Albany, Ga. --
The Civilian Length of Service awards recognize employees who have spent many years of dedicated service on military installations as civilians and Department of Defense employees. These individuals play important roles in base operations.
Originally drafted into the Army in 1970, John Hoffpauir, deputy public works officer, Installation and Environment Division, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, chose to enlist in the Marine Corps and 40 years later, he is still here with no plans to leave anytime soon.
A native of New Orleans, Hoffpauir, a 1969 graduate of Broadmoor High School, was attending college at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, La., when he was drafted into the Army in December 1970. He enlisted in the Marine Corps January, 1971, and has never had a desire to work for anyone else.
“I served nearly nine years on active duty and the rest has been as a civilian,” he said.
Hoffpauir has been employed at MCLB Albany since September 1978, and was recently recognized for 40 years of service January 31, 2011.
Hoffpauir went to recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego in January 1971 and attended advanced training at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif. Immediately after graduation, he was sent to Marine Barracks Guam, where he served from November 1971 to April 1973.
“I worked for two years in the administrative field, but my unit needed someone with a little bit of public affairs experience,” he said. “Since I had taken journalism classes in college, I switched over, informally, to the public affairs field and became the editor for the newsletter while stationed in Guam.”
Hoffpauir said when he came back to the states, he was sent to Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, S.C., where he made the formal switch over to the public affairs field. He received additional training at the Defense Information School, Fort Benjamin Harrison, Ind., in the basic journalism, newspaper editor and advance information specialist courses.
“I served as the editor, television broadcaster, photojournalist and public affairs chief from 1973 - 1979 at Parris Island, Marine Corps Recruiting Station, Birmingham, Al., and here at MCLB Albany,” he said. “After my active-duty tour ended in October 1979, I elected to pursue a civil service career.”
For some employees, enjoying their job and the people they work with is enough motivation to stay around for years until they retire. For Hoffpauir, looking back, he said it’s easy to see the impact and contributions the organizations he has served with has made to the base.
“Public Works employees are the chief caretakers for the base,” he said. “We are customer-focused and provide a full realm of services to the base ranging from custodial and grounds maintenance services to utility support, renovation and modernizations to basically being the land owners of all physical assets aboard the base.”
Hoffpauir said the work he and his department does literally impacts every person on the base on a continual basis and they try to provide an environment that is conducive to support the Marines in the field.
“I’ve seen significant changes since I arrived here, which was right after Building 3700 opened. To still be here 30 years later when it re-opened after a multi-million dollar renovation is remarkable. The same holds true for the old barracks, where I once lived. It’s good to see the Marines living in the new ones with all of the extras.”
Hubert Smigelski, deputy director, I&E, has worked with Hoffpauir since 1986, and said he has always been one to tackle the most difficult problems when others walk away.
“I would be hard-pressed to find someone as dedicated to the Marine Corps, his job, and his people as he is,” he said.
Fred Broome, director, I&E, MCLB Albany, echoed those same sentiments.
“As the deputy public works officer, Mr. Hoffpauir’s exceptional leadership and technical acumen have been key to the division’s ability to provide responsive and efficient support to our 5,000 customers onboard MCLB Albany,” he said.
Broome said faced with historically challenging fiscal and personnel constraints, Hoffpauir routinely demonstrates exceptional stewardship of limited resources by finding ways to significantly reduce costs in most public works functional areas to free up much needed funds for critical repair and maintenance efforts.
“He is a busy man, who on any given day, deals with a host of emergency and high priority facility tasks, but he selflessly finds the time to address the needs of an over 120-person workforce to ensure their safety as well as their personal and professional requirements,” he said. “John’s love of the Marine Corps and ability to provide world class facilities support missions here at MCLB Albany is without equal!"
Hoffpauir said the Marine Corps was the first job he took and he has been around so long because he really enjoys the work he does.
“At this stage in my career, I have a three-day rule. If I have three bad days in a row, I’m going home,” he said.
“Very seldom do I make it past one bad day because I love what I do which is why I’m still here,” Hoffpauir added. “I’m not really on a timetable to retire, but I probably won’t make 60 years of service. However, 50 years is not out of the realm of possibility. After that, I plan to be somewhere fishing with my family.”