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U.S. ARMY ENGINEER HISTORY AND TRADITIONS
THE HISTORY OF THE CORPS OF ENGINEERS:
On 16 June, 1775, the Continental Congress resolved, "That there be one Chief Engineer at the Grand Army... And that of two assistants be employed under him..." This marked the beginning of the Corps of Engineers. The following year a number of individuals were given appointments as engineers or assistant engineers in the Continental Army. Three years later, the Congress authorized the recruitment of three companies of engineers, generally referred to as miners and sappers. The organization of these companies and the officers having engineer responsibilities into a "Corps of Engineers," came on 11 March 1779. During the Revolution, these miners and sappers worked on field fortifications and roads. At the Battle of Yorktown, they joined in the assault of Redoubt No 10 in their secondary capacity as infantrymen. At the close of the Revolution, the Corps was mustered out of service. Because of a recognized need for a regular military establishment, Congress took a number of steps in the early 1790s to reconstitute the American Army. One of these was the establishment of the Corps of Artillerists and Engineers in 1794. In the crisis with France four years later, an additional regiment of artillerists and engineers was formed. However, it was soon recognized that the duties and functions of the artillery and engineers, while connected, were distinct. In 1800, a movement began to separate the two branches. On 16 March 1802, Congress authorized the President to establish a separate Corps of Engineers. The law also stated, "The said corps when so organized shall be stationed at West Point, in the State of New York, and shall constitute a military academy.." By this action, the Congress recognized that military engineering was a science, and therefore required formal education and training. The Corps consisted primarily of officers and cadets. However in 1803, the commanding officer of the Corps was authorized to enlist 18 men and 1 artificer to aid in making experiments at West Point, and for other purposes. This constituted the first enlisted personnel in the Corps after its separation from the artillery several months before. During the War of 1812, a company of bombardiers, sappers, and miners served on the Northwest Frontiers. For the next 40 years, the Corps' responsibilities centered around the construction of coastal fortifications and exploration of the American West. In 1838, Congress authorized the creation of a separate Corps of Topographical Engineers. Individual topographical engineers had been serving under the Chief of Engineers since 1816, and the topographical engineering mission dated from the appointment of Mr. Robert Erskine to be geographer and surveyor of the roads. Much of the effort on the nation's internal development, such as roads and waterways, was done by the "Topogs." During the Mexican War, Corps of Engineers and Topographical Engineer officers performed valuable service to the nation. Captain Robert E. Lee, Corps of Engineers, received several brevets for heroism and gallantry as General Winfield Scott's staff engineer. Significantly, Congress authorized the creation of a company of miners, sappers, and pontoneers for the Regular Army. These enlisted men were to be called engineer soldiers. Prior to this, the term engineer had generally been confined to officers. Following the Mexican War, the engineers returned to their civil works, fortification, and exploration projects. In the 1850s, engineers surveyed several routes for the proposed transcontinental railroad. In the first days of the American Civil War, Congress added three additional companies of engineers and one of topographical engineers. Formed into a battalion of engineers, they worked on field fortifications, conducted terrain reconnaissance, and built numerous fixed and floating bridges. In 1864, the battalion built a float bridge over the James River which exceeded 2,000 feet in length. This constituted a record which stood until 1945. The efforts of the regular battalion of engineers were supported by numerous volunteer engineer regiments such as the 15th and 50th New York Volunteer Engineer Regiments. Following the war, the Corps returned to its peacetime missions. All of the work of the Topographical Engineers went to the Corps when the "topogs" merged with the Corps in 1863. Waterways, coastal fortifications and lighthouses were the most important peacetime responsibilities. The structure of the Corps remained relatively constant until 1901, when the companies were enlarged and reorganized into three battalions of regular engineers. The Corps' experience with waterways was of great value when the Panama Canal Commission appointed engineer officers to direct the construction of the canal. In the years immediately preceding our entry into World War I, the Army and the Corps underwent expansion and reorganization. The Army adopted the divisional system which constituted the combined arms structure used today. Key to this was the creation of divisional engineer regiments which numbered almost 1500 officers and men. When the country entered the war, additional engineer regiments appeared. Many of these worked on specific missions, such as railway construction, forestry, and harbor development. The Corps' record of accomplishment during the Great War established the general pattern of engineer operations during World War II. General Service and Combat Regiments built every conceivable structure or facility in the various theaters of operation. Combat regiments and battalions supported the maneuver forces with roads, bridges, and mine warfare. At home, the Corps supervised the $15.2 billion defense construction program. Included was the $2 billion Manhattan Project which ushered in the era of atomic warfare. The end of the war against the Axis powers ushered in the Cold War between the free world and the communist states. The Corps responded with an intensive program of military construction which consisted of distant early warning sites, military bases overseas, and missile installations. The Cold War turned hot in Korea between 1950 and 1954 and in Southeast Asia a decade later. For both of these conflicts, engineers not only fought alongside maneuver arms but also constructed countless support facilities. In the seesaw battles in Korea, combat engineers demolished, rebuilt, and destroyed the same bridges as the tide of war moved across the Korean landscape. Vietnam posed an even greater problem due to the nature of that insurgent conflict and the lack of support facilities for troops in the field. Fire bases, airfields, heliports, harbor facilities, and major highways were among the tasks of builders and fighters. All of this occurred while the civil works side of the Corps continued with navigation, flood control, hydroelectric, and military construction projects in the United States. The end of the Cold War did not bring the dividends of peace that so many Americans desired. Contingency operations in Granada, Panama, and Kuwait brought combat engineers into action. Humanitarian efforts such as Provide Comfort and Restore Hope constituted yet another mission for the Corps. Rebuilding Kuwait, providing for relief of displaced refugees, and supporting United Nations efforts in Somalia called for both combat and construction skills. Disaster assistance for victims of hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes continues to be a peacetime challenge of the Corps. For more than 200 years, miners, sappers, pontoneers, topogs-engineers, have contributed to the development of this nation and of developing nations. In war, engineers have been fighters and builders of those things needed to sustain the battle. If the past is simply a prologue of the future, engineers must continue to hone their ability to build, and if necessary, fight as Infantry personnel!!
