Copperas Cove native wins the Corps’ Hard Hat of the Year Award

Published July 2, 2013

FORT WORTH, Texas – Awards are often given to recognize achievement in a particular field.  This is certainly true in the world of entertainment and sports.  For instance, in college football, the Heisman Trophy is given for the sport’s Most Valuable Player.  

This award usually goes to a person playing a skilled position such as quarterback, running back or wide receiver.  Many gather at the Downtown Athletic Club, or tune in to the television network to find out who will be the next recipient of this highly coveted award.   

But what about the hardworking guys in the trenches?  They are the ones doing the dirty work -- the ones who open up running lanes, buy the quarterback extra time, or try to prevent both from occurring.  They are the unsung heroes doing the thankless job with little glory.  These are the candidates for the Outland Trophy, an award for the best interior lineman. 

The Fort Worth District’s Hard Hat award is like the Outland Trophy award and the 2012 recipient of this award went to Lance Speer for his exceptional and numerous contributions to supporting the district’s engineering and construction efforts. 

“I was in San Angelo, Texas at Goodfellow Air Force Base when our area engineer, Sam Parker, got the email announcing the award,” said Speer.  “I was very surprised to hear that it was me and everyone around me offered their congratulations.” 

“Lance is a key member of the Central Texas Area Office at Fort Hood and a valuable asset to the Fort Worth District,” said Col. Charles H. Klinge, commander of the Fort Worth District.  “His efforts contribute to the success at Fort Hood as well as across the entire Fort Worth construction branch.”  

A 1994 Criminal Justice graduate of Tarleton State University, Speer enjoys supporting his children in activities such as gymnastics, T-ball, dance and swimming. During his remaining spare time, Speer enjoys golf, hunting and lake activities.   

Speer is considered an expert in the contract modification process and the turnover of real property.  This led to his selection to serve as the district’s subject matter expert and primary instructor for its Quality Management System course that is attended by contractor’s and government personnel.  

“He shares his experiences with his fellow Quality Assurance representatives and provides mentorship and wisdom to less experienced personnel in his area office,” said project engineer, Andrew R. Bury.  “He translates his field experience into valuable lessons learned that have benefited the area office and the installation [Fort Hood] on subsequent projects.” 

The Copperas Cove native has been in the central Texas area his whole life so working on Fort Hood keeps him close to home.  While at Fort Hood’s Central Texas Area Office, Speer currently serves the district as the Quality Assurance representative and Fort Worth District Construction Quality Management Instructor for Fort Hood and San Antonio. 

 “It was very gratifying that someone thought this much of me to nominate me for the award,” said Speer. 

Speer was among 16 other annual award recipients as well as a host of length of service and special recognition awardees who were recognized during the District’s 2013 Annual Awards Ceremony, June 13. 



About the Fort Worth District: The Fort Worth District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was established in 1950. The District is responsible for water resources development in two-thirds of Texas, and design and construction at military installations in Texas and parts of Louisiana and New Mexico.  Visit the Fort Worth District website at: and SWF Facebook at:


Randy Cephus

Release no. 13-043