, Tenn., Nov. 2, 2017. (USACE photo by Mark Abernathy)

Lt. Col. Cullen Jones, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District commander, presents a certificate of appreciation to Constance Burkhart during a promotion ceremony for her husband Lt. Col. Christopher Burkhart, deputy commander, in Nashville, Tenn., Nov. 2, 2017.

Heather Turner (Left), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District Contracting Division chief, presents “Corps Army Brat Certificates” to the children of Lt. Col. Christopher Burkhart, deputy commander, for their support of their father that contributed to his new rank during a promotion ceremony in Nashville, Tenn., Nov. 2, 2017. (USACE photo by Mark Abernathy)

Heather Turner (Left), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District Contracting Division chief, presents “Corps Army Brat Certificates” to the children of Lt. Col. Christopher Burkhart, deputy commander, for their support of their father that contributed to his new rank during a promotion ceremony in Nashville, Tenn., Nov. 2, 2017.

Bill Peoples (Right), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District Public Affairs chief, presents a Tennessee state flag to Lt. Col. Christopher Burkhart, deputy commander, in recognition of his service to the Nashville District, during a ceremony in Nashville, Tenn., Nov. 2, 2017.  The flag was flown over the capitol building in Nashville by Gov. Bill Haslam to honor the service of Burkhart, a Tennessee native. (USACE photo by Mark Abernathy)

Bill Peoples (Right), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District Public Affairs chief, presents a Tennessee state flag to Lt. Col. Christopher Burkhart, deputy commander, in recognition of his service to the Nashville District, during a ceremony in Nashville, Tenn., Nov. 2, 2017. The flag was flown over the capitol building in Nashville by Gov. Bill Haslam to honor the service of Burkhart, a Tennessee native.

Karla Miller, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District Internal Review chief, presents a certificate signed by Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam to Lt. Col. Christopher Burkhart, deputy commander, authenticating that the Tennessee Flag was flown in his honor over the state capitol building.  She presented it during a ceremony at the district headquarters in Nashville, Tenn., Nov. 2, 2017. (USACE photo by Mark Abernathy)

Karla Miller, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District Internal Review chief, presents a certificate signed by Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam to Lt. Col. Christopher Burkhart, deputy commander, authenticating that the Tennessee Flag was flown in his honor over the state capitol building. She presented it during a ceremony at the district headquarters in Nashville, Tenn., Nov. 2, 2017.

Lt. Col. Cullen Jones (Left), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District commander, presents a numbered work of art he drew from a historical hydropower photo to his second in command, Lt. Col. Christopher Burkhart, during a farewell ceremony at the district headquarters in Nashville, Tenn., Nov. 2, 2017. (USACE photo by Mark Abernathy)

Lt. Col. Cullen Jones (Left), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District commander, presents a numbered work of art he drew from a historical hydropower photo to his second in command, Lt. Col. Christopher Burkhart, during a farewell ceremony at the district headquarters in Nashville, Tenn., Nov. 2, 2017.

Joanne Mann (Right), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District executive officer, and Lori Neubert, secretary, present several parting gifts to Lt. Col. Christopher Burkhart, deputy commander, during a farewell ceremony at the district headquarters in Nashville, Tenn., Nov. 2, 2017. (USACE photo by Mark Abernathy)
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Joanne Mann (Right), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District executive officer, and Lori Neubert, secretary, present several parting gifts to Lt. Col. Christopher Burkhart, deputy commander, during a farewell ceremony at the district headquarters in Nashville, Tenn., Nov. 2, 2017.

Patty Coffey, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District engineer, presents a ukulele, a symbol of Music City, to Lt. Col. Christopher Burkhart, deputy commander, during a farewell ceremony at the district headquarters in Nashville, Tenn., Nov. 2, 2017. (USACE photo by Mark Abernathy)
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Patty Coffey, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District engineer, presents a ukulele, a symbol of Music City, to Lt. Col. Christopher Burkhart, deputy commander, during a farewell ceremony at the district headquarters in Nashville, Tenn., Nov. 2, 2017.