List of the:
CHIEFS OF ENGINEERS:
COL RICHARD GRIDLEY.. 17 JUN 1775 - 05 AUG 1776 COL RUFUS PUTNAM..... 05 AUG 1776 - 01 DEC 1776 MG L.L. DUPORTAIL.... 22 JUL 1777 - 10 OCT 1783 LTC STEPHEN ROCHEFONTAINE.26 FEB 1795 - 07 MAY 1798 LTC HENRY BURBECK..... 07 MAY 1798 - 01 APR 1802 COL JONATHAN WILLIAMS. 01 APR 1802 - 31 JUL 1812 COL J.G. SWIFT........31 JUL 1812 - 12 NOV 1818 COL W.K. ARMISTEAD....12 NOV 1818 - 01 JUN 1821 COL ALEXANDER MACOMB..01 JUN 1821 - 24 MAY 1828 COL CHARLES GRATIOT...24 MAY 1828 - 06 DEC 1838 BG J.G. TOTTEN........07 DEC 1838 - 22 APR 1864 BG RICHARD DELAFIELD..22 APR 1864 - 08 AUG 1866 BG A.A. HUMPHREYS.....08 AUG 1866 - 30 JUN 1879 BG H.G. WRIGHT........30 JUN 1879 - 06 MAR 1884 BG JOHN NEWTON........06 MAR 1884 - 27 AUG 1886 BG J.C. DUANE.........11 OCT 1886 - 30 JUN 1888 BG T.L. CASEY.........06 JUL 1888 - 10 MAY 1895 BG W.P. CRAIGHILL.....10 MAY 1895 - 01 FEB 1897 BG J.M. WILSON........01 FEB 1897 - 30 APR 1901 BG HENRY M. ROBERT....30 APR 1901 - 02 MAY 1901 BG JOHN W. BARLOW.....02 MAY 1901 - 03 MAY 1901 BG GEO L. GILLISPIE...03 MAY 1901 - 22 JAN 1904 BG ALEXANDER MARKENZIE.23 JAN 1904 - 25 MAY 1908 BG WILLIAM L. MARSHALL.02 JUL 1908 - 11 JUN 1910 BG WILLIAM H. BIXBY...12 JUN 1910 - 11 AUG 1913 BG WILLIAM T. ROSSELL.12 AUG 1913 - 11 OCT 1913 BG DAN C. KINGMAN.....12 OCT 1913 - 06 MAR 1916 MG WILLIAM M. BLACK...07 MAR 1916 - 31 OCT 1919 MG LANSING H. BEACH...10 FEB 1920 - 18 JUN 1924 MG HARRY TAYLOR.......19 JUN 1924 - 26 JUN 1926 MG EDGAR JADWIN.......27 JUN 1926 - 07 AUG 1929 MG LYTLE BROWN........01 OCT 1929 - 01 OCT 1933 MG EDWARD M. MARKHAM..01 OCT 1933 - 18 OCT 1937 MG JULIAN L. SCHLEY...18 OCT 1937 - 01 OCT 1941 LTG EUGENE REYBOLD....01 OCT 1941 - 04 OCT 1945 LTG RAYMOND A. WHEELER.04 OCT 1945 - 28 FEB 1949 LTG LEWIS A. PICK..... 01 MAR 1949 - 26 JAN 1953 LTG SAMUEL D. STURGIS JR.17 MAR 1953 - 30 SEP 1956 LTG EMERSON C. ITCHNER. 01 OCT 1956 - 27 MAR 1961 LTG WALTER K. WILSON JR.19 MAY 1961 - 01 JUL 1965* LTG WILLIAM F. CASSIDY. 01 JUL 1965 - 31 JUL 1969 LTG FREDERICK J. CLARKE.01 AUG 1969 - 31 JUL 1973 LTG WILLIAM C. GRIBBLE JR.01 AUG 1973 - 30 JUN 1976 LTG JOHN W. MORRIS... 01 JUL 1976 - 30 SEP 1980 LTG JOSEPH K. BRATTON...01 OCT 1980 - 14 SEP 1984 LTG ELVIN R. HEIBERG III.14 SEP 1984 - 31 MAY 1988 LTG HENRY J. HATCH...17 JUN 1988 - 04 JUN 1992 LTG ARTHUR E. WILLIAMS.24 AUG 1992 - 30 JUN 1996 LTG JOE N. BALLARD...01 OCT 1996 - Present
ENGINEER SCHOOL COMMANDANTS at Willetts Point, NY, (Fort Totten):
MAJ JAMES C. DUANE...1865 - 68 MAJ H. L. ABBOT......1868 - 86 MAJ C. B. COMSTOCK...1886 - 87 MAJ W. R. KING.......1887 - 95 MAJ W. T. ROSSELL....1895 - 95 MAJ J. G. D. KNIGHT..1895 - 01
At Washington Barracks, DC
MAJ W. M. BLACK....1901 - 03 MAJ EDWARD BURR....1903 - 06 MAJ E. E. WINSLOW..1906 - 07 MAJ W. C. LANGFITT.1907 - 10 MAJ W. J. BARDEN...1910 - 13 MAJ JOSEPH E. KUHN.1913 - 14 MAJ WILLIAM. P. WOOTEN.1914 - 16 MAJ G. R. LUKESH...1916 - 16 MG M. M. PATRICK...1916 - 17 COL W. W. HARTS....1917 - 17 BG HENREY JERVEY...1917 - 17 COL F. V. ABBOT....1917 - 18 COL RICHARD PARK...1918 - 18 BG CHARLES W. KUTZ.1918 - 18 COL JAY J. MORROW..1919 - 19
At Camp Humphreys, VA; redesignated Fort Belvoir, 1935
MG C. A. F. FLAGLER..1919 - 20 BG W. D. CONNOR......1920 - 20 COL MERIWEATHER L. WALKER..1920 - 21 MG MASON M. PATRICK..1921 - 21 COL J. A. WOODRUFF.1921 - 24 COL H. BURGESS.....1924 - 24 COL SHERWOOD A. CHENEY.1924 - 25 COL EDWARD M. MARKHAM..1925 - 29 COL EDWARD H. SCHULZ. 1929 - 33 COL GEORGE R. SPAULDING.1933 - 35 COL LAURENCE V. FRAZIER.1935 - 36 COL JULIAN L. SCHLEY. 1936 - 36 COL J. A. O'CONNOR... 1937 - 38 COL THOMAS M. ROBINS. 1938 - 39 COL J. A. O'CONNOR... 1939 - 40 BG ROSCOE C. CRAWFORD.1940 - 43 COL XENEPHON H. PRICE.1943 - 44 BG GORDON R. YOUNG...1944 - 44 BG DWIGHT F. JOHNS...1944 - 45 BG PATRICK HENRY TIMOTHY. 1945 - 46 COL WILLIS E. TEALE..1946 - 47 MG WILLIAM M. HOGE...1947 - 48 MG DOUGLAS L. WEART..1948 - 51 MG STANLEY L. SCOTT..1951 - 54 MG A. W. PENCE.......1954 - 54 MG LOUIS W. PRENTISS.1954 - 56 MG DAVID H. TULLEY...1956 - 58 MG GERALD E. GALLOWAY.1958 - 60 MG WALTER K. WILSON..1960 - 61 MG STEPHEN R. HAMMER.1961 - 62 MG LAURENCE L. LINCOLN.1963 - 65* MG FREDERICK J. CLARKE.1965 - 66 MG ROBERT F. SEEDLOCK.1966 - 67 MG ARTHUR W. OBERBECK.1968 - 68 MG GEORGE H. WALKER..1968 - 69 MG WILLIAM C. GRIBBLE JR.1969 - 70 MG ROBERT R. PLOGER..1970 - 73 MG HAROLD R. PARFITT.1973 - 75 MG JAMES A. JOHNSON..1975 - 77 MG JAMES L. KELLEY.. 1977 - 80 MG MAXWELL W. NOAH.. 1980 - 82 MG JAMES N. ELLIS... 1982 - 84 MG ROBERT S. KEM.... 1984 - 87 MG WILLIAM H. RENO...1987 - 88
At Fort Leonard Wood, MO
MG DANIEL R. SCHROEDER.1988 - 91 MG DANIEL W. CHRISTMAN.1991 - 93 MG JOE N. BALLARD... 1993 - 95 MG CLAIR F. GILL.... 1995 - 97 MG ROBERT B. FLOWERS.1997 - Present
THE HISTORY OF THE ENGINEER SCHOOL:
The Corps of Engineers, the Engineer School traces its roots to the American Revolution. General Headquarters Orders, Valley Force, dated 9 June 1778 read "3 Captains and 9 Lieutenants are wanted to officer the Company of Sappers. As the Corps will be a SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING, it opens a prospect to such gentlemen as enter it..." Shortly after the publishing of the order, the "school" moved to the river fortifications at West Point. With the end of the war and the mustering out of the Army, the school closed. However, the Regiment of Artillerists and Engineers was constituted a military school and was reopened at the same location in 1794. For four years it constituted a school of application for new engineers and artillerists. Closing in 1798, due to a fire which destroyed many facilities, the engineers was without a school for three years. In 1801, the War Department revived the school, and Major Jonathan Williams became its superintendent. Less than a year later, Congress authorized the Corps of Engineers and constituted it at West Point as a military academy. For the next 64 years, the Military Academy was under the supervision of the Corps. Although the curriculum was heavily laced with engineering subjects, the Academy commissioned officers into all branches of the service. Following the Civil War, supervision of the Academy passed to the War Department. When the Engineer Battalion took station at Willets Point in 1866, Engineer leaders saw the opportunity to develop a school oriented exclusively to engineers. From 1868 to 1885, an informal School of Application existed. Part of this effort involved the creation of the Essayons Club. This was an informal group which met during the winter months and presented professional engineer papers. In 1885, the School of Application received formal recognition by the War Department. In 1890, the name was changed to United States Engineer School. In 1901, the School moved from Willets Point (later renamed Fort Totten) to Washington Barracks in Washington D.C. and was renamed the Engineer School of Application. Ironically, this