GALVESTON, Texas (June 1, 2016) –Army Capt. Haley Mercer is no stranger to the structure that both the military and government offer. With both parents employed by the Central Intelligence Agency, she says she was influenced from an early age to take a similar path.
Recruited by West Point for her track and field athleticism, she found a comforting familiarity with the highly structured setting of the United States Military Academy.
“I had several other offers for different colleges, but other universities didn’t hold up to the service academy I was interested in,” said Mercer.
Following graduation, she was commissioned in the U.S. Army as an engineer platoon leader where she deployed twice in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Her first deployment was with the 62nd Engineer Battalion, located in Fort Hood, Texas. Several years later, she deployed with the 20th Engineer Brigade, located in Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
She was serving as a company commander with the 31st Engineering Battalion at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, when she was selected for the Army’s Advanced Civil Schooling program and attended the Georgia Institute of Technology. There, she graduated with a second master’s degree and accepted an assignment with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District.
“I am extremely grateful for this opportunity as it is unlike any other job in the Army,” said Mercer. “It allows me to advance my technical skills and experience a side of the Army I am not accustomed to.”
Mercer explained that her current position as an operations manager in the USACE Galveston District's Navigation Division allows her to oversee diverse civil work projects along the Texas coast.
“I am currently supporting several operations and maintenance projects along the Sabine-Neches Waterway and Texas City Ship Channel,” said Mercer.
Dredging the Port of Texas City is critical to ensuring waterborne commerce is able to continue to transport about 50 million tons of cargo annually. Currently ranked 13th in the nation in short tons, the deepwater port services the largest petrochemical complex in the nation.
Texas ports create nearly 1.4 million jobs generating more than $80 billion in personal income annually and remain an integral component to the state’s overall transportation system, creating a key linkage with highways, rail and the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway.
“It is extremely rewarding to know that my efforts directly affect the local and national economy by providing navigable waterways along the Texas Gulf Coast,” said Mercer.
A native of Fairfax, Virginia, Mercer earned a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Management from the United States Military Academy at West Point, a Master of Science in Engineering Management from the University of Missouri Science and Technology and a Master of Science in Building Construction from Georgia Institute of Technology. In her spare time, she and her husband enjoy spending time with their 10-month-old son and managing their gym, Third Coast CrossFit, in Dickinson, Texas.