Federal employee retires to be reunited with wife and pecan trees

Fort Worth District, USACE
Published Dec. 21, 2023
Bob Eisenberg

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Fort Worth District security officer, Bob Eisenberg observes district personnel entering a local venue prior to an Aug. 3 Assumption of Command Ceremony in Fort Worth, Texas.

Bob Eisenberg

Fort Worth District security officer, Bob Eisenberg poses with venue security staff during the district's Assumption of Command ceremony, in August.

The Fort Worth District is losing one of its more tenured employees in Robert Eisenberg, who retires at the end of the year with more than 55 years of combined federal service.

Eisenberg has been with the Fort Worth District for approximately 21 years and feels that it is time for him to step aside and let someone else oversee the security program.

“I'm 74 years old so it’s time to go,” he says. “My last duty station with the Navy was in Corpus Christi and I still own a home down there. My wife lives down there while I've been up here for almost 14 years doing this geographical bachelor thing.”

Eisenberg” initially served in the Navy and retired as a Master Chief Petty Officer. He then worked for the Department of the Navy before completing his federal service with the Fort Worth District.

“I was a gunner’s mate and oversaw every gun mount on every ship the Navy owned,” said Eisenberg. “As a matter of fact, with 34 years of service, I was the most senior gunner’s mate in the Navy when I retired.”

Currently serving as the district’s security manager, Eisenberg is responsible for the overall safety and security at the district headquarters, district managed lakes and area offices. He ensures district personnel remain aware of issues pertaining to anti-terrorism, cyber security, security reports, and threat assessments.

“Bob has done a tremendous job as our security manager and will be sorely missed,” said Jeff Mahaffey, Eisenberg’s supervisor and Fort Worth District’s chief of Emergency Management and Security. “His dedication and attention to detail was instrumental in increasing security, not only here at the district headquarters, but also at our 25 lakes and area offices.”

When not at work Eisenberg enjoys going to rifle and pistol ranges. He also enjoys all sorts of fishing to include freshwater and deep-sea fishing. When Eisenberg returns to Corpus Christi, he does not plan on working or doing too much away from home. This time when he retires, he is really going to take it easy and relax.

“I don’t plan on doing too much of anything; maybe a little fishing,” said Eisenberg. “Several years ago, I bought some pecan tree seedlings from my mom and those trees have grown to be over 25 feet tall. I'm planning on sitting under them, having a drink, and smoking a cigar,” he continued with a smile.

The district’s security officer has seen quite a bit over the years. In the past the main security measures were more physical in nature, he recalls, but now the systems have become more automated.

“We have moved to an automated, electronic security environment as opposed to the old gates, guns and guards from the past,” said Eisenberg. Technology allows the employees to be more involved directly with their own security.”

Eisenberg challenges employees to trust their instincts, to protect themselves and others, be aware of their environment and report things that just don’t seem right.

When asked what he will miss the most after he finally calls it quits, Eisenberg emphatically said it will be the people that he encountered daily while on the job.

“I will miss the people I worked with from Emergency Management and the front office to the rangers out at the lakes,” said Eisenberg. “It’s all about those relationships that were built while protecting the civil infrastructure. We started out with nothing and now we have a good, robust system. It was those people that made the system great.”

Eisenberg always tells it like it is. So, when he tells you what he will miss most, he will also tell you what he is going to miss the least.

“The thing that I’m going to miss the least is the bureaucracy,” he said emphatically. “I hate filling out forms and doing paperwork. It is important, and there is a reason to do it, but I won’t miss it at all.”