GALVESTON, Texas (Feb. 2, 2017) – Scott (Billie) Daniell has spent most of his life doing what he loves, repairing, maintaining and operating machinery. His interest in mechanics began at an early age, when he became a vehicle mechanic, but he never stopped dreaming of working on other types of mechanical equipment. When he turned 26, he enlisted in the United States Navy at Fort Worth, Texas as an aviation machines mate and began his journey that would ultimately lead him to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District.
“I knew that I wanted to work on airplanes and the Navy offered me the opportunity to do that,” said Daniell. “During my career in the Navy I was also a naval air crewman and aviation machines mate. I loved that I got to work on planes, meet new people and travel around the world.”
After serving 21 years in the U.S. Navy, Daniell retired and took his mechanical skills on yet another adventure. Because he had never done it before, he started working on 18 wheelers. After that he went to work on machinery in the oil industry. It was during a meeting with one of his chiefs when he heard about the opening with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
“The position was for a maintenance mechanic at the Algires Locks,” said Daniell. “I loved the idea of learning another aspect of mechanics and being in an environment that would constantly challenge me. So when I was offered the position of the locks operator, I jumped at it and soon after transferred to the Colorado River Locks.”
As an operator, Daniell assists vessels crossing the intersection of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway and the Colorado River. He directs vessel traffic and even performs maintenance on the locks as necessary. The Colorado River Locks alone enables the transit of more than 12,000 tows, more than 30,000 recreational or commercial vessels and 20 million tons of product annually, providing an essential service that significantly impacts local communities, the state and our nation’s economies.
“What I enjoy about my job is the satisfaction of moving barges safely and in a timely manner,” said Daniell. “But what I love most about my job is that I can still serve my country even after I retired from the U.S. Navy.”
Daniell enjoys the outdoors. When he is not operating the locks, you can find him spending time with family, riding his Harley and fishing.