By NAVFAC HQ Public Affairs
2014 Moreell Medal recipient, Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Olsen, NMCB 11’s operations officer, stands in front of the troops during the battalion’s change of command, Gulfport, Miss., Nov. 21. Photo by MC1 Michael C. Barton
Lt. Cmdr. Andrew W. Olsen, CEC, is the recipient of the 2014 Moreell Medal. As operations officer, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 11, he displayed inspirational leadership and unsurpassed professional expertise while leading the battalion through the completion of a challenging worldwide deployment and homeport period.
After recognizing a gap in training, Olsen personally developed a construction project management course for NMCB 11. His curriculum was quickly adopted by Naval Construction Group 2 as the standard and promulgated to its subordinate commands for execution. Olsen integrated the project management curriculum into Seabee technical training, combining hands-on construction skills with project management practice. He also led the battalion through receipt of the first full table of allowance (TOA).
In addition to his operations officer duties, Olsen took on the duties of training officer when the billet was gapped for five months. He balanced operational and training requirements for 13 certification exercises, over 15,000 man days of formal classes, 14 lanes of instruction at the Seabee tech trainer, six unit-level training exercises and eight construction projects.
Olsen’s outstanding leadership, superb performance and exceptional skill as a military engineer clearly justify his selection for this award, 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 contribution to military 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,” Moreell established the Naval Construction Force in 1942.