When I mention the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, what are the first thoughts that enter your mind?

When we take a close look at the infrastructure of the United States, a major part of it was built by the USACE – U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Corps manages the building of roadways, bridges and structures for the U.S. Army and Department of Defense, but they also manage a plethora of needed resources for the civilian population too.

Just a few facts about the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers you may not know:

  • They are the nation’s top provider of outdoor recreation services.

  • They research and develop technology to protect our environment working in conjunction with the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

  • They own and operate 600+ dams.

  • Have managed military construction programs well over $4o billion.

  • Maintains and operates many commercial inland navigation channels.

  • Gives technical support to over 100 countries.

  • Maintains over 900 coastal and inland harbors.

  • Owns and operates 24% of United States Hydroelectric systems providing 3% of the nation’s electricity.

  • And much more.

To be truthful, our nation would be living near 3rd world country conditions if not for the expertise of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

In today’s post, I have decided to give you 14 cool facts about the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).

1: USACE Roots

We can go all the way back to June 16th, 1775 when Colonel Richard Gridley became George Washington’s chief engineer. He had 2 assistants. In 1779, Congress created an actual Corps of Engineers. They were primarily French natives hired by Washington to build fortifications.

2: 1802

The actual U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as we now know it was created March 16th, 1802. President Thomas Jefferson signed the Military Peace Establishment Act which stated that a Corps of Engineers was to be established and headquartered at West Point, New York. At that time, West Point was primarily an engineering school.

3: Headquarters

The USACE headquarters is no longer at West Point. They now are headquartered in our nation’s capital at 441 G Street NW, Washington D.C.

4: Employer

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers employs approximately 37,000 people. These employees are both military and civilian. Some of the occupations available with USACE are:

  • Park Rangers

  • Dam and Lock Operators

  • Biologists

  • Electrical Engineers

  • Architects

  • and much more.

If a job with USACE seems interesting to you, I suggest you visit this link.

5: Missions

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ primary mission is:

“Deliver vital public and military engineering services; partnering in peace and war to strengthen our Nation’s security, energize the economy and reduce risks from disasters.”

The main missions we discover as we look at their work are:

  • Environmental restoration and regulations

  • Designing, building and operating locks and dams

  • Designing and constructing military facilities for the U.S. Army, Air Force and other Department of Defense needs

  • Flood control and dredging of waterways

6: USACE Divisions

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has many divisions that are headquartered in various locations. They are:

  • Great Lakes and Ohio River Division. Headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, it has districts in 7 various cities.

  • Transatlantic Division. Headquartered in Winchester, Virginia.

  • Mississippi Valley Division. Headquartered in Vicksburg, Mississippi, it has districts in 6 cities.

  • Southwestern Division. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, it has districts in 4 cities.

  • North Atlantic Division. Headquartered in Brooklyn, New York, it has districts in 6 cities.

  • South Pacific Division. Headquartered in San Francisco, California, it has districts in 4 cities.

  • Northwestern Division. Headquartered in Portland, Oregon, it has districts in 5 cities.

  • South Atlantic Division. Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, it has districts in 5 cities.

  • Pacific Ocean Division. Headquartered at Fort Shafter, Hawaii. It has 4 districts in various locations.

7: Organizations

The USACE has various organizations either under their control, or working directly with them. They include:

  • Deployable Tactical Operations System

  • Engineer Research and Development Center

  • Enterprise Infrastructure Services

  • U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center

  • USACE Logistics Activity

  • Finance Center, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

  • Institute for Water Resources

  • Humphreys Engineer Center Support Activity

  • Marine Design Center

  • Army Geospatial Center

8: Famous Projects

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have had their touch on some highly famous works. Consider these:

  • Surveying and constructing the Cumberland Road in the 1830’s.

  • The building of the Washington Monument in 1884.

  • The Panama Canal in 1914.

  • The Bonneville Dam in 1937.

  • The Manhattan Project from 1942 to 1946.

  • The Pentagon in 1943.

  • Everglades Restoration Plan in 1948.

  • King Khalid Military City: 1973-1987

These are just a few.

9: Leadership

The leadership for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers consist of:

  • Commanding General: Lieutenant General Todd Semonite

  • Deputy Chief of Engineers: Major General Richard Stevens

  • Deputy Commanding General for Civil and Emergency Operations: Major General Donald Jackson

  • Deputy Commanding General for Military and International Operations: Major General Mark Yenter

  • Command Sergeant Major Antonio Jones

  • Chief of Staff, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: Colonel D. Peter Helmlinger

  • Command Chaplain, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: Chaplain (Colonel) Mitchell Lewis

10: USACE Blog

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has a blog. You can follow it here.

11: USACE On YouTube

Follow the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s YouTube Channel here.

12: USACE On Facebook

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers also have a Facebook page. You can see it here.

13: USACE On Twitter

See the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ tweets here.

14: USACE On Flickr

See the photos of the Army Corps of Engineers in action. Just click here.

