On September 10, 2020, in a ceremony broadcast from Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Virginia, Army Lt. Gen. Scott A. Spellmon became the 55th Chief of Engineers and Commander, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Army Chief of Staff, Gen. James C. McConville, officiated the Change of Command.
This time-honored tradition of command succession served as a visible symbol of the Corps’ resolute commitment to solving our Nation’s toughest engineering challenges. Lt. Gen. Spellmon succeeds Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite, who ably led the Corps as Commander and Chief of Engineers since 2016.
Today’s ceremony brought back a great memory from my time in the Army. As the Corps’ Deputy Commander in 2015, I had the privilege of officiating at Lt. Gen. Spellmon’s change of command ceremony at the Northwestern Division (See photo at left). That day I highlighted his “proven record of excellence, in peace and war.” I told the assembled team that he was “a skilled and brilliant officer who epitomizes the best of what our officer corps should and can be.” During that command tour, Lt. Gen. Spellmon would validate those attributes by superbly leading the Corps’ regional response and jurisdictional oversight of the contentious Dakota Access Pipeline, which fell within his geographic boundaries. Even under extreme pressure from multiple political, tribal, and environmental groups, he ensured the Corps acted professionally, transparently, and with compassion to all sides in the controversy. I was proud to serve by his side.
Moving forward under Lt. Gen. Spellmon’s leadership, the Corps of Engineers will no doubt be receptive to ideas and strategies that will allow stakeholders and industry partners alike to improve Corps planning, projects, and permit decisions. On even the most contentious issues, Lt. Gen. Spellmon will always do what he believes to be the right thing in accordance with regulation, policy and the law. Rest assured, your U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is in good hands.
Maj. Gen. (ret) Rick Stevens
Senior Vice President
A member of the Dawson team since 2018, Rick was Deputy Commanding General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from 2014-2017.
The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Dawson & Associates.