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Army Engineers

Friday, February 27, 2015

What is it?

The first engineer officers of the Army were appointed by George Washington, on June 16, 1775, during the American Revolution. These Soldiers have served in combat in all subsequent wars and have performed numerous missions in support of the U.S. Army and the nation.

The Army established the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) as a separate, permanent branch on March 16, 1802, and gave the engineers responsibility for founding and operating the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Since then, Army engineers have responded to changing defense requirements and played an integral part in the development of the country.

What has the Army done?

Throughout the 19th century, Army engineers built coastal fortifications; surveyed roads, canals and railroads; explored and mapped the Western frontier; and supervised the construction of dozens of lighthouses along the nation’s coasts. Army engineers also expanded the District of Columbia’s local water supply system; completed the Washington Monument; and helped design and construct numerous structures including the Lincoln Memorial, the Library of Congress and the Government Printing Office.

In the 20th century, Army engineers provided significant support to the U.S. military overseas. During World War II, engineer Soldiers prepared and developed beaches for assault landings in Europe and the Pacific. In Vietnam, engineers helped provide access to enemy strongholds in support of concerted U.S. search and destroy missions. During the Cold War, they managed construction programs for America’s allies, including a massive effort in Saudi Arabia.

More recently, hundreds of Army engineers supported recovery and response efforts following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks at the Pentagon and World Trade Center, contingency operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, Haiti’s earthquake, and Japan’s earthquake and resulting tsunami.

Today, Army engineers are focused on the operation, maintenance, repair and replacement of major civil works infrastructure systems; the restoration of degraded aquatic ecosystems; and reducing risks to the public from natural disasters while addressing water resources challenges facing the nation. These men and women are also designing and constructing facilities that support military personnel, their families and the civilian workforce around the globe.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?

Army engineers continue the tradition of providing vital engineering solutions, in collaboration with the partners, to secure the nation, energize the economy and reduce risk from disaster.

Why is this important to the Army?

Army engineers deliver facilities and infrastructure to help the Armed Forces maintain readiness, achieve Army modernization goals, and support U.S. defense and security assistance goals worldwide.


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