name lasted only a few years. In 1904, the name was changed back to the Engineer School. The Engineer School remained at Washington Barracks for the next 19 years, although it closed from time to time because of a shortage of officers, or national emergencies. In 1909, certain courses associated with the field army moved to Ft. Leavenworth, and the Army Field Engineer School opened in 1910. That school, a part of the Army Service Schools, closed in 1916. The First World War forced a closing of the Engineer School as the instructors and students were needed to officer the expanding engineer force. The school resumed its instruction in 1920, but at a different location. Washington Barracks was transferred to the General Staff College and the Engineer School moved to Camp A.A. Humphreys, south of Mount Vernon, in Virginia. This was a WWI camp built on land acquired by the War Department in 1912. The original name for the tract was Belvoir. For 68 years, Ft. Belvoir was the home of the Engineer School. It produced thousands of officers, NCOs and enlisted engineers who saw action in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. Thousands more passed through the Engineer School during the peacetime years. In 1988, the Engineer School and Center moved to Ft Leonard Wood, Missouri. Here the traditions of engineering schooling, begun in the snows of Valley Forge, continue..
THE DE FLEURY MEDAL As the Corps of Engineers implemented the US Army Regimental System, the senior engineer leadership sought a method for the Corps of Engineers to honor those individuals who have provided significant contributions to Army Engineering. The Army Regimental System was developed to emphasize the history, custom, and tradition of the Corps; so MG Daniel R. Schroeder, then Commanding General of Fort Leonard Wood and Engineer School Commandant, wanted an award that would tie in with the beginnings of the nation and the Army Corps of Engineers.
In 1777, a French Engineer volunteered to serve with the American Army in its fight for independence from Britain. Francois Louis Tesseidre de Fleury was born in St. Hippolyte, France in 1749; was trained as an engineer; and served in the French Army during the Corsican Campaign. The Continental Congress appointed de Fleury a captain of engineers, and he quickly proved himself. Wounded at the battles of Fort Mifflin and Brandywine (where his horse was shot out from under him), he soon became Lt. Col. de Fleury. But it was in the desperate battle at Stony Point, New York in 1779, that de Fleury's courage, under fire, won him the accolades of Congress. In June of 1779, two small American forts were being established on the Hudson River at Stony Point and Verplanck's Point, about 30 miles from Manhattan Island. A large British force easily captured both sites. The enemy began building a strong defensive perimeter around Stony Point. The Point was actually a peninsula jutting nearly half a mile into the Hudson, tipped with rocky crags which shot up 150 feet above the river. On the landward side was swamp which flooded at high tide, sinking a causeway running to the shore under two feet of water and making the Point an island. The formidable defense included several batteries partially connected by trenches, log and earth redoubts around the main fort, and a double abatis. It was called "Little Gibraltar". GEN George Washington was disturbed by the capture of the two forts. British occupation gave them control of a vital segment of the river and rerouted American communications, supplies, and troops moving between New England and the other colonies. Worse, GEN Washington was convinced the enemy was preparing to strike West Point, less than 15 miles upriver. American reinforcements were quickly moved into position north of Stony Point, but Washington thought there was no hope of recapture. A recently formed light infantry corps led by the daring Brigadier General "Mad" Anthony Wayne, consisted of hand picked combat veterans. The group was made up of four regiments of about 340 men each. COL Christian "Old Denmark" Febiger headed the 1st Regiment with de Fleury as second in command. On July 15th, the corps, except for a small diversionary force, unloaded weapons and turned in their ammunition. Secrecy was so tight the troops did not know they were going to attempt to recapture Stony Point. For such a risky assault, surprise was vital; and the attack was to take place in total darkness. Fixed bayonets and handtohand combat were the orders of the day. Wayne's column had no sooner sloshed into the waistdeep water before a British picket sent up an alarm. During the fierce fighting, Wayne and Febiger both suffered stunning head wounds. The Continentals scrambled up the rocky slope with de Fleury in the lead. First over the wall, de Fleury was followed by a wave of American bayonets. Rushing to the flag pole, de Fleury cut the British colors from their staff. In addition to the recapture of Stony Point, the defeat of the British fired the American's determination and lifted their morale. It showed the enemy that the colonies had an able fighting force. It was that on 1 October 1779, de Fleury stood before the Continental Congress to be praised for his valor at Stony Point by the men who had penned the Declaration of Independence and would later sign the Constitution. For his intrepid behavior, the Continental Congress awarded a medal struck in his honor. The Engineer Regiment adopted the de Fleury Medal as an award because of the values demonstrated by the man for whom it was struck values of special meaning to Engineer Soldiers. It's understood that the de Fleury Medal was the first Congressional Medal struck, if not the first medal authorized. On the obverse of the medal is the Latin inscription meaning: "A MEMORIAL AND REWARD FOR COURAGE AND BOLDNESS". In the center appears the image of a helmeted soldier standing amidst the ruins of a fort, holding in his right hand an unsheathed sword, and in his left the staff of the enemy's flag, which he tramples underfoot. On the reverse, again in Latin: "FORTIFICATIONS, MARSHES, ENEMIES OVERCOME". In the center the fortress at Stony Point is depicted with both turrets and a flag flying. At the base of the hill are two shore batteries, one of which is firing at one of six vessels on the Hudson River Beneath the fort is the legend: "STONY POINT CARRIED BY STORM, JULY 15, 1779". Presentation of the de Fleury Medal, to those individuals meeting established criteria, was begun in 1989. Soldiers and civilians, active and retired, from enlisted soldiers to Generals to the Chief of Staff of the French Army proudly wear the de Fleury Medal. The de Fleury award program is administered by the Army Engineer Association for the US Army Corps of Engineers. The medal dies are controlled by the United States Mint which is responsible for striking the medals.
