Editorial: 10.16.2019

Charlie Danner’s Military Experience Fueled His Route to Castle

charlie danner

At age 21, Charlie Danner enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and embarked on an international trek that ultimately led him back to his hometown to join Castle Contracting as a project engineer.

During his four-year active military service, he delivered millions of gallons of fuel to hundreds of aircraft as a fuels technician. For two years, he was stationed in Misawa, Japan, a coastal city ravaged by a 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami that struck the city of Fukushima.

“We lost power for about two months, so we had to refuel generators everywhere, working 12-hour shifts every day,” he says. “Because a lot of the gas stations shut down, folks would come on base and we would give them fuel so they could continue to operate.”

Danner’s military experience also included deployments to Kyrgyzstan, the United Arab Emirates and Alaska. “It’s always nice to go someplace with a totally different culture and experience how people there live,” he says.

But his eventual goal was to return to St. Louis to work in construction.

While stationed at Hill Air Force Base in Ogden, Utah, Danner enrolled in the civil engineering program at Weber State University. He transferred to Whiteman Air Force base at the University of Central Missouri, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering technology.

Before joining Castle in January 2018, he completed an internship with Kiewit and worked for the construction company’s Seattle office as an engineer.

Since signing on with Castle, he has participated in a rotation of several different areas, including estimating, project management and onsite involvement on a large project.

“You get to learn a little bit of everything, so you can be well-rounded regardless of what you end up doing,” he says. “I like working at Castle because you’re usually working on multiple projects at a time.”  

On October 1, Danner also took the reins as Castle’s in-house wellness champion. The company’s Vitality program motivates and incentivizes employees and their families to enhance their physical, mental and emotional health.

“If someone has questions about the program, I can answer those and also help encourage people to participate in more wellness activities and become healthier,“ says Danner, who regularly works out at a gym.

He recently ran in the 9th annual Walk/Run for the Heroes, a 5K sponsored by the Missouri Military Memorial Foundation that helps fund scholarships for Gold Star families. In 2017, Castle donated its sitework expertise in the construction of the new Missouri Military Memorial at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery.

And earlier this year, Danner escorted an Air Force veteran in his early 80s to Washington, DC, as a volunteer for the Greater St. Louis Honor Flight. “It was cool to help an older Air Force veteran see all the different sites around D.C.,” he says. “His family wasn’t able to escort him, so I volunteered to do it and he was very appreciative.”  


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