The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is celebrating today, June 16, 240 years of serving the nation as the premier engineering organization that stands ready to support the country’s military and water resources needs in the 21st century.
George Washington appointed the first engineer officers of the Army on June 16, 1775, during the American Revolution. The Army established the Corps of Engineers as a separate, permanent branch on March 16, 1802.
Since then USACE has responded to changing defense requirements and played an integral part in the development of the country. Throughout the 19th century, the Corps built coastal fortifications, surveyed roads and canals, eliminated navigational hazards, etc.
In the 20th century, the Corps became the lead federal flood control agency and significantly expanded its civil works activities, becoming among other things a major provider of hydroelectric energy and the country’s leading provider of recreation. Its role in responding to natural disasters also grew dramatically.