THE ENGINEER BUTTON:
The Corps of Engineers' oldest and most time honored insignia is the exclusive Essayons Button. It has not changed in basic design since the war of 1812. It is still the required button for the Army Engineers' uniform. Evidence which could establish the actual facts concerning the designing and adoption of the Essayons Button probably burned at West Point in 1838, when the building containing the library and earliest official Corps of Military Academy records caught fire. However, while early Army regulations mentioned the "button of Engineers... with only the device and motto heretofore established", apparently no authoritative detailed description of the button appeared until 1840. The Army prescribed new uniforms on February 18, 1840, in General Orders 7, AGO, which officially described the button as follows: An eagle holding in his beak a scroll with the word, 'Essayons,' a bastion with embrasures in the distance, surrounded by water, and rising sun; the figures to be of dead gold upon a bright field." In 1902, when the Army adopted "regulation" buttons, it allowed only the Corps of Engineers to retain its own distinctive Essayons Button in recognition of the distinguished traditions that it symbolized.
THE ENGINEER CASTLE
The appropriateness of the turreted castle as a symbol of the Army Corps of Engineers is readily apparent. The medieval castle is inseparably connected with fortifications and architecture. In heraldry, the castle and the tower are often used on coats of arms or given as charges in the shield of individuals who overcome walled fortifications, were the first to mount their walls ore successfully defended them. In this country the term "castle" has been applied to the strongest of our early fortifications such as Castle Pickney in Charleston, South Carolina, and Castle Williams and Clinton in New York Harbor. The Castle is a highly stylized form without decoration or embellishment. The Army officially adopted the castle to appear on the Corps of Engineers Epaulets and belt plate, in 1840. Soon afterwards the cadets at West Point, all of whom were part of the Corps of Engineers until the Military Academy left the charge of the Chief of Engineers and came under the charge of the Army at Large in 1866, also wore the castle on their cap beginning in 1841. Subsequently the castle appeared on the shoulder knot; on the saddle cloth, as a collar device, and on the buttons. Though its design has changed many times since its inception, the castle has remained the distinctive symbol of the Corps of Engineers.
THE SEAL OF THE CORPS OF ENGINEERS The Seal of the Army Corps of Engineers is often referred to as the coat of arms. It was adopted shortly after the Civil War to commemorate the consolidation of the Corps of Topographic Engineers and the regular Corps of Engineers. In 1831 the Topographical Corps was removed from the original corps which had been in existence since 1802. In 1866 the "Topogs" as they were called, re-joined the Corps of Engineers and General A. A. Humphries adopted the present seal. The significance of the design is plain. The large shield is divided into three horizontal sections, of which the top is solid blue; the bottom is divided into 13 vertical stripes, in red and white. The center section shows the original shields of the two separate corps, the left side representing the traditional Engineers through the design on their button. On the right is the red, white, and blue shield with capitol "T" and "E" of the Topographic Engineers. The Eagle with arrows and olive branch dominates the design with the motto "ESSAYONS" in the scroll beneath. The Oak and Laurel branches symbolize strength and victory. The seal was officially adopted by the Corps on 6 April, 1897.
THE U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS BRANCH SONG "ESSAYONS"
Essayons, sound out the battle cry Essayons, we'll win or we'll die Essayons, there's nothing we won't try We're the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pin the castle on my collar I've done my training for the team You can call me an engineer soldier The warrior spirit has been my dream We are builders, we are fighters We are destroyers just as well There've been doubters who met with the sappers 1 - We know our sappers will never fail OR 2 - And then we blew them all straight to hell Our brothers fighting on the battlefield Look to us to point the way We get there first and then we take the risks To build the roads and the air strips And bridge the mighty river streams We don't care who gets the glory We're sure of one thing, this we know Somewhere out there an engineer soldier Designed the plan for the whole darn show Essayons whether in war or peace We will bear our red and our white Essayons we serve America And the U.S. Army Corps of engineers Essayons! Essayons!
ENGINEER REGIMENTAL PUNCH BOWL CEREMONY The history of the Engineer is the history of the United States of America. From her colonial beginnings Engineers mapped, built, and fought their way across this great nation from shore to shore, eventually extending the might of America around the globe. This Engineer Punch is a rare and unique combination of spirits, each symbolizing the heritage, the achievement, and the glory of the Engineers. representing the enlisted soldiers will establish the base of our punch, just as the Engineers have formed as the base of many branches of our Army. In order to truly understand the significance of the Engineers we must examine carefully the first charge, our FOUNDATION, The red color, reminiscent of the shared heritage of Engineers and Artillerists attests to the time when mid-evil "Enginators" designed, built, and operated the engines of war. From those early Engineers sprang the Artillery, later the Armored forces, even Aviation, and the Chemical corps trace their origins to the early Engineers. representing the history of civilian support for the Corps, will continue the heritage of our forefathers. Engineers of our revolution met at occasions such as we are doing here tonight, and on 11 March, 1779, by resolution of Congress, The Corps of Engineers was formed. In commemoration of the Engineers who first trained in the snows of Valley Forge, organized into a corps, and won our independence at Yorktown, we add the second charge, COGNAC, honoring the French who contributed to our first victory and from whom we adopted much of our unique heritage. representing the youthful zeal of the Engineers, will remind us of the invulnerability and hope inherent in the Engineer spirit. Truth, innocence, vigilance, and devotion are the principles which guide Engineers in the performance of their duty. This un-blemished magnificence found in third charge, WHITE WINE, is also the color of the white piping found on the Engineer colors. This white, original color for Infantry, represents of the secondary mission of the Engineer, that is to fight alongside the "Le-Enfantry", in French, the "children of battle representing the Engineer senior leadership, will help us reflect on those who have given their last full measure of devotion, our fallen comrades. In honor of the selfless sacrifice of the men and women, who for more than three centuries, have served this land, and have vowed to carry on this tradition. Our final charge is CHAMPAGNE, the noblest produce of the vine, symbolizing the eternal mission of the Engineer and reminiscent of the effervescent spirit, the enthusiasm, and the indomitable courage with which Engineers have demonstrated their ability. Today the mission of the Corps is as varied as the contents of this punch: Topographic Engineering, Combat Engineering, Facilities Engineering, and Civil Works, .... Mobility, Counter-Mobility, Survivability, and the underlying requirement to get the job done and get it done right. This is the Army Corps of Engineers. Accomplishing the mission, from the fortification of Breeds Hill to the Engineering of our environment, Engineers, now as always, clear the way. If you look around you, from the establishment of the Corps in the 18th century to the exploration of the universe well into the 21st, you will see the tangible evidence of the Engineers and forever hear the Engineer motto ringing in your ears; ESSAYONS!!
