NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Sept. 28, 2012) – The district engineer who led the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District in the late 1970s returned to the headquarters today to meet with leaders, learn about current missions and projects, and reminisce with several employees who were here during his tenure.
Retired Col. Robert “Bob” Tener, Nashville District commander from 1977-1980, and his wife Ann, visited from Claremont, Calif., where he leads the Tener Group, which provides management consulting services.
“It was a distinct pleasure hosting Colonel and Mrs. Tener and providing them an update on district projects and ongoing construction,” said Lt. Col. James A. DeLapp, current Nashville District commander.
When Tener assumed command of the Nashville District July 18, 1977, Dick Fulton was Mayor of Nashville; the Tennessee-Tom Bigbee waterway was under construction; and Elvis Presley would die in Memphis 28 days later.
Many changes have occurred among district employees and project priorities over the past 32 years but district challenges remain similar, according to Tener.
“From that brief meeting with Lieutenant Colonel DeLapp, it appears to me that the challenge today is fundamentally the same. It has to do with Corps competence; the relationship with the public; and knowing a lot about hydraulics, hydrology and navigation,” Tener said. “A lot of that is the same, but I can see a change in the speed in which some of the work has to be done,” he added.
Tener seemed to enjoy catching up and employees enjoyed several photos of the colonel during his command and tenure.
The Teners were joined at a reception by current employees including Janis Clark, Bill Colvin and Gary Stinson, all who were here when Tener arrived in 1977. Retired employees Tom Casey and Cliff Reinert, who were here during his tenure, also visited to share then-and-now anecdotes.
Tener interacted with everyone and recounted his days of command in Nashville.
“I retired with 27 years Corps of Engineers duty, but I was told, particularly by some people from outside the Corps, that it never gets any better professionally than being a district engineer and that was absolute truth,” Tener said. “My being here with you and all your predecessors was the highlight of my career. I am glad to be back and I appreciate your hospitality,” he added.
When asked how weather in Claremont, Calif., compared with the weather in Nashville, Tener said, “Well we knew we were coming back into humidity so we will weather the Tennessee humidity for about the next six days and then get back to a hot, dry climate.”
DeLapp presented the Tener with the book, “Engineers on the Twin Rivers 1978-1988,” along with a district coin and gave engineer lapel pins to both as mementos of their return visit to Nashville District. Tener wrote the foreword in the book, “Engineers on the Twin Rivers 1769-1978” when he served as district engineer.