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Col. Daniel J. Lecce, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune commanding officer awards Fred Cone, former Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff for Installations, Facilities and Environment, Marine Corps Installations East, and the Deputy Director, Installations and Environment Department, MCB Camp Lejeune for his superior civilian service on the quarterdeck of Building 1 aboard MCB Camp Lejeune, Jan. 25.

Photo by Cpl. Miranda Blackburn

Civil service employees recognized for outstanding performance

2 Feb 2012 | Cpl. Miranda Blackburn

In an award ceremony held at the quarterdeck of Building 1 aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, two civil service employees, one new and one seasoned, were recognized for their superior civilian service, Jan 25.

Fred Cone, recognized for his former dual-hatted performance, served as the Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff for Installations, Facilities and Environment, Marine Corps Installations East, and the Deputy Director, Installations and Environment Department, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune for more than 30 years.

During his time aboard the base, from April 1997 to November 2011, Cone used his wealth of experience and leadership to guide the facilities management and environmental stewardship efforts for a region that includes seven military installations and supports the military civilian community of more than 175,000 personnel.

“This base has evolved over 30 years in tremendous ways and Mr. Cone was here for all of it,” said Col. Daniel J. Lecce, MCB Camp Lejeune commanding officer. “With his help, the base has transformed in so many ways, from the public works side and facilities to the new construction and the environmental side.”

Cone also provided critical transition oversight of the Marine Corps initiative which transferred 4,348 family housing units from control of MCB Camp Lejeune to the control of a public private partner. The successful initiative significantly improved new housing construction and renovation demands of the growing family housing population.

“Cone was an outstanding, true asset and is truly a great benefit to this base,” Lecce added. “He’s done a fabulous job.”

Even though the award was directed to Cone, he accepted it on behalf of himself and his colleagues.

“These are individual awards, they always are but I learned a long time ago that an individual can certainly have a lot of impact around here but it takes a group of individuals to do really good things,” Cone said. “I have had an incredible career and expect to see great things in the future.”

But as one legend moves on to other things, another is bound to step up and take on the challenges of the industry.

Sofia Schwartz, a facility planner with the Installation Development Division, Installation and Environment, is just the girl for the job.

In her capacity as a facility planner since 2008, Schwartz has been responsible for multiple projects including the School of Infantry-East facilities and infrastructure comprised of three projects totaling $112 million, MCB Camp Lejeune facilities and infrastructure upgrade that included three projects totaling $169 million, five child development center projects totaling $69 million, a $4 million Wounded Warrior headquarters facility, a $25 million Wounded Warrior Hope and Care Center and a $27 million Wounded Warrior bachelor enlisted quarters.

“Schwartz is an engineer and I have come to truly appreciate what she does,” said Lecce. “Engineering is hard. These changes on this base will last for years.” 

But Schwartz doesn’t just perform as a facility planner.

“She’s a rising star,” said Cone. “She is bound to do great things.”

Since working aboard MCB Camp Lejeune she has also participated in projects with Habitat for Humanity and Hope for the Warriors and has traveled overseas to support communities in need.

“She is a pillar in the community,” Lecce added. “She’s just a tremendous person in addition to being a tremendous engineer. It’s wonderful to have (her) on the team.”