ENGINEER PUNCH RECIPE:
Foundation: Cherry brandy or Cordial 1/2 bottle Fruit Punch 1 1/4 quart Sparkling Water 1 1/4 quart Cognac 1/2 bottle White wine 2 bottles Champagne 2 bottles
SAMPLE CORPS DAY OF HONOR SPEECH Tonight, we celebrate the Corps Day of Honor. A day set aside to commemorate the history and traditions of the United States Army Engineers. We can look back in our history at over two centuries of Engineer heritage and honor. In the spring of 1636, a group of men and women got together in Massachusetts to organize for their common defense, to protect their farms, their villages, their very lives. They created the Massachusetts Colonial Militia. Today the Mass Colonial Militia comes down to us through history through the lineage and the traditions of the 101st Battalion of the Massachusetts National Guard. The oldest unit in the Army, an Engineer Unit. Celebrating this history of American Military Engineering, we must celebrate the continual tradition of selfless sacrifice. Traditions established in the beginnings of the Corps. Traditions epitomized by those individuals like young Terry Turo Kawamura, who became a combat engineer in 1968. His first duty assignment was Southeast Asia. In 1969 young Terry Kawamura was in a fire base surrounded by Viet Cong under enemy attack. He was awakened in his hut when an explosion blew the roof off. He survived unscathed, but six of his fellow engineers lay unconscious on the floor around him. He grabbed his rifle, made it to the door ready to engage the enemy in action, then he noticed the enemy had thrown in a second satchel charge that went through the gaping roof and landed on the floor among his buddies. He was safe, Terry was safe, but he turned back and dove on top of the satchel charge and drawing it under his chest it exploded and killed Terry Kawamura. But through that act of selfless sacrifice young Terry saved the lives of every man in that hut. Another example of this tradition of selfless sacrifice among Engineers soldiers is found again in the story of SGT George Libby, who in North Korea in 1950, began the treacherous withdrawal to the Pusan perimeter. SGT Libby in the tradition of that selfless sacrifice, gathered men around him, wounded, the lost, and placed them in an artillery prime mover. Aware that there was only one man capable of driving that unique vehicle, the only vehicle available to him, he felt it was his mission to guard that driver, so he used his body as a shield standing on the running board outside the drivers door, as they drove crashing through road block after road block set up by the North Koreans and the Chinese. Stopping along the way to pick up more retreating and wounded soldiers, SGT Libby although wounded numerous times, would pick them up and drag them into the Artillery prime mover. Finally after crashing through seven road blocks, the vehicle full of the wounded men that SGT Libby so longed to protect, arrived at the Pusan perimeter. Upon arriving SGT Libby died, he gave the last measure of devotion. Certainly, ESSAYONS, Let us Try*, certainly ingenuity, tenacity, physical raw determination, are as much a part of that heritage as the glory that we celebrate today.
*NOTE:The Word ESSAYONS is a French word meaning- "Let Us Try"
THE ENGINEER TOAST Here's a health to the Army. And here's a health to our Corps; Here's to the Flag flying up on the hill, And the bird flying over our door: Stand by with your glasses all brimming, Here's health, and here's how, and here's luck. And here's to the Castles of Silver we wear. And "the Eagle that looks like a Duck."
Author: Sherwood A. Cheney Brigadier General, U.S. Army 1898
AN ENGINEER HYMN Men of honor, stop your dreaming, Can't you see their bayonets gleaming, See their warrior pennants streaming, To this battle field. Men of honor, stand ye steady, It can not be ever said ye, For this battle were not ready. Sappers will not yield. Hear the cannon pounding, pounding. From the hills resounding, sounding. Sound the horn, and forward toward, The mighty force surrounding. Men of honor, stand ye steady, Ye shall ever be at ready, To the frightful foe afore Ye. Sappers will not yield. Men of honor, start replying, On courage and strength relying, To the fray ahead be flying. Sappers will not yield. Men of honor, those before ye, Fought and died as Engineers for the, Nation that we hold so dearly. Sappers will not yield. Hear the cannon pounding, pounding. From the hills resounding, sounding. Sound the horn, and forward toward, The mighty force surrounding. Men of honor, on to glory, This will ever be your story, Keep these stirring words before ye. Sappers will not yield.
Sung to the tune of "Men of Harlech", mistakenly called the Welsh National Anthem. By Marziale, this march commemorates the Welsh defense of Harlech Castle against the British in 1468. This tune is traditionally the regimental song of the Queens 24 Regiment of Foot, known as the Welsh Border Guard.
A POEM FOR THE ENGINEERS The Sons of Martha 1907 Rudyard Kipling The Sons of Mary seldom bother, for they have inherited that good part; But the Sons of Martha favor their mother of the careful soul and the troubled heart. And because she lost her temper once, and because she was rude to the lord her guest, Her sons must wait upon Mary's Sons, world without end, reprieve, or rest. It is their care in all the ages to take the buffet and cushion the shock. It is their care that the gear engages; it is their care that the switches lock. It is their care that the wheels run truly, it is their care to embark and entrain, Tally, transport, and deliver duly the Sons of Mary by land and main. They say to mountains "Be ye removed. "They say to the lesser floods, "Be dry." Under their rods are the rocks reproved - They are not afraid of that which is high Then do the hill-tops shake to the summit - Then is the bed of the deep laid bare, That the Sons of Mary may overcome it, pleasantly sleeping and unaware. They finger death at their gloves' end where they piece and repiece the living wires. He rears against the gates they tend: They feed him, hungry behind their fires. Early at dawn, ere men see clear, They stumble into his terrible stall, And hale him forth like a haltered steer, and goad and turn him till evenfall. To these from birth is belief forbidden; from these till death is relief afar. They are concerned with matters hidden - under the earthline their altars are- The secret fountains to follow up, waters withdrawn to restore to the mouth, And gather the floods as in a cup, and pour them again at a city's drouth. They do not preach that their God will rouse them a little before the nuts work loose. They do not teach that His pity allows them to drop their job when they damn-well choose. As in the thronged and the lighted ways, so in the dark and the desert they stand. Wary and watchful all their days that their brethren's days may be long in the land. Raise ye the stone or cleave the wood to make a path fair or flat-Lo, it is black already with blood some Son of Martha spilled for that! Not a ladder from earth to heaven, not as witness to any creed, But simple service simply given to his own kind in their common need. And the Sons of Mary smile and are blessed - they know the angels are on their side. They know in them is the grace confessed, and for them are the mercies multiplied. They sit at the feet - they hear the word - they see how truly the promise runs. They have cast their burden upon the Lord, and - the Lord he lays it on Martha's Sons!
