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Business North - Around The Region - Duluth & Superior Newspaper
Kraus-Anderson manager awarded Meritorious Service Medal
Brig. Gen. Charles Martin presents the Meritorious Service Medal to Col. Patrick Gallagher.
Col. Patrick E. Gallagher, senior project manager at the Kraus-Anderson Duluth office, has been awarded the Meritorious Service Medal from the U.S. Army Reserves. He was honored for his distinguished service that included one deployment to Nicaragua, a tour to Iraq and two one-year deployments to Afghanistan. A reserve officer in the 372nd Engineer Brigade of the U.S. Army Reserve and serving as the deputy commander, Gallagher draws a 32-year career to a close. The award presentation was made by Brigadier General Charles Martin at a ceremony at Fort Snelling in Minneapolis.
Gallagher presented a Certificate of Appreciation to his employer, Kraus-Anderson, which supported him during his absence from his civilian employment duties during two one-year combat zone deployments to Afghanistan, numerous duty days throughout the year and annual training periods over the last 10 years of his military career.
"Kraus-Anderson supported my family during my deployments and sent care packages to me in Afghanistan," ¯ said Gallagher. "The company consistently provided support to me prior to, during and upon return from my deployments -- not just lip service, but genuine concern and assistance as needed. I am deeply grateful for that support."
Kraus-Anderson provided more than $2,000 to the Wounded Warrior Coin Program, which funded the creation of 300 coins for issue to wounded warriors. These coins are given to soldiers in recognition of their sacrifice to their country, with deep appreciation expressed from their fellow comrades in arms. The coins are given during command visits to hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, VA hospitals and wounded veteran's homes, when their recovery progress is checked on by senior leaders.
Kraus-Anderson this fall sponsored a "Military Boot Camp"¯ event at Fort Snelling in Minneapolis that raised funds to support local veteran's organizations.
Gallagher started his military career in high school by enlisting in the Wisconsin Army National Guard as an E-1 Private and later attended Officer Candidate School in Fort Benning, Ga. After 23 years in the National Guard, obtaining the rank of lieutenant colonel, he transferred to the U.S. Army Reserve.
Gallagher served in numerous positions, working his way up in the Army to his current rank of colonel. During his military career, he participated in training/combat operations throughout the U.S. and around the world, bringing him to Germany, Panama, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Kuwait, Qatar, Kyrgyzstan, Iraq and Afghanistan.
His 2001-2002 command of Joint Task Force Chontales in Nicaragua -- that included Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines from the National Guard, Reserves and active duty -- focused on improving joint interoperability among the services in a humanitarian mission setting. The task force built schools, clinics and roads as well as providing medical and veterinary services in support of the Nicaraguan Government, but more importantly built U.S. relationships with both the Nicaraguan military and local populace.
Gallagher deployed in 2006-2007 as the operations officer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - Afghanistan Engineer District. During that tour, he became Chief of Construction for all of Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Pakistan, managing over 250 construction projects and an annual construction budget of close to $2 billion. He conducted a short tour in Iraq during this deployment to bring lessons learned¯ from that theater back to Afghanistan, improving the operations and safety of the Afghanistan command.
He served in Afghanistan again in 2009-2010 as the Brigade Chief of Staff for Task Force Timberwolf - 372nd Engineer Brigade. The brigade had command and control of over 4,500 engineer soldiers in over six battalions, including Army, Navy Seabees and Air Force. Their mission included route clearance (removal of roadside bombs), building and maintaining forward bases, airfield construction and improvements, road and building construction in preparation for the successful troop surge.
From their headquarters in Sharana, Afghanistan, Gallagher's brigade controlled engineer forces in the east, north and capital (Kabul) area. Mission achievement included:
• 175,000 km of routes patrolled
• 787 IEDs found
• Constructed 400-plus projects on 14 new geographic areas including housing, airfields, solid waste complex, fuel tank system, transfer/storage fuel facility, prime power electric grid, trauma center, roads, bridges, communications networks
• Training Afghan military and civilians in construction, mine clearing, government development, building and maintaining road and bridge infrastructure
"The combined action operations were very successful, in spite of our many differences and language barriers," Gallagher said.
Gallagher said his military training and experiences have greatly enhanced his civilian employment performance, and his civilian employment training and experiences have made him a more technically knowledgeable military engineer. "A great mutual benefit to both of my careers," he said.
"It takes a combined team effort of support from family, civilian employer, the U.S. citizens we serve, and sound military leadership, to enable a successful 32-year military career such as mine,"¯ said Gallagher. "I owe my military accomplishments to God and the members of that combined team. For the honor to serve this great nation and the support of that team, I am deeply grateful. I now leave it to the next generation to carry on this tradition of service."
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