Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Change of Command set for Army Corps St. Louis District

St. Louis, July 6, 2011 – Command of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Louis District, will change on Friday, July 8, 2011.  Colonel Thomas E. O’Hara, Jr., who has commanded the District since July 2, 2008, will turn over duties as District Engineer to Colonel Chris G. Hall in a 10 a.m. ceremony to be conducted at the Sheraton St. Louis City Center Hotel at 400 South 14th Street.  Major General Michael J. Walsh, Commander of the Corps’ Mississippi Valley Division, will preside over the event.  This event will also mark Col. O’Hara’s retirement from the U.S. Army.

In more than 26 years of service, Col. O’Hara has served in diverse roles in the Corps of Engineers, including as a combat engineer, a joint staff officer, an instructor at the United States Military Academy, as well as a commander and staff officer in field units throughout the Army.  On the Civil Works side of the Corps, he served as deputy district commander at the St. Paul District. His education includes master’s degrees in mathematics and operations research.  Col. O’Hara’s service has taken him overseas for Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, as well as Joint Task Force Bravo in Honduras, and two tours supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

Col. Hall comes to his new assignment from the U.S. Army War College at Carlisle Barracks in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.  He has held a variety of field assignments, most recently his deployment to Haiti as the deputy Joint Task Force Haiti engineer.  He’s also commanded the 4th Special Troops Battalion of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division and deployed with them in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Col. Hall previously served as Deputy District Engineer for the Buffalo District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  He holds master of science degree in civil engineering from Pennsylvania State University and is married and has four children.

The St. Louis District is strategically located at the crossroads of three major river systems: the Illinois, Mississippi and Missouri.  The mission of the District is to manage the 300 mile Mississippi River watershed above the Ohio River by applying engineering, scientific, and other resources while preserving, restoring and enhancing the environment; and maintaining core competencies needed to respond to local and national emergencies and technical requirements.

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