THE ENGINEER MUSEUM'S CHRONOLOGICAL GALLERY Introduction The U.S. Army Engineer Museum presents a chronological history of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Today, the oldest unit in the United States Army is the 101st Engineer Battalion of the Massachusetts National Guard established in 1636. Although the history of American military engineering goes back more than three hundred and fifty years, the heritage of military engineering reaches back to the earliest beginnings of organized armies. On the battlefields of ancient Mesopotamia, India, Egypt, Persia, Greece, and Rome, skilled Military Engineers laid the groundwork for the role of their modern descendants. During Europe's middle ages, the French coined the term "genie" to represent the Engineers. Over the years, "genie" evolved into the old English word "enginator" meaning one who operates the engines of war, such as siege towers, battering rams, catapults and the like. With the support of professional French Military Engineers, our young Army Corps of Engineers was created during America's War for Independence. Today, that French heritage is still seen within our Engineer Corps. The language of the Engineer - "abatis," "gabions," "fascines" and "pontons" -- has its roots in 18th century France. Even the motto of the American Engineers, "ESSAYONS" is French for "Let us try." Revolution As America's War for Independence grew more contentious, it became apparent that there was an obvious need for trained Engineers. Only a few days after the Army itself was organized, the Continental Congress, on June 16, 1775, resolved that there should be a Chief Engineer for the Army in a separate department and two assistants under him. Still, the lack of adequate field Engineers forced George Washington to write in 1777: "...The want of accurate maps has been a grave disadvantage to me. I have in vain endeavored to procure them, and have been obliged to make shift with such sketches as I could trace out of my own observations and that of gentlemen around me. I think if gentlemen of known character and probity could be employed in making maps (from actual surveys) it would be of the greatest advantage." Finally, on March 11, 1779, Congress resolved that "the Engineers in the service of the United States shall be formed into a Corps and styled the Corps of Engineers." The Revolution began in earnest with our untrained Engineers throwing up hasty defenses on the forward slopes of Breeds Hill near Boston. The site was to become famous as the location of the Battle of Bunker Hill. The culminating decisive battle in our War for Independence occurred in October 1781 as our tried and tested Engineers overcame the British defenses at Yorktown, Virginia. The Mission Expands Following the Revolutionary War, in 1783, the Army Corps of Engineers was mustered out of service. But on May 9, 1794, Congress authorized a new branch, to be known as "the Corps of Artillerists and Engineers." The Army Corps of Engineers, as it is known today, was created on March 16, 1802, when the President was authorized by Congress to "organize and establish a Corps of Engineers ... that the said Corps ... shall be stationed at West Point in the State of New York and shall constitute a Military Academy." With the re-establishment of the Army Corps of Engineers in 1802, the mission of educating the officers of our Army became an added requirement. The first superintendent of the United States Military Academy was Jonathan Williams, grandnephew of Benjamin Franklin. Under Williams, the growing Corps of Cadets and the Corps of Engineers became a professional, disciplined and elite corps. The first enlisted men of the present-day Corps were authorized on February 28, 1803, but until 1846 the organization consisted primarily of commissioned officers. Company A Engineers was organized in 1846 for the Mexican War. The company operated as Sappers and Miners during the arduous march to Mexico City. In 1847, at the Battle of Contraries, the Engineers led the assault. (Company A, now A Company, 1st Engineer Battalion has been in continuous service since its foundation in 1846, the oldest such unit in the Corps of Engineers.) A total of 44 Engineer officers, including a young Robert E. Lee, served in the Mexican War. Into the 1850s, Engineers continued to map, build, explore and develop our young nation. Exploring the Frontier On July 5, 1838 Congress divided the Army Corps of Engineers when it authorized a separate Corps of Topographical Engineers. The foundation of this specialized Corps dated back to the Revolutionary War under General Robert Erskine, "Geographer of the Army." This new organization exerted significant influence on the early development of the United States. The Corps of Topographical Engineers virtually dominated the era of official exploration that began about 1840 and continued throughout the 19th century. The versatile officers of the Corps of Topographical Engineers, known as "Topogs," were among the first to accurately and systematically describe and record the diversity of the West. Their thorough reports encouraged settlers to move West by describing in detail what could be expected from what was previously a mysterious and undocumented region. The Topogs were expected to act as soldiers by offering protection against hostile attack. They also served as a department of public works by opening up the frontier to western settlement. The Corps of Topographical Engineers merged back into the Army Corps of Engineers on March 3, 1863. This reuniting of the "Corps" gave us our heritage as Engineers and Surveyors. The Civil War Just prior to the outbreak of the Civil War, the Army had two organizations of Engineers with a total authorized strength of 79 commissioned officers and a lone company of 100 enlisted Engineers. In early August 1861, three companies were added to the Army Corps of Engineers and one to the Corps of Topographical Engineers. The commissioned officer strength was raised to 103. Thus, at the beginning of the Civil War, the total strength of the Army Engineers numbered some 750 men. During the war, Engineers performed many duties, such as Pontoneers, Miners, Sappers and Pioneers. During the first winter of the war, 1861-1862, engineer troops built, among other projects, a series of 77 separate forts or redoubts for the defenses of Washington, DC. In 1863, the two separate Engineer Corps were reunited and continued to clear obstacles and to construct roads, bridges, palisades, stockades, canals, blockhouses and signal towers. They laid down hundreds of ponton bridges, built fixed bridges and railroad trestles, repaired railroad lines and erected field fortifications in addition to their mission as Combat Engineers, Topographic Engineers and Facility Engineers. Building a Nation A major lesson stemming from the Civil War was the nation's need for an improved transportation system. New technologies, such as steamships and railroads, combined with a booming rejuvenated industrial economy to create the need to adequately administer and control the growth of America's infrastructure. Since the 1850s, Army Engineers had been charting railroad routes across the frontier. Prior to that, canals, often constructed under the direction of Army Engineers, linked the cities of the east coast. Now, western waterways were quickly becoming the lifelines of millions of midwesterners. Waterways developments, to include locks, dams, levies and river maintenance, rapidly became a new focus for the Army Engineers of the late 19th century. Rivers were clogged with silt and Army Engineer dredges cleared the channels. Snags and floating trees were the bane of river boat pilots on America's rivers. With typical resourcefulness, Army Engineers tackled and removed these treacherous hazards to navigation. Army Engineers took on civil works missions beyond the realm of navigation. In 1874, the Army Corps of Engineers was first tasked to protect our nation's environmental heritage by safeguarding our premier National Park at Yellowstone. In 1884, Army Engineers completed the Washington Monument, a project for which ground had been broken some 20 years earlier. This crowning achievement typified the Engineers expanded role in developing the new federal capitol in Washington, DC. Projecting America as a New World Power In the summer of 1898, America entered into a war with Spain. The Spanish-American War led us into a new position in world politics. The United States now wore the mantle of a world power. As we began the development of our new empire, we first had to enhance the infrastructure of the islands of Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines. Our thrust into the eastern Pacific came as Japan achieved world power status with her victory over Russia in the Russo-Japanese War, which ended in 1904. Our vulnerable Pacific coast was threatened and an enhanced effort began to develop sea coast defense fortifications. These new forts were not only a reaction to changing international political developments, but they were also a result of rapidly improving technologies of war. New breach-loading, high-powered naval guns necessitated the reciprocal development of better defensive fortifications. As this arms race transitioned into the 20th century, we began one of our most ambitious engineering projects, the Panama Canal. The canal was to serve two functions: to improve merchant marine transportation between the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans; and more importantly, to allow our new modern Navy to project American interests quickly in both hemispheres. The Great War Within months of the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand at Sarajevo in the Balkans, in 1914, the Great Powers of Europe were locked in a war