Editorial: 10.19.2021

Valuable Lessons from the Marines Guide Austin Anway

Austin Amway

A childhood fascination with crops, fields and livestock led Austin Anway to believe he was destined to become a farmer.

“For some reason, I wanted to provide my family with free vegetables, bacon and all that stuff,” he recalls.

But those aspirations changed when Anway took a few high school engineering classes and realized how much he enjoyed CAD design and drafting, construction management and civil engineering.

Before he enrolled in college, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. “Growing up, one of my buddies and I challenged each other to join the Marines because we thought it was the toughest military branch and had the hardest admission standards,” Anway says. “I chose the reserves so I wouldn't have a large gap between graduating high school and going to college.”

As a Reserve Marine, Anway signed an eight-year contract that involved serving one weekend a month and completing a two-week training exercise each summer. “One year, I did a two-week beach landing training in Peru. That was probably the coolest part of my military career,” he says.

During drill weekends, Anway led about 60 Marines in his company as a platoon sergeant. “One of the most important things I learned was how to lead people with transparency, respect and accountability,” he says. “When you make a mistake, you’ve got to own up to it, learn from it and work to avoid making that same mistake again.”

Those lessons have proved to be foundational for Anway’s career at Castle.  

After earning a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Missouri in Columbia, he gained hands-on experience through an internship in the engineering department of the city of St. Charles public works division.

In June 2017, Anway joined Castle’s estimating group as a project engineer. A few months later, he packed his bags and headed to Johnson County, Kansas, where Castle had been hired to oversee yard piping on the Tomahawk Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility expansion.

Anway spent more than three years working on the $335 million project and helped expand the scope of Castle’s role to include earthwork as well.

“It was a fantastic job, and I couldn't have asked for a better group of people to work with,” he says. “We all did tailgates, happy hours and parties on the weekend. Almost every holiday, someone had a get together for those of us who weren't able to go back home and visit their own family.”

Since moving back to St. Louis a few weeks ago, Anway has assisted on several local jobs, including the Market at Olive mixed-use development in University City and several smaller jobs.

“The Castle office in St. Louis reminds me a lot of how the team was out in Kansas City,” he says. “It really is like a family. Everybody says hi to each other and has a smile on their face. It's like I never left.”

Anway also returned home with a new family member: a 28-pound dog named Milo he rescued in August 2020. “He's part pit bull, part husky and part lab. And he gets to hang out with my parents’ dog, so he’s pretty occupied these days.”

When he’s not on the job, Anway enjoys gaming with his brother. “We play a little bit of everything—from Call of Duty to NHL games,” he says. “My brother lives in Seattle, so it's a good way for us to hang out and talk about how our lives are going.”

Recently, Anway helped assemble and set up flags in the Flags of Valor installation honoring members of the military and first responders who died in the September 11 terrorist attacks and subsequent wars. “It was chilling to see the display when it was fully installed,” he says.


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