Final Thoughts

The United States Army Corps of Engineers have done work in every State and territory in our nation.

Just consider some of the infrastructure around you. Did USACE have any part of it?

What are your thoughts? Leave your comments or questions below. Thank you.


  1. United States Army Corps of Engineers on Wikipedia

  3. United States. Army. Corps of Engineers


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There is one sure thing about the United States Army…they do not just accept that any equipment being used by their personnel is safe and trustworthy.

The U.S. Army has systems in place in which they test, retest and test some more to make sure that the equipment being used is not only safe, but is reliable under extreme circumstances.

The Army command that is in charge of testing and evaluation is called ATEC. In today’s post, I am going to provide you with 11 cool facts about the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command (ATEC).

If you have any questions or any added facts, feel free to share them in the comment section at the end of this post.

1: The Beginning of ATEC

The Army powers decided that testing and evaluation was too widespread to keep order. In 1998, it was decided to consolidate all testing and evaluation of Army equipment and weapons into one command. Operational Test and Evaluation Command (OPTEC) was redesignated the United States Army Test and Evaluation Command (ATEC) on October 1st, 1999. All subordinate commands were also redesignated becoming:

  • U.S. Army Evaluation Center

  • U.S. Army Developmental Test Command

  • and U.S. Army Operational Test Command

2: Headquarters

While ATEC has a wide variety of locations, their headquarters are near Arlington, Virginia at Aberdeen Proving Ground.

3: On Facebook

The U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command is on Facebook. You can follow their posts by clicking here.

4: ATEC Mission and Vision

The U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command mission and vision statements can provide a good look at what they intend to solve and goals for the future. I normally do not cut and copy, but this is one area that the wording must stay the same:


“ATEC plans, integrates, and conducts experiments, developmental testing, independent operational testing, and independent evaluations and assessments to provide essential information to acquisition decision makers and commanders.”


“To be a team of highly skilled test and evaluation professionals focused on informing equipping decisions for today’s and tomorrow’s war-fighter.”

5: Customer Base

ATEC has a customer base that includes the complete U.S. Army, and:

6: # of Employees

The U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command is a major employer. They have approximately 9,000 employees that are military, civilian and contract. These consist of:

  • Researchers

  • Evaluators

  • Test officers

  • Engineers

  • Technicians

  • and Scientists

7: On YouTube

The U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command also is on YouTube. You can watch their interesting videos and subscribe to their channel by clicking here.

8: Daily Tests

On a daily basis, ATEC is performing 1,100+ tests. Some are initial testing, while others are in final phases or somewhere in between.

9: Testing Locations

All testing locations are high security clearance and consist of:

10: ATEC Leadership

With a lot of responsibility, the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command has some very capable leadership. They are:

  • Commanding General: Major General Daniel Karbler

  • Executive Technical Director: Michael Zweibel

  • Chief of Staff: Karen Taylor

  • Command Sergeant Major: CSM Andrew Connette

11: Employment Opportunities

As I stated earlier, ATEC is a huge employer. There are various intern programs and programs for recent college graduates. Just to name a few, there is:

  • The Internship Program

  • The Recent Graduates Program

  • and the Presidential Management Fellows Program

If any of these may be of interest to you, I suggest you take a look at this link.

If you are a civilian who would like to work at one of these test locations, I was just looking at some of the jobs available. There are jobs such as:

  • Facilities Operations Specialist in Huntsville, Alabama. This has a salary of $85,935.00 to $111,720.00 per year.

  • General Engineer at Yuma Proving Ground. The salary is $71,012.00 to $92,316.00 per year.

  • Cook at Fort Greely, Alaska. The pay is $22.39 to $26.11 per hour.

  • Security Guard at Dugway Proving Ground. You could earn $35,609.00 to $46,294.00 per year.

You can look at these jobs and other career opportunities through ATEC by going to this link.

Final Thoughts

Each and everything the Army uses must be tested for reliability and safety. We have men and women putting their lives on the line…they deserve the best. ATEC attempts to give them the best.

What are your thoughts?

We would love to hear from any military personnel or civilians who have worked under the United States Army Test and Evaluation Command. Please tell us more about this command and the various items tested.

You can post any comments, suggestions or questions below. Thank you.


  1. United States Army Test and Evaluation Command on Wikipedia

  3. Army Alliance: Keeping Our Future Strong – Aberdeen Proving Ground

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The United States Military Academy, also known as West Point, is the educational zone that has developed some of the greatest leaders our nation has ever known.

Fully accredited, students at the United States Military Academy can choose from over 40 academic majors that cover a wide variety of areas. Upon graduation, students earn their bars becoming officers in the U.S. military, or in the case of foreign students, in their country’s military.

In today’s post, I am going to provide you with 19 cool facts about the United States Military Academy. I have used a variety of resources in discovering these facts. You can find those links at the end of this post.

These facts are in no particular order. So follow along and learn more about the United States Military Academy.