of unprecedented proportions. Spanning more than four years, the "Great War" would see battles in France, Russia, Italy, the Middle East, and Africa. When German submarine warfare forced America into the war in 1917, the United States was unprepared for the conflict. The country struggled to mobilize its vast human and industrial resources before Germany could win the ground war against France and the British Commonwealth. The small trickle of soldiers which began in the summer of 1917 ultimately became a flood of combat power which would be essential to the ultimate victory. The Great War not only changed the map of Europe but alter the course of world history. The advent of new technology to warfare and the size of the American Army presented the Engineers with unprecedented challenges. Engineers not only supported the other combat arms -- often fighting as infantry -- but also built the camps, supply facilities, and transportation systems needed to sustain the fighting army. Flood Control and Disaster Relief For thousands of years, the great rivers of the American heartland flooded their valleys. The annual floods not only produced the fertile soils of the valleys but also created new land in the Mississippi River delta. However, by the early 20th Century, settlement and economic development along the rivers were such that floods threatened lives and property. Massive floods in 1912, 1913, 1927, and 1936 prompted Congress to pass several important flood control laws. In 1936, Congress passed the Flood Control Act. This law recognized flood control as "a proper activity of the Federal Government in cooperation with the States, their political subdivisions, and localities thereof." Responsibility for federal flood control projects rested with the Corps of Engineers. Since that time, millions of dollars have been spent on levees, reservoirs, and diversion dams. Although floods still occur, the Corps efforts have saved countless lives and property which would have been lost if control structures had not been in place. Ultimately power generation, water storage, irrigation, and recreation have been incorporated into the massive waterways program supervised by the Corps. WWII The Engineers' War There were few aspects of the United States' role in World War II that did not have some form of Engineer involvement. From the creation of the Arsenal of Democracy -- which provided war materials to American and Allied forces -- to the conduct of battles and campaigns, the Corps of Engineers played a role. Within the continental United States, the total value of construction related to the war effort exceeded $15 billion (1940s dollars). Of this, more than $3 billion went to the construction of the war industries. Military facilities accounted for another $7.5 billion. On the home front, the Engineers were builders. Overseas, the Engineers were builders and fighters. Combat and general service Engineers built thousands of miles of roads and railways, hundreds of bridges and airfields, and countless square feet of storage and troop support facilities. Combat Engineers fought along side the maneuver arms, and in some instances, in advance of infantry and armored forces. They became experts in expedient roads and bridges as well as mine warfare. Often, they laid aside the tools of the Engineer and shouldered the weapons of combat soldier, fighting as Infantry. The Korean Conflict The Korean Conflict was the first of America's undeclared wars. The invasion of South Korea by North Korea in 1950 prompted a response from the United Nations, and American forces fought under the U.N. flag for the first time. The rugged, mountain terrain of Korea and the lack of developed transportation and communications systems, created significant challenges to American forces and the Corps of Engineers. Most of the initial Engineer work involved demolition of bridges and important facilities in an attempt to delay the North Korean advance to the south. In the Pusan Perimeter, Combat Engineers not only worked on standard defensive and construction projects, but also manned the front lines when the enemy threatened to penetrate the perimeter. In both the defense and offense, Combat Engineers engaged in mine warfare. Road and bridge building dominated the construction efforts of the Engineers. Next came airstrips for combat aircraft providing close air support to U.N. forces. Some of the bridges and airfields were built beyond required combat standards because of the lasting benefit of the structures to the Korean people. In Korea, the Engineers encountered all of the challenges of those who had fought in Sicily, Italy, and China in World War II, plus the added problems associated with military operations short of war. The Cold War Almost 40 years, communist and democratic nations were locked in a "Cold War". With the advent of intercontinental ballistic missiles, the age old arms race between competing powers took on a new dimension. In a parallel effort, the Corps of Engineers supervised the construction of numerous facilities for America's space program. These included the Johnson Manned Spacecraft Center in Texas and the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Certain regions of the world, which had little value in the past, became strategically significant. Exploration and operational tests in the Arctic and other cold regions were common in the 1950s. Assuming the leadership of regional alliances, such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization -- NATO, -- the United States deployed forces around the world. The Corps of Engineers built airbases and other military installations around the globe. In addition, the Corps built facilities for its allies. Whereas military construction in the 1920s and 1930s was for the defense of the United States and its possessions, Engineer construction during the Cold War supported the defense of the Free World. The Vietnam Conflict The "Cold War" turned hot in the mid-1960s, but not on the northern German plain as many analysts had predicted. Communist insurgency in Southeast Asia threatened nations struggling to develop economically, politically, and socially following a history of colonial rule. This was a continuation of the "wars of national liberation" which had threatened Greece and the Philippines in the late 1940s. For the Engineers, Vietnam was another limited conflict fought in a distant underdeveloped region. With the commitment of ground troops in 1965, Engineers had the dual responsibilities of supporting combat operations and of constructing support facilities for the Army, its sister services, and allied nations. Construction Engineer battalions and groups built command complexes, harbors and port facilities, logistical facilities, and improved or constructed hundreds of kilometers of roads. Divisional Engineers focused their attention on base camps, fire bases, tactical roads, and counter-mine operations. Engineer dozers equipped with a special plow/blade cleared thousands of acres of jungle. The land clearing effort eliminated sanctuaries for Viet Cong (VC) and North Vietnamese Army (NVA) forces, made ambushes along roads more difficult, and created cleared ground for agriculture for South Vietnamese farmers. Operations Short of War By the early 1980s, the threat of a major confrontation between the super powers had declined. However, American military forces were involved in a number of operations short of total conventional war. In 1983, American forces landed in Grenada in OPERATION URGENT FURY. Six years later, the forces of OPERATION JUST CAUSE freed Panama from the yoke of its dictator and secured the vital Panama Canal. The largest military operation since Vietnam, OPERATION DESERT STORM came in response to the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq. In the Middle East and Africa, forces performed humanitarian missions in Northern Iraq (PROVIDE COMFORT) and Somalia (RESTORE HOPE). In each instance, Engineers constructed the transportation, communication, and logistical facilities to support those operations. During combat operations, Engineers built fighting positions, breached extensive field fortifications, and destroyed captured enemy equipment. The Corps was also called on in times of natural disasters. Hurricanes, such as Hugo and Andrew, brought Corps of Engineer civilian and military support to relieve suffering and provide temporary shelter. The same relief and construction skills have been applied to disasters caused by floods like those in 1993. Engineer Hall of Heroes The U.S. Army Engineer Museum presents the Engineer Hall of Heroes. The Hall of Heroes is designed to inspire and to reinforce the basic idea that every individual who has proudly and honorably served the Army Corps of Engineers is indeed a hero. For more than 200 years men and women, civilians and soldiers, have served the Army Corps of Engineers. In peace, whether the designer of our nation's Capitol, a dredge boat pilot in 1875, a lock master in the 1950s or an environmental engineer today; whether an astronaut aboard the space shuttle or an engineer exploring the western frontier in the 1850s, Engineers have served. In war, whether it was the deserts of Saudi Arabia, the jungles of Vietnam, the mountains of Korea or the islands, forests and plains of two World Wars; whether it was on our own soil throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, or in numerous conflicts in between, Engineers have served. The Army Corps of Engineers is made up of a diverse group of dedicated Americans, men and women, who, when called upon, have fought our wars. They are the visionaries who have built our nation. The history of the Engineers is nothing more than the history of individual Americans and nothing less than the history of America.
