TULSA, Okla. – The commander of the Tulsa District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, recognized the district’s regulatory chief for significant contributions to the Engineer Regiment throughout his career.
Tulsa District Commander, Col. Richard A. Pratt, presented a bronze de Fleury Medal to Andrew Commer for his superior performance in executing and managing a highly successful regulatory program.
According to Pratt, Commer has managed to demonstrate a deep concern for the individual rights of property owners while meeting the need to protect the environment.
“Andrew has demonstrated throughout his career that he is an incredibly dedicated and talented professional who is highly respected for his leadership skills and ability to manage a regulatory program recognized as one of the very best of the Corps,” Pratt said. “He highly deserves the esteemed de Fleury Medal.”
Throughout his career, Commer has worked to prevent negative impacts and correct violations associated with the Clean Water Act. He took over the Regulatory Division at the Tulsa District in 2012.
“I was very surprised to be awarded the de Fleury Medal,” Commer said. “It is a great honor to be recognized by the district leadership, and to be counted with prior awardees, for whom I have great respect. This award, along with the other winners across the district, speaks highly of the quality of the people on our team and the excellence in public service that is simply part of the DNA of the Tulsa District.”
The de Fleury Medal is presented to individuals who render significant service or support to an element of the Engineer Regiment and is named for Francois Louis Tesseidre de Fleury, of St. Hippolyte, France.
Trained as an engineer in the French Army, and a veteran of the Corsican Campaign, in 1777 de Fleury volunteered to serve with the Continental Army during the American Revolution. The Continental Congress appointed de Fleury a captain of engineers, and at the battles of Fort Mifflin and Brandywine, he distinguished himself, quickly earning promotion to the rank of lieutenant colonel.
In 1779 the British conquered two small forts on each bank of the Hudson River and began building a defensive fortification at a peninsula named Stony Point. Stony Point stretched a half-mile into the Hudson River and gave the British control of a strategic position on the waterway. British occupation of the peninsula forced the Continental Army to reroute its communication and supply lines and provided a base of operations from which the British could launch an attack on West Point, less than 15 miles upriver.
On July 15, 1779, the Continental Army attempted a surprise attack on a British Defensive positions at Stony Point, New York. The mission was launched under cover of darkness and soldiers turned in their ammunition to minimize noise that might alert the British to the surprise attack. De Fleury led a bayonet charge up a steep slope to the enemy’s defensive position, jumped the wall and ran to the flag pole where he quickly cut down the Union Jack, wresting control of the vital strategic position from the Royal Army.
For his actions, the Continental Congress praised his valor and ordered a medal be struck in his honor. The de Fleury Medal was the first Congressional Medal struck.
The Engineer Regiment presents four levels of de Fleury Medals. The highest level, gold de Fleury Medal, is presented to an individual whose contributions to the Army Engineer Regiment exemplify boldness, courage and commitment to a strong national defense.
The silver de Fleury Medal is presented to an individual who has rendered outstanding and significant support or service to the Engineer Regiment.
The bronze de Fleury Medal is presented to an individual who has rendered significant service or support to an element of the Engineer Regiment.
The steel de Fleury is presented to an individual whose selfless service assures mobility, enhances protection, enables expeditionary logistics, and builds capacity to support the success of missions and operations in an era of persistent conflict.