1: Location

General George Washington immediately recognized the importance of holding this area approximately 50 miles North of New York City. West Point lies on the Hudson River, and it is the oldest Army post in the U.S. that has been under continuous operation.

The U.S.M.A. takes just a small portion of the 16,000 acres the United States Army controls at West Point, New York.

2: Nomination

Unlike many other universities, students at the United States Military Academy must be nominated by only approved sources to gain admission. Approved sources are:

  • Members of Congress

  • Resident Commissioners of U.S. Territories

  • The President of the United States

  • The Vice-President of the United States

3: On Campus

All students at the United States Military Academy must live on campus for their complete educational experience.

4: Civil War Leadership

Personally, I find this fact amazing; the U.S. Civil War had a total of 294 graduates from West Point serving as officers for the Union. The Confederacy had a total of 151 of its officers that were graduates of the U.S. Military Academy.

5: Cost of Tuition

Many parents wonder how they will pay their child’s tuition fees when they attend college. If your child has West Point in their sight, you can lose some of that stress. The tuition cost to attend the United States Military Academy is $0. Should I spell that?? Zero.

6: High Graduate Percentage

West Point has one of the highest percentages of students who successfully complete the school. It is estimated that 78% of those who are accepted do graduate from the United States Military Academy.

7: School Song

The United States Military Academy school song is On, Brave Old Army Team.

8: Cadet Honor Code

Upon acceptance into the United States Military Academy, cadets agree to abide by the Cadet Honor Code. It reads:

A Cadet Will Not Lie, Cheat, Steal, or Tolerate Those Who Do.

9: Civil War Battles

There were 60 major battles in the Civil War. In every one of these, there was at least one United States Military Academy graduate commanding one side or the other, or both.

10: Popular Majors

The United States Military Academy offers a wide range of majors cadets can choose from. The most popular majors are:

  1. Engineering

  2. Social Sciences

  3. Foreign Languages

  4. Computer and Information Sciences

11: Recognized Graduates

Here are some more amazing figures. There have been:

  • 74 Medal of Honor Recipients

  • 3 Heisman Trophy Winners

  • 18 Astronauts

  • 70 Rhodes Scholars

who were graduates of the United States Military Academy.

12: Sport’s Requirements

Cadets are required to compete in 1 sport every season at the intramural, club or intercollegiate level.

13: First Black Cadet

The first African American cadet was accepted into West Point in 1870. James Webster Smith was treated terribly and was dismissed not graduating. The first black graduate was Henry Flipper in 1877.

14: Established

The United States Military Academy was established in controversy in 1802. This was done by President Thomas Jefferson. Some thought it would be only an institution for the wealthy and powerful.

15: Accredited

The United States Military Academy became a fully accredited school in 1925.

16: 1st Superintendent

President Jefferson appointed the 1st Superintendent of the U.S.M.A. He chose Jonathan Williams.

17: Females

The first female cadets accepted into the United States Military Academy were in the nation’s bicentennial…1976.

18: Admission Requirements

There are some admission requirements that may seem strict, but are needed. They include:

  • Must be between 17 and 23 years old

  • Must be unmarried

  • Have no legal obligations for child support

  • Must pass a Candidate Fitness Assessment and physical exam

Candidates can have previous college experience, but no credits will be transferred.

19: Famous United States Military Academy Graduates

The list I am about to give you is just a partial one. Many of the graduates may not be known immediately by name, but they have used their education, talents and abilities to create change and defend this great nation.

Here are some famous U.S.M.A. graduates:

  • Jefferson Davis – Class of 1828 – President of the Confederate States of America.

  • Robert E. Lee – Class of 1829 – Was Superintendent from 1852-1855. General in Chief of the Confederate Army.

  • George Meade – Class of 1835 – Commander of the Army of the Potomac.

  • William Sherman – Class of 1840 – Served as Commanding General of the Army, and has a tank named after him.

  • Ulysses Grant – Class of 1843 – Our 18th President and a Civil War great.

  • “Stonewall” Jackson – Class of 1846 – A great Commander for the Confederacy in the Civil War.

  • George Custer – Class of 1861 – We know him for his death at the Battle of Little Big Horn.

  • John Pershing – Class of 1886 – He is known for many feats, especially defeating the Germans in World War I.

  • Douglas MacArthur – Class of 1903 – He was General of the Army.

  • George Patton Jr. – Class of 1909 – Everyone knows the feats of the great General Patton.

  • Dwight Eisenhower – Class of 1915 – Our 34th President.

  • Alexander Haig Jr. – Class of 1947 – Secretary of State under President Reagan.

  • “Buzz” Aldrin – Class of 1951 – The 2nd man to walk on the moon.

Again, these are just a few. There are many famous individuals who attended and graduated from the United States Military Academy.

Final Thoughts

I hope you learned a few things in today’s post. Please share any added facts, or your story of attendance at West Point.

You can post any comments, questions or suggestions below.

Thank you.


  1. United States Military Academy on Wikipedia

  3. usma facts



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