Category Archives: Commentary

Commanders’ Blogs

Happy Birthday Galveston District!

Happy 137th Birthday to our “Custodians of the Coast,” the Galveston District!   Wow – 137 years; one of the oldest Districts in the Corps.

Your remarkable history of withstanding disasters to provide dedicated support to local communities and the nation served you well this past year, as you took on Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath. With an impact on so many of your mission areas—emergency management, flood risk management, navigation, regulatory, and others– Harvey challenged each member of the District to accomplish even more.  And accomplish you did.  We all applaud your efforts and actions.

Galveston District has had a strong record as Pacesetters since the arrival of the Galveston engineer to oversee river and harbor improvements on Feb. 25, 1880.  The District built the world’s longest jetties in 1897, helped Galveston recover from the devastation of the Great Storm in 1900 and build the iconic Galveston Seawall, served though two World Wars and other conflicts.  And of course, and more recently, the District withstood and handled Hurricanes Ike and Harvey, two of the costliest hurricanes in our history.  All the while, you have continued your strong tradition of maintaining and protecting the Texas Coast, with its fragile ecosystem and economic powerhouse,   and the people who live there.

The Galveston District has earned quite a birthday celebration this year!  Celebrate your iconic past and all your accomplishments, and continue to look forward to exciting and challenging times to come.

Happy Birthday to each of you!


Paul E. Owen, P.E.
Brigadier General, US Army Corps of Engineers
Commander, Southwestern Division

Saluting All Veterans – 11 November 2017

This Saturday, November 11th, we observe Veterans Day. For almost a century, since the signing of the Armistice ending World War I, Americans have marked this day to remember and
thank our military Veterans.

Today, we continue this long tradition, honoring those who have served in all branches of our military, both in peace and in war. This includes all those who have fought in the great wars
of our lifetime—World War II, the Cold War, the Vietnam War, the War on Terror. It also includes those still serving around the world, whether in our local communities or in in such volatile
locations as Afghanistan and Korea.

Many of you might be a veteran. If so, thank you for the sacrifices you made for our Nation. The number of Americans serving in the military has declined as our county has gone from the era
of the military draft to the All-Volunteer Force, but all of you probably know a veteran. Veterans form a tie that binds our American society. Most of us have a brother or sister, father, cousin,
friend or colleague who has served in the U.S. military.

On this Veterans Day, take some time to attend a parade or visit a national cemetery or veteran’s hospital. There is sure to be one in a community near you. Take the time to thank a veteran
for his or her service. You might be surprised at the impact of the simple words “Thank you for your service.”

Please join me this year in saluting all our Nation’s veterans and honoring their service. Their dedication and sacrifices have made our Nation the great democracy that it is today.


Paul E. Owen, P.E.
Colonel, US Army Corps of Engineers
Commander, Southwestern Division