HOHENFELS, Germany — A Soldier from Hohenfels has received the U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria Environmental Officer of the Year award for fiscal year 2015 at the USAG Bavaria Environmental Quality Control Counsel.
Chief Warrant Officer 2 Paul A. Moreno, Battalion Maintenance Technician for the 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment, was recognized for increasing environmental awareness of the battalion’s maintenance personnel, and setting standards in regard to the storage and handling of hazardous materials and waste in compliance with U.S. environmental regulations and host nation environmental laws.
“Chief Moreno’s efforts have been instrumental in rebuilding our battalion’s maintenance program, and with specific regard to the environmental program, Chief has worked wonders,” said Maj. Ryan Liebhaber, 1-4th Inf. Reg. executive officer. “Our motorpool has some particular challenges, to include being the only motorpool in the U.S. Army with Slovenian M-84 tanks permanently based in it. Under Chief Warrant Officer 2 Moreno’s leadership and guidance, the Slovenian personnel and vehicles are fully following US environmental regulations. He has truly done a magnificent job. “
Moreno strongly emphasized staff training, requiring the Soldiers in charge of various areas of the motor pool to complete a 40-hour environmental training course.
He also initiated environmental classes for the whole battalion, focusing on spill prevention, handling and storage of hazardous substances, and recycling.
“Everyone needs to know and understand what we’re doing wrong and how to do it right,” Moreno said.
Moreno requested courtesy inspections to identify areas that needed improvement and took immediate action to correct deficiencies.
“With the help of Ms. (Mignon) Ramsbeck-Ullman and the whole Environmental Division, plus my Soldiers, we’ve made real improvements,” he said. “We’re not 100 percent yet, but are way better than we were and we’re continuing to move forward.”
Moreno has often served as Environmental Officer throughout his career, and said it is simply about doing the right thing.
“Environmental awareness is something that’s been drilled down through the Military since I came in,” he said. “It’s easy to enforce, and it’s simple to reduce risks to the environment. If you drop it, pick it up; you don’t know how to throw it away, ask somebody.”
While pleased with the recognition, Moreno quickly pointed out that this award was a team effort.
“They chose me, but it’s the work of everybody. It was nice to know that all the work we had been doing had been recognized,” he said.
“Now, I have to keep pushing and moving forward, because I can’t go back now,” he laughed. “So, it gave me a little more incentive, knowing we’re doing the right thing.”
Moreno has two years left in Hohenfels and is committed to leaving a better motorpool to whoever takes over when he’s gone, and he seems well on his way. Lt. Col. Matthew T. Archambault, 1-4th Inf. Reg. commander, said Moreno hasn’t just been about mission accomplishment, but setting up a quality program.
“Chief Warrant Officer 2 Moreno’s achievement and subsequent recognition in the environmental excellence is a message for all audiences, in and out of the Warrior Battalion,” said Archambault. ” It’s the message that you can get the job done -which Chief Warrant Officer 2 Moreno has since he came on board, improving 1-4th Inf. Reg. maintenance program – and also that you can get the job done while doing the right things. We’re extremely proud of him and our maintenance section.”