Col. Rhett A. Blackmon is the Commander and District Engineer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District where he leads a water resource district with an authorized strength of more than 600 civilian and military professionals and project authorizations totaling more than $7.4 billion.
The Galveston District provides construction, navigation, environmental restoration, flood risk management, shoreline protection, regulatory, and emergency management services for our mission partners in an area of responsibility that spans the Texas Coast from Louisiana to Mexico, encompassing 50,000 square miles. As the Commander and District Engineer, the colonel is charged with executing the Galveston District’s mission of providing public engineering services to strengthen security along the Texas Coast, energizing the local economy, and reducing risks from disasters.
Colonel Blackmon took command of the Galveston District on July 15, 2022. Prior to accepting his current assignment, Colonel Blackmon completed a U.S. Army War College Fellowship at the University of Washington, in Seattle, Washington While in Seattle, Colonel Blackmon engaged with students and faculty on a range of Indo-Pacific security and policy issues. He also conducted independent research on ways that the Department of Defense and Army could leverage infrastructure investment to increase access and influence in the Indo-Pacific.
Colonel Blackmon’s previously served in tactical assignments starting as a platoon leader in 65th Engineer Battalion and 73rd Engineer Company at Fort Lewis, Washington. He served as the personnel officer and Bravo Company Commander with the 44th Engineer Battalion in Korea, Ar Ramadi, Iraq, and Fort Carson, Colorado. Later at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Colonel Blackmon served as a division facilities and construction officer (Afghanistan) and battalion S3 with the 82nd Airborne Division and as a battalion and brigade executive officer with the 20th Engineer Brigade. He commanded the 3rd US Cavalry Regiment’s Engineer Squadron at Fort Hood, Texas and in northern Iraq. Colonel Blackmon later commanded the Engineer Battalion in the recently formed 5th Security Force Assistance Brigade (SFAB) at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, deploying teams to partner with security forces in Mongolia, Nepal, Fiji, Japan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and the Philippines.
Between tactical assignments, Colonel Blackmon served as the USACE Memphis District Deputy Commander. He also served as an instructor and assistant professor at the United States Military Academy where he taught mechanics of materials and soil mechanics for the Civil Engineering program.
Colonel Blackmon’s civilian education includes a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the Citadel, and a Master of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Southern California. His military education includes the Engineer Officer Basic Course, the Infantry Captains’ Career Course, and Intermediate Level Education qualification from the Command and General Staff College. He has complete tactical schools to include Ranger School, the Sapper Leader Course, Airborne School, Air Assault School, and Jumpmaster School.
Colonel Blackmon’s previous unit awards include the Meritorious Unit Commendation, Navy Unit Commendation, and Army Superior Unit Award. His campaign recognitions include the National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary and Service Medals, Korean Defense Service Medal, Overseas Service Medal, and NATO Medal.
Colonel Blackmon’s additional awards include the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, the Bronze Order of the DeFleury Medal, the Bronze Order of Saint George