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.
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.
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:
General P.G.T. Beauregard Confederate
General Joseph Johnston Confederate
General Robert E. Lee Confederate
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
the Manhattan Project
and the Pentagon
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:
The dams that were engineered and built by the Army Corps of Engineers provide approximately 25% of the hydro power the United States uses.
The Headquarters of the Army Corps of Engineers is at 441 G Street NW, Washington D.C.
There are 9 divisions with there own headquarters. They are:
Transatlantic Division in Winchester, Virginia
Great Lakes Division in Cincinnati, Ohio
Southwestern Division in Dallas, Texas
Mississippi Valley Division in Vicksburg, Mississippi
South Pacific Division in San Francisco, California
North Atlantic Division in Fort Hamilton, New York
South Atlantic Division in Atlanta, Georgia
Northwestern Division in Portland, Oregon
Pacific Ocean Division in Fort Shafter, Hawaii
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.
There are multiple organizations within the Army Corps of Engineers. They include:
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
16: Primary Missions
While the Army Corps of Engineers are called upon for many missions, there primary missions are:
War: Anything needed to help the U.S. military in war or defense efforts in the form of navigation or construction.
Environment: The Army Corps of Engineers has a mission of restoring and protecting our environment.
Homeland Security: They work directly with the Department of Homeland Security to make sure our country is safe from enemies.
Water: From dams to bridges, wherever there is water, the Army Corps of Engineers is probably nearby.
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.
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.
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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2 thoughts on “The Army Corps of Engineers: 18 Cool Facts”
number 17 was the most helpful
Glad it helped Quinton.