Nine USACE-Albuquerque District Employees Receive Steel, Bronze de Fleury Medals

One of the highest honors awarded in the U.S. Army Engineer Regiment is the de Fleury Medal.

The medal honors and recognizes those individuals who have provided significant contributions to Army Engineering. The medal also emphasizes the history, customs, and traditions of the Corps of Engineers community.

“I feel honored to have received this prestigious award and I share this recognition with every member of the teams I’ve been a part of to deliver on our mission. Essayons!” said Joshua Ellison, a recipient of the Steel de Fleury Medal.

US Army Corps of Engineers-Albuquerque District Commander Lt. Col. Jerre Hansbrough presented the Steel de Fleury Medal to the following five employees during the Albuquerque District Ball, Feb. 17, 2024, in Albuquerque, N.M.:

Joshua Ellison, civil engineer in the Technical Support Branch, Operations Division
Christian (Jake) Goldsmith, Office of Counsel
Ellis Ho, civil engineer in the Structural Unit, Facilities Design Section
Staff Sgt. Richard Howard, contracting officer, Contract Execution Branch
Michael Pace, Military and IIS Section, Military and IIS Project Management Branch

“Thank you very much for recognizing me. This means a lot me as both exciting and humbling. I wasn’t able to do it alone though. My team offered me a lot of support and deserve to be recognized as well,” said Ho.

“I am grateful for the recognition, I give credit to my colleagues in the contracting office, and to the sections we support and to the District Engineer for the seamless support that gave me the opportunity for my accomplishments,” said Howard.

During a district town hall meeting at the district’s Albuquerque office, March 12, 2024, Hansbrough presented the Steel de Fleury Medal to two additional district employees: Samuel Tafoya, civil engineer in the General Engineering Section, and Amy Cordova, civil engineer in the Construction Branch.

During the Albuquerque District Ball, Feb. 17, Hansbrough also presented the Bronze de Fleury Medal to two district employees: Gregory Allen, quality manager/management analyst, Resource Management Office, and Capt. Romeo Tcheutchua, project engineer at the Cannon Resident Office.

“I’m honored to be nominated and awarded the Bronze de Fleury Medal which was not for my efforts alone but as a team member of a first-class district!” said Greg Allen.

The Bronze de Fleury recognizes an individual who has rendered significant service or support to an element of the Engineer Regiment.

From the Army Engineer Association website: “The award is presented to an individual who has performed in a consistently outstanding manner, in positions of increasing responsibility over a period of time that exceeds 10 years who is a member of the Army Engineer Association (AEA). Those nominated will have demonstrated a high degree of professional competence, integrity, moral character, and a strong devotion to duty and country. These individuals must clearly stand out in the eyes of their seniors, subordinates, and peers alike.”

History of the Medal

The de Fleury Medal honors Francois Louis Tesseidre de Fleury, a French engineer in the Continental Army. De Fleury’s courage under fire at the battle at Stony Point, New York, in 1779, won him the accolades of Congress.

During the battle to recapture the point, the Americans scrambled up the rocky slope with de Fleury in the lead. First over the wall, de Fleury was followed by a wave of American bayonets. Rushing to the flagpole, de Fleury cut the British colors from their staff.

For his intrepid behavior, the Continental Congress awarded a medal struck in his honor. It is understood that the de Fleury Medal was the first Congressional Medal struck, if not the first medal authorized.

On the medal’s front is “A Memorial and Reward for Courage and Boldness” in Latin. In the center appears the image of a helmeted soldier standing amidst the ruins of a fort, holding in his right hand an unsheathed sword, and in his left the staff of the enemy’s flag, which he tramples underfoot.

On the reverse, again in Latin: “Fortifications, Marshes, Enemies Overcome.” In the center the fortress at Stony Point is depicted with both turrets and a flag flying. At the base of the hill are two shore batteries, one of which is firing at one of six vessels on the Hudson River. Beneath the fort is the legend: “Stony Point Carried by Storm, July 15, 1779.”

In addition to the Steel and Bronze medals, there are also the Silver and Gold de Fleury medals.

To be eligible for the Silver de Fleury Medal, the nominee must have served the Engineer Regiment over a period of at least 20 years. Only the United States Army Chief of Engineers, Deputy Chief of Engineers or Commandant of the United States Army Engineer School can approve the silver medal.

The United States Army Chief of Engineers is the only person authorized to award the Gold de Fleury Medal. There are only two recipients annually: one is an individual “outside the Regiment” and of national prominence and one is an individual “inside the Regiment” whose contributions to the Army Engineer Regiment exemplify boldness, courage, and commitment to a strong national defense.