11th Engineer Soldier Wins Prestigious Steel De Fleury Medal
Joseph, a Kissimmee, Florida native, was presented with the Steel Order of the De Fleury medal, one of the most prestigious awards given by the Corps of Engineers for her exceptional contributions to the Engineer Regiment.
“My sister was the first person I called to let her know I won the medal,” said Joseph. “She congratulated me and then asked, ‘What is a De Fleury medal?”’
The De Fleury medal was established on October 1, 1779, by the Continental Congress, to honor
French Engineer Francois Louis Tesseidre De Fleury, who volunteered in 1977 during the Revolutionary War, to fight with the American Army for independence against France. The medal is comprised of the Steele, Bronze, Silver and Gold orders. The Steel medal is awarded to individuals whose selfless service provided the engineer regiment support, assured mobility, enhanced protection, and enabled expeditionary logistics. Only five awards are given out per commander per fiscal year.
With only three years of service as a platoon leader Joseph was assigned the position of company executive officer. Her first task was moving an entire engineer company from the United States to Camp Humphreys, South Korea. Making it the first permanently stationed engineer company in South Korea in over 10 years.
“We started out stationed in Fort Drum, New York, then we received a last minute order to move the entire unit from Fort Drum to South Korea,” said Joseph. “My commander wasn’t coming with us so I had to step up. I was a platoon leader at the time but I was already established to become the battalion XO. It was a brand new experience for all of us. We had never done anything like that before,” she said.
“I love the community of the engineers,” said Joseph. “It’s broad so there is a lot of stuff to learn. That’s what keeps it interesting because it’s never going to be the same. It’s what keeps me on my toes,” she said.
Joseph was nominated for the medal by her supervisor Cpt. Aaron Valencia, the 630th Engineer Company (Clearance), company commander. He knew from the beginning that she would be a great asset to the company.
“When I first met Lt. Joseph, I knew that she was special to the engineer regiment,” said Valencia. “When you say something its done and done well. She’s among the top 10% lieutenants I have ever worked with. When she got everything over here it was smooth She was getting fleets of over 60 to 70 vehicles over 50 containers was just crazy.”
People in the battalion have recognized it, she is one of the pinnacle point to make sure the company stays successful,” he said.
“She earned this award and recognition,” said Valencia. “If 1st Lt. Joseph stays in she is future field grade general officer status.”