Army Colonel Awarded the Order Of The Palmetto

(John Gaddy/WCIV)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) - Gov. Nikki Haley presented the state's highest honor Monday, the Order of the Palmetto, to Lt. Colonel Edward P. Chamberlayne.{}Lt. Col. Chamberlayne is part of the Army Corps of Engineers, and has had his hands in almost every major state project for years.{}"Colonel Chamberlayne when you look around SC and the things, the programs, he's involved in, his fingerprints are all over it," Gov. Haley said. {} "Whether it's Ft. Jackson, nuclear plants, Folly Beach, dredging of ports, all of that has been expedited due to Colonel Chamberlayne."The governor claims Lt. Col. Chamberlayne has saved the state nearly $5 million throughout the Charleston port dredging project. {}She said he's also cut the project time nearly in half. {}The Order of the Palmetto is given as a plaque. {}On it reads:{}"In grateful recognition of your contributions and friendship to the State of South Carolina and her people. I do hereby confer unto you the Order of the Palmetto with all the rights and privileges appertaining thereto."

"All the endorsements are not of me, but of the Charleston District" said Lt. Col. Chamberlayne. "We have a pretty small team focused on trying to do things better, trying to do things faster."

He says while they are still on track for their September 2015 deadline in the harbor project, other aspects of the job are disheartening.

"I've got about 61 employees now, starting next month that will be furloughed," he said. "That pains me because there is so much that this team does that I just represent, provide direction at times but they're such a professional team that all they want to do is the very best."

Those employees are not part of the harbor deepening project which Brian Williams with the Charleston District's Programs and Project Management said is about halfway complete.

"Progress is going well," said Williams of the feasibility study. "We are right where we need to be in terms of budget and schedule."