The Army Corps of Engineers: 18 Cool Facts

Have you ever really considered what all the Army Corps of Engineers do for both the military, and for civilians? I will just say it is immense. United States infrastructure would be much worse if not for all the improvements the Army Corps of Engineers has achieved.

The Army Corps of Engineers have built dams, roads, bridges, buildings and even recreation areas. They have been a major reason the United States and her citizens can live comfortably.

In today’s post, I am going to give 18 cool facts about the Army Corps of Engineers. Scroll down and learn more.

1: First Creation

The Army Corps of Engineers has a long and colorful history. The first creation was in 1775 when the Continental Congress authorized an Army that had a Chief Engineer and 2 Engineer Assistants. In 1779, the actual Army Corps of Engineers was created as a separate unit.

2: The First Chief Engineer

George Washington’s first Chief Engineer was Colonel Richard Gridley. He is considered the Father of Engineers by the Army Corps of Engineers.

3: The First Army Corps of Engineers Mission

The first job the Army Corps of Engineers undertook was building the fortifications at Bunker Hill just outside Boston.

4: The Modern Army Corps of Engineers

What we recognize as the Army Corps of Engineers today was not what they were during the Revolutionary War. It was when Thomas Jefferson was President when the Army Corps of Engineers was formed into what it is like today. In 1802, the Army Corps of Engineers was formed into a unit, and was based at West Point, New York.

5: West Point Superintendent

The Army Corps of Engineers were so important in the eyes of Congress that up until 1866, the Superintendent of the United States Military Academy at West Point was always an Engineering Officer.

6: 1824

In 1824, the General Survey Act was passed by Congress. The Army Corps of Engineers gained a difficult mission of improving navigation on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. They removed sand bars, snags and other barriers to allow boat traffic.

7: Mapping

In 1838, Congress authorized the Army Corps of Topographical Engineers. These were only Officers who made maps and navigational routes. In 1863, the Army Corps of Topographical Engineers were merged with the Army Corps of Engineers.

8: Civil War Generals

There were several Civil War Generals who were actually commissioned as Officers in the Army Corps of Engineers. They were:

9: 1940s Military Construction

The 1940s were a busy time for the Army Corps of Engineers. They ramped up military construction which included:

  • plants to make aircraft, ammo and tanks

  • camps for soldiers

  • ports

  • hospitals

  • the Manhattan Project

  • and the Pentagon

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  3. U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command (ATEC): 11 Cool Facts
  4. The Top 20 Military Strategists Of All Time

10: Commanding Generals Who Commissioned As Engineers

I mentioned earlier about Civil War Generals who gained their commissions as Engineers, but there were several others too. They were:

11: Hydroelectric

The dams that were engineered and built by the Army Corps of Engineers provide approximately 25% of the hydro power the United States uses.

12: Headquarters

The Headquarters of the Army Corps of Engineers is at 441 G Street NW, Washington D.C.

13: Divisions

There are 9 divisions with there own headquarters. They are:

  1. Transatlantic Division in Winchester, Virginia

  2. Great Lakes Division in Cincinnati, Ohio

  3. Southwestern Division in Dallas, Texas

  4. Mississippi Valley Division in Vicksburg, Mississippi

  5. South Pacific Division in San Francisco, California

  6. North Atlantic Division in Fort Hamilton, New York

  7. South Atlantic Division in Atlanta, Georgia

  8. Northwestern Division in Portland, Oregon

  9. Pacific Ocean Division in Fort Shafter, Hawaii

14: School

For those who desire to be a part of the Army Corps of Engineers, they must attend the U.S. Army Engineer School located at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.

15: Organizations

There are multiple organizations within the Army Corps of Engineers. They include:

army corps of engineers

Truman Dam in Southern Missouri was built and is managed by the Army Corps of Engineers. Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons

  • The Engineer Research and Development Center

  • Deployable Tactical Operations System

  • U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center

  • Enterprise Infrastructure Services

  • Army Corps of Engineers Finance Center

  • USACE Logistics Activity

  • Army Geospatial Center

  • Marine Design Center

  • Institute for Water Resources

  • and more

16: Primary Missions

While the Army Corps of Engineers are called upon for many missions, there primary missions are:

  1. War: Anything needed to help the U.S. military in war or defense efforts in the form of navigation or construction.

  2. Environment: The Army Corps of Engineers has a mission of restoring and protecting our environment.

  3. Homeland Security: They work directly with the Department of Homeland Security to make sure our country is safe from enemies.

  4. Water: From dams to bridges, wherever there is water, the Army Corps of Engineers is probably nearby.

  5. Infrastructure: The Army Corps of Engineers is involved in the support and building of a solid infrastructure.

17: Some Other Facts

Here are some cool other facts:

  • The Army Corps of Engineers is working in over 90 countries.

  • Owns and operates over 600 dams.

  • Owns and operates 75 hydroelectric plants.

  • Over 100 environmental protection projects.

  • Has one of the best small business assistance programs.

18: Leaders

The Commanding General of the Army Corps of Engineers is Lieutenant General Thomas Bostick. You can see all the other leaders by visiting the Army Corps of Engineers website here.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, the Army Corps of Engineers has been a vital part of building our country to what it is today.

We would love to hear from any of you who are with the Army Corps of Engineers. Please leave your comments and questions below. Thanks for visiting.

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Charles in Uniform

Thanks for visiting my website today. My name is Chuck Holmes. I am a former Army Major (resigned). I enjoy mentoring Soldiers, NCOs and officers through this website. I’ve had the luxury of working for myself, from home, for the past six years. I’m a pajama entrepreneur. If you’d like to learn how to work from home like I do, you should learn more about my home business. I promote natural and organic products and weight loss.

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