Lt. Col. Cullen Jones (Second from Left), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District commander, Maj. Don Sullivan (Left), Maj. Justin Toole (Right), present a token of service to Lt. Col. Christopher Burkhart, deputy commander, on behalf of the uniformed personnel in the district during a farewell ceremony at the district headquarters in Nashville, Tenn., Nov. 2, 2017. (USACE photo by Mark Abernathy)
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Lt. Col. Cullen Jones (Second from Left), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District commander, Maj. Don Sullivan (Left), Maj. Justin Toole (Right), present a token of service to Lt. Col. Christopher Burkhart, deputy commander, on behalf of the uniformed personnel in the district during a farewell ceremony at the district headquarters in Nashville, Tenn., Nov. 2, 2017.

Lt. Col. Christopher Burkhart, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District commander, gives his farewell address to family, friends and members of the district during a ceremony at the district headquarters in Nashville, Tenn., Nov. 2, 2017. (USACE photo by Mark Abernathy)
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Lt. Col. Christopher Burkhart, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District commander, gives his farewell address to family, friends and members of the district during a ceremony at the district headquarters in Nashville, Tenn., Nov. 2, 2017.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Nov. 2, 2017) – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District said farewell to the deputy commander today, but not before the commander promoted Maj. Christopher Burkhart to the rank of lieutenant colonel.

Lt. Col. Cullen Jones, Nashville District commander, officiated the promotion and then presented the U.S. Army Meritorious Service Medal to Burkhart, recognizing his distinguished service as deputy commander during a ceremony in the Tennessee Room at the district headquarters.

“Working with our human resources team, Chris was instrumental in improving our staffing process,” Jones said.  “We’re now at about 100 percent staffing, and through that, that has had not only an impact at the district, but also at the regional level.”

Jones said the district now has the people it needs to execute the critical missions that are accomplished on a daily basis, which wouldn’t have been possible without Burkhart’s direction and guidance.

The commander also lauded Burkhart’s efforts to supervise the support staff, improve new employee orientation, to promote fitness, wellness and health activities for employees, and for building stronger relationships with active duty, guard and reserve military units in the region.

Burkhart worked with the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Ky., to utilize the old Lock C on the Cumberland River for logistic requirements of the Army, which directly supports readiness.

“So he’s actually helping impact and improve overall national security, so the ‘101’ can go get it done whenever they need to,” Jones said.

The commander, who took command this summer, said he appreciates the solid foundation that Burkhart set for him when he came onboard to the organization.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better deputy coming in,” Jones said.  “In a period of transition, and a turnover in the corporate board, he was that steady state and organizational knowledge and vision that I relied on.”

Burkhart became the deputy commander in July 2015.  He assisted Lt. Col. Stephen Murphy, the previous commander, and Jones in directing all the water resource activities of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers throughout the Cumberland River Basin, and navigation and regulatory matters in the Tennessee River Basin, an area of more than 59,000 square miles, with 49 field offices touching seven states and a work force of over 700 federal employees.

Burkhart’s wife Constance and three children, parents Peter and Laura Burkhart, and in laws James and Dottie Kay attended the promotion and farewell ceremony. His wife, who received a certificate of appreciation, spoke about the impact of the Nashville District and appreciation for the time spent in Nashville.

Constance said she grew up in Williamsburg, Ky., where the Nashville District built a flood wall on the shoreline of the Cumberland River in the 1990s, and so she recognizes from her childhood experience the importance of her husband’s job during his assignment with the Corps of Engineers in Nashville.

“It impacted our lives there for the better… and the downtown was no longer in danger of being flooded.  I’ve had this connection with the Nashville District long before I knew there was a Nashville District,” Constance said.  “Thank you so much for welcoming us and letting us be a part of your family for a little while.”

Burkhart recognized that his successes are only possible because of his wife and her love and support that has strengthened him throughout his Army career.

As a local native, he graduated from Vanderbilt University with a Bachelor’s of Engineering in Civil Engineering 2001 and received his commission.  So being close to home and his large family in Tennessee during this assignment was really enjoyable, he said.

The deputy commander also noted that it’s been great serving with the men and women of the Nashville District, and thanked everyone for their professionalism and hard work on behalf of the nation. He said it is tough to leave a job that he enjoys so much.

“I guess this is a perfect example of bittersweet,” Burkhart said.  “Getting promoted is awesome, but having to be up here for a farewell is sad.”

(The public can obtain news, updates and information from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District on the district’s website at www.lrn.usace.army.mil, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/nashvillecorps and on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/nashvillecorps.)