Our Veteran Employees – Part 2
CF Evans Construction is proud of our employees who served in the United States Military. Their work ethic and commitment to service shines through in all they do for us, and helps to make us successful. In the weeks leading up to Veteran’s Day, we will be posting interviews with five employees who selflessly served their country, and continue to serve alongside their coworkers to create communities.
This week, meet our Safety Compliance Officer, Hank Rhame! Hank served in the United States Army from 1984-1992. Here he tells his story:
My military career began shortly after my graduation from The Citadel in 1984. After completing ROTC training, I was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant into the US Army’s Field Artillery at Fort Bragg, NC and home of the 82nd Airborne Division. I then reported to Fort Sill, OK to begin my Field Artillery Officer’s Basic Course (OBC) where over the course of the next several months I studied military history, strategy, leadership, artillery systems, fire direction and gunnery. After OBC, I went to Fort Benning, GA to jump out of perfectly good airplanes for three weeks at the Army’s prestigious Airborne School. From there I reported to my first job assignment at Fort Lewis, WA as a Fire Support Team forward observer. I was responsible for coordinating, planning and calling for all indirect fire assets for an infantry company. Indirect fire includes all artillery, mortar, naval gunfire, and close air support available to the maneuver commander.
About a year later I was assigned to a Field Artillery as the Fire Direction Officer. During my time there, I was promoted to First Lieutenant. My next job was as an Executive Officer and I was primarily responsible for the combat readiness of the vehicles and equipment for 230 soldiers. During this time, I was granted the opportunity to travel to Edmonton, AB, Canada and make five parachute jumps with the Canadian Airborne School and earned the coveted Canadian Parachutist Badge.
After Fort Lewis, WA and a brief stint at Ft. Sill, OK I headed to the 3rd Infantry Division in Schweinfurt, Germany. I was very excited about serving in one of the most historic divisions in the US Army and being given the opportunity to live and work in Germany for three years. The 3rd Infantry Division was made famous during epic battles of World War II and nicknamed the “Rock of the Marne”. Shortly after reporting to Germany I was promoted to the rank of Captain. My radio callsign was “Sabre Thunder”. The year was 1989 and the Cold War was still very active. This was an awesome time to be living in Germany. Late in 1989 and into 1990 we started to see the erosion of the Soviet Union’s sphere of influence and the gradual fall of the Iron Curtain. As other former Eastern Bloc countries opened their borders, East Germany followed and the West and East became one country and the reunification of Germany was a reality.
Iraq initiated hostilities in August of 1990 with Kuwait leading to the eventual invasion of that country and the US into a troop buildup called Operation Desert Shield to defend Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. In January of 1991 combat operations began with Operation Desert Storm. During this time of troop buildup and combat operations, my battalion directed its attention to support the other two artillery battalions deploying from the 3rd Infantry Division from Germany to the Persian Gulf region.
I never planned to make the Army a career and as I headed into my last year in Germany and final job assignment, I started preparing myself for my return to the US and my next career. Logistics and transportation had always interested me and as my active duty obligation came to an end in January 1992, I began working for a regional trucking company. I worked there for 12 years at various service centers locations throughout the Southeast.
My father-in-law worked for CF Evans Construction for 45 years and after his passing in 2003, my wife and I decided to move back to South Carolina to be closer to her mom. In 2004 I joined CF Evans, and about three years later the position of Safety Compliance Officer was created. I saw this as a great opportunity to help move the company forward to the next level and was thrilled to take on the challenge. I remember my first Battalion Commander impressing upon his junior officers to “lead by technical and tactical competence”. He expected that we be the subject matter experts in whatever duty position we held and that safety was a “glass ball” that you didn’t drop. To me, my military background and training prepared me for my Safety Compliance Officer role today. In the military it’s all about planning, providing, and training which is a perfect parallel to safety today whatever our role. I’m proud of my work in safety for CF Evans. The company hasn’t had a lost time incident in over 9 years and safety has truly become a state of mind for our employees.
I’m very proud of my service and the experiences the US Army provided me. Unfortunately, I’ve also lost some friends that made the ultimate sacrifice for their Country; I am very grateful for their service. During my time in the Army, I learned a lot, met a lot of great people, and got to see a lot of great things. My service provided me the opportunity to travel throughout the Pacific Northwest United States and Europe to see some amazing sites and our first child, Savannah, was born in Würzburg, Germany.
We look forward to sharing more of our employee’s stories in the coming weeks. Are you interested in joining them and becoming part of our team? Visit our careers page to see current opportunities or to be notified of future openings.