Lt. Cmdr. Joseph D. Harder III, CEC, NMCB 11
Lt. Cmdr. Joseph Harder distinguished himself with superior performance in two different geographic combatant command areas of responsibility (AOR), and is an outstanding representative of the legacy of Adm. Ben Moreell. As NMCB 11 operations officer, he successfully planned and executed a $30 million construction program, leading all efforts on 15 battalion sites throughout the vast PACOM AOR while completing construction ranging from minor renovations to complex overhead concrete placements. Lt. Cmdr. Harder’s direct efforts significantly enhanced U.S. host nation relations in countries where his Seabees were operating. As the 30th Naval Construction Regi¬ment operations officer, he led operations for Task Force Forager (TFF), the theater engineer command in Afghani¬stan responsible for South Engineer Region (SER) comprised of Regional Commands South, Southwest and West. He employed, directed and oversaw construction and mobility operations for a task force of more than 4,500 joint engineers. He expertly led his staff and subordinate units in providing timely and critical support to regional com¬mands south, southwest and west with the construction of new forward operating bases (FOBs), combat outposts (COPs), FOB-COP expansions and deconstructions, critical route repair and improvements, surveillance and threat detection systems, and runway construction and repairs. On his watch, TFF completed 210,000 square meters of berthing, command and control, maintenance and intelligence space, 21,000 linear meters of new force protection berm and HESCO barriers, 115 kilometers of route construction and repair, and 661,800 square meters of earthwork. Harder’s outstanding leadership, superb performance and exceptional skill as a military engineer clearly justify his selection and reflect great credit upon himself, the Naval Construction Force and the U.S. Navy.
The Moreell Medal is presented annually by the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) to an officer of the Navy Civil Engineer Corps (CEC), active or reserve, or to a civilian employee of the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) in recognition of outstanding contributions to mili¬tary engineering. The award is named in honor of Adm. Ben Moreell, CEC, who served as the chief of the Bureau of Yards and Docks (later known as NAVFAC) and chief of the CEC from 1937 – 1945. Known as the “Father of the Seabees,” Adm. Moreell established the Naval Construction Force in 1942.