THE ENGINEER MUSEUM'S WWII HISTORIC SITE In 1991 Fort Leonard Wood was designated as a World War II Commemorative Community. At the U.S. Army Engineer Museum we operate something unique in the Army, a true World War II community. In 1981, Fort Leonard Wood set aside a collection of 12 World War II temporary mobilization structures to be reserved as a part of the installation museum. This grouping of wooden buildings, nestled in a wooded 25 acre site, has undergone complete restoration, and today serves as the only preserved and interpreted WWII company area in the Army. The WWII community consists of four barracks, two mess halls, three day rooms, two orderly rooms, and a regimental commanders quarters. Each building has been restored to the condition it would have been in 1943, the peak year of training for Fort Leonard Wood. One of each type of building is restored on the interior as well. Upon entering the barracks you will find the bunks made, the clothes hanging on the racks, the rifles stacked, and the foot lockers ready for inspection. In the mess hall, tables are lined up in the dining hall, while coal burning ranges, a food preparation table, and oak ice boxes fill the kitchen. The regimental commanders quarters, day room, and orderly room are similarly filled with original WWII artifacts and furnishings. In addition to the WWII interpretation, one barracks building is restored on the interior, to interpret basic training barracks in 1967. This cold war interpretation dramatically illustrates the adaptive re-use of WWII temporary buildings to support the training boom of the Vietnam conflict. Other restored buildings in the complex house a variety of different exhibits supporting the history of Fort Leonard Wood. In one restored day room there is a display dealing with the life and career of MG Leonard Wood, the installation's namesake. In another restored barracks is an important interpretation of the German and Italian prisoner of war camp which operated at Fort Leonard Wood from 1943 - 1946. By preserving something as common as a collection of WWII barracks, Fort Leonard Wood has created a time capsule of the history of the training experience from 1941 to the present. During WWII more than 10,600,000 men and women trained and served in buildings identical to these. Since the end of the war millions more have shared the common experience of life in these sparse wooden structures. The very communality of these historic structures is a threat their continued existence. Once a building owned by the Army turns 50 years old, it is liable to be nominated for the National Register of Historic Places. This threat of potential nomination by local groups has prompted installations across the country to demolish these buildings as quickly as possible. This was done with the assumption that there were so many, and they were so common, that they could never be considered scarce or of great historical significance.
THE ENGINEER MUSEUM'S ENCYCLOPEDIC GALLERY Introduction The U.S. Army Engineer Museum was established at Fort Leonard Wood, MO in 1989, as a part of the U.S. Army Engineer School. The Museum is separated into two different types of interpretation, the encyclopedic gallery and the chronological gallery. In the encyclopedic gallery we interpret pieces of the material culture of American engineers in an effort to support the instruction at both the Engineer School and Center. Topographic Engineering The topographic engineering gallery in the U.S. Army Engineer Museum is designed to display the material culture of topographic engineers, surveyors, and cartographers from their colonial beginnings to the present. In the dioramas we have used Gouvernor K. Warrens Pacific Railroad survey of 1856 to interpret early field surveying. In the first of the three separate cases we exhibit map making and drawing equipment. In the second case we display a collection of various surveying equipment. In the last case we show contemporary surveying equipment. Land Mine Warfare The Land mine warfare gallery in the U.S. Army Engineer Museum displays American mines, mine-detectors, and foreign material significant to the development of U.S. equipment. The two dioramas depict an engineer searching for mines in Vietnam in 1968, and a WWII German anti-tank mine, known as a Goliath, on the Normandy beachhead in June of 1944. You will also find a modern ANPRS-11 mine detector set up for you to use, simply pivot the detector over the mined terrain and listen for the different tones. Opposite the mine detector is a model mine field, press the buttons to see various mine patterns from WWI to today. In the display cases are U.S. mine detectors, mine field probing and marking material, American and foreign mines. Tactical Bridging The Tactical Bridging gallery in the U.S. Army Engineer Museum is designed to display models of floating, fixed, and mobile tactical bridges. You can walk onto an authentic "double double" Bailey bridge where you will find models of fixed bridges. Across from the fixed bridge display is a diorama containing models of several different types of floating bridges. In addition to these sections there are several models of bridges and related equipment, dating from the Civil War to modern day. Demolitions and Explosives One entire wall of the Demolitions and Explosives gallery contains objects relating to the recent history of this unique aspect of the Army engineers mission. Dynamite, C-4, cratering charges, and Bangalore torpedoes are just a few of the many items to be found in this case. Across from this wall are two dioramas; the first contains a model railroad bridge rigged for demolition, press the button and see where different types of charges should be placed. The second diorama depicts an oak tree similar to those lining streets around the world. This tree is ringed with explosives in preparation of creating an obstacle known as an abatis (pronounced ABATEE). Between these two dioramas is a 50 cap blasting machine, raise and then press the handle to activate a short video presentation on military demolitions. Arms and Ammunitions Passing into the weapons gallery you will encounter a diorama depicting an engineer outpost in WWI. Inside the special weapons room, display cases along the walls on both sides contain weapons used by American Army engineers since the 18th century. Beginning with muskets and ending with modern assault rifles, the arms and armaments gallery also displays, swords, rocket launchers, mortars, and hand grenades. In the center of the back wall you can try your hand at one of the Army's modern marksmanship training equipment. Fire a laser rifle at a series of optically sensitive targets, each hit scores with a flash and a flip.
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