The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers today bade farewell to Maj. Gen. Richard J. (Rich) Heitkamp, USACE deputy commanding general (DCG) and the Army’s deputy chief of engineers, in a ceremony at its Washington headquarters.
Heitkamp has served in his current role since February 2021. He served as the principal advisor to Lt. Gen. Scott A. Spellmon, the Army’s 55th chief of engineers and USACE commanding general, on issues related to the Army’s Engineer Regiment and to USACE, an organization with more than 38,000 civilian employees and 800 military personnel.
Heitkamp departs USACE for his new position as commandant of the InterAmerican Defense College at Fort McNair, Virginia.
“When I needed to fill the position of deputy commanding general a little over two years ago, I immediately turned to Maj. Gen. Rich Heitkamp and he stepped up without hesitation,” said Spellmon. “I have relied on his counsel, experience, judgement and tenacity to help guide USACE through some challenging times, and those qualities will ensure Rich’s success as the commandant at the InterAmerican Defense College.”
“The opportunity to serve as the USACE deputy commanding general for the past two years was not something I expected when I began my USACE journey in 2020,” said Heitkamp. “Serving as the DCG and as the Army’s deputy chief of engineers has been THE honor and privilege of my career.
“My time with USACE has been incredibly rewarding professionally and personally,” continued Heitkamp. “I hope that I will be remembered for making positive contributions during my time here to the critically important missions that we execute for the nation both here and abroad.”
Prior to becoming the deputy commanding general, Heitkamp served as the USACE national program manager for the Southwest Border Infrastructure Program where he was responsible for developing strategy, planning, and policy guidance for the program to secure the nation's borders.
USACE has a widespread presence across the nation and internationally, providing technical and construction expertise to more than 110 countries. Missions span a broad spectrum including: development and management of the nation’s water resources; support of commercial navigation; restoration, protection and management of aquatic ecosystems; flood risk management; disaster response; military construction; international and interagency services; project management and construction support to more than 250 Army and Air Force installations; environmental cleanup; real estate; research and development; and more.