U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: (USACE): 14 Cool Facts

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
  2. http://www.usace.army.mil/

  3. United States. Army. Corps of Engineers
  4. http://bia.gov/WhoWeAre/BIA/climatechange/Resources/Agencies/AgencyFactSheet/index.htm?ag=usace

  5. http://www.corpsresults.us/

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