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Volunteer Program Policy & Procedures

Volunteer Program - Policy & Procedures

    Engineer Pamphlets

    Engineer Regulations

    Policy Letter

    • 04-01, dated 27 October 2004
      Volunteer Value of Service Hourly Rate
        This memorandum initiated the Corps using the Independent Sector's hourly rate to determine the value of volunteer service. Since 2005, the value of volunteer service is calculated automatically in OMBIL by entering the number of volunteer hours.

        For reference, the volunteer value of service hourly rates

        • FY 2022 - $29.95
        • FY 2021 - $28.54
        • FY 2020 - $27.20
        • FY 2019 - $25.43
        • FY 2018 - $24.69
        • FY 2017 - $24.14
        • FY 2016 - $23.56
        • FY 2015 - $23.07
        • FY 2014 - $22.55
        • FY 2013 - $22.14
        • FY 2012 - $21.79
        • FY 2011 - $21.36
        • FY 2010 - $20.85
        • FY 2009 - $20.25
        • FY 2008 - $19.51
        • FY 2007 - $18.77
        • FY 2006 - $18.04
        • FY 2005 - $17.55
        • FY 2004 - $17.19

    • Implementation Guidance, dated 12 August 2016, dated 11/2/11
        This memorandum provides implementation guidance for Section 1047(d) of WRRDA 2014. Section 1047(d), "Services of Volunteers," amended Chapter IV of title I of Public Law 98-63 (33 U.S.C § 569c) to expand the definition of "incidental expenses" to include expenses relating to uniforms, transportation, lodging, and the subsistence of volunteers. In addition to the WRRDA amendments, other changes in policy were made to update the ER/EP. This memorandum supersedes and replaces the ER and EP 1130-2-500 Chapter 10. No other chapters of ER & EP 1130-2-500 are affected by this policy memorandum and all other chapters remain in effect. These policy changes to the Volunteer Program are effective immediately and will be incorporated in the referenced ER and EP when they are revised.

    • Volunteer Background Investigation Policy Update, dated March 2020
      • Webinar on Procedures Update - 19 March 2020 Guidance for Section 1047(d) Services of Volunteers, of the Water Resources and Development Act of 2013, Public Law 113-121" for volunteer background investigations. The guidance is provided to meet the most current security standards for processing background investigations and to provide consistency in procedures across all MSCs. These procedural updates are effective immediately and will be incorporated in the appropriate ER/EP when they are revised.

    • Volunteer Bonding Policy Letter, dated 07 September 2016

    Public Law Regulation

    • 33 USC 569c, Public Law 98-63, Chapter IV of Title, Services of Volunteers
      33 USC 569c, further amended by WRRDA 2014 authorized: The United States Army Chief of Engineers may accept the services of volunteers and provide for their incidental expenses, including expenses relating to uniforms, transportation, lodging, and the subsistence of those volunteers, to carry out any activity of the Army Corps of Engineers except policy-making or law or regulatory enforcement. Such volunteers shall not be employees of the United States Government except for the purposes of (1) chapter 171 of title 28, relating to tort claims, and (2) chapter 81 of title 5, relating to compensation for work injuries.

    • 42 USC 139, Public Law 105-19, Volunteer Protection Act of 1997
      The purpose of this act is to promote the interests of social service program beneficiaries and taxpayers and to sustain the availability of programs, nonprofit organizations, and governmental entities that depend on volunteer contributions by reforming the laws to provide certain protections from liability abuses related to volunteers serving nonprofit organizations and governmental entities.


    • 04/18/22 Volunteer Value for FY 2022 = $29.95
      The FY22 figure for the value of service per hour of volunteer time is $29.95. When entering FY22 volunteer data in NRM Assessment later this year, this value will be auto-calculated for you.

      The value of volunteer time is based on the average hourly earnings of all production and nonsupervisory workers on private nonfarm payrolls (as determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics).

      For consistency, it is the rate used by all of the federal land management agencies to calculate their volunteer value each year.

    • 04/15/22 USACE Celebrates National Volunteer Week: April 17-23
      National Volunteer Week 2022 will take place April 17-23. Throughout next week, we will be highlighting volunteers from around the country with daily Volunteer Spotlight cards. Here are a few ways you can join the Volunteer Week celebration:

      1. Thank a volunteer. Say thank you to the volunteers at your projects! Send an email, host a recognition event, post about them on social media, present them with an America the Beautiful volunteer pass if they are eligible, or nominate them for an award. https://c

      2. Host a volunteer event. Invite visitors to join a volunteer event at your project. Be sure to post your volunteer event on

      3. Ask volunteers to share their volunteer experience. Invite volunteers to share a photo and their volunteer story. Volunteer stories can be used for local media, on project or district social media accounts, or as news articles on USACE websites.

      For Day 1 of Volunteer Week, we are featuring volunteers from the Great Lakes and Ohio River Division. Mark Rawdon at Alum Creek Lake and Tom and Kristi Battles at Lake Barkley are our first volunteers to spotlight. These three volunteers have collectively served over 16,000 hours during their time with USACE.

      A big THANK YOU to all of our outstanding volunteers! As a result of their efforts, USACE is able to continue to meet the increasing demands of the public for clean, safe recreation opportunities while providing a healthy environment for visitors to enjoy.

      Heather Burke

      US Army Corps of Engineers

      National Partnership and Volunteer Program Manager

    • 03/20/22 Updated Volunteer COVID vaccination testing guidance
      In our efforts to keep you updated in the dynamic and changing COVID guidance, we have updated the attached FAQs on volunteer vaccination guidance per the latest FRAGORD 14. In summary testing requirements for “official visitors” including volunteers is now based on CDC community rates. Volunteers requiring government building access will not have to be tested in low rate counties; tested in medium rate counties; and masked and tested in high rate counties. "Official Visitors" per guidance are not the public recreation visitors but are non-DOD individuals seeking access, one time or recurring, in association with the performance of official DOD business. Volunteers who do not access USACE buildings or government vehicles and serve outdoors or who only receive ad hoc access are not required to complete the DD 3150 form or present negative test results. The new guidance further directs that official visitors will conduct COVID- 19 testing at their own expense and will not be provided onsite self-testing. All Volunteer coordinators have received the updated information per the email below. FRAGORD 14 and attachments are available on the HQSACE Published Operation Orders site by selecting current year published and type – FRAGORD. Option=Other

      As noted in previous emails, implementation of the COVID guidance and requirements for workforce are delegated to the Commanders with approvals and timelines established at your MSC and Districts. If you need any further information, please contact myself or Heather Burke, National Partnership and Volunteer Program Manager at

      Jeffrey F. Krause
      Chief, Natural Resources Management

    • 02/25/22 Updated Volunteer Vaccination/Testing Information
      As a follow-up to our 14 Feb volunteer coordinator meeting on volunteer vaccinations/testing and our national NRM update yesterday 24 Feb, attached is further information cleared by Office of Counsel on guidance and FAQ regarding Volunteer testing standards.

      FRAGORD 11 to OPORD 2021-38 (USACE COVID Steady State Operations) dated 28 January 2022 directed Commanders, management officials, and supervisors should continue enforcing all other safety related mitigation measures as required in this order including screening or testing requirements as these measures fall outside the scope of the federal court injunction. This order (page 20) further directed USACE volunteers shall be treated as “official visitors” as defined in Attachment 2 of the 20 December 2021 “Force Health Protection Guidance (Supplement 23) Revision 3 - Department of Defense Guidance for Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination Attestation, Screening, Testing, and Vaccination Verification” (FHP 23).

      Please see attached “USACE Volunteer COVID-19 Vaccination Attestation Guidance for Civil Works Activities” document and supporting FRAGO and OPORD guidance. This document provides a summary of vaccination attestation/testing requirements and associated FAQs that have been requested by the field. HQUSACE Office of Counsel has reviewed and cleared.

      Similar to screening of unvaccinated personnel, the screening of official visitors including volunteers will be implemented under the delegation of the District Commander for consideration of mission needs and payment of any testing materials.

      Websites with the policy guidance documents (FAQs, FRAGOs, OPORDs, Annexes, DD 3150 forms) include:

    • Option=Other
    • Id=volunteer&Code=All&View=Yes
    • If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me or Heather Burke at or 503-808-4313.

      Jeffrey F. Krause
      Chief, Natural Resources Management

    • 02/07/22 Volunteer Award Recipient
      The recipients are recognized for their outstanding dedication and enthusiasm for service at our projects, especially during a time of increased challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic and other events during the past year. These awards will be presented to each of the recipients later this year when conditions warrant.

      National Volunteer Award: This year’s USACE national volunteer of the year award recipients are Brenda Grano and Wynona Brakeman of Allatoona Lake in the Mobile District. They have been selected for this award for their dedicated service to the natural resource, recreation, and environmental stewardship programs at Allatoona Lake. They have donated over 4,800 hours of volunteer service over a four-year period. This mother and daughter team have served in a variety of volunteer duties but have distinguished themselves by building a robust recycling program at Allatoona. Their efforts in growing the recycling program have led to new partnerships and volunteer programs and garnered praise from the visiting public.

      I want to extend my sincere appreciation for the incredible service that all of our partners and volunteers continue to provide USACE and this Nation each and every day!

      Jeffrey F. Krause
      Chief, Natural Resources Management

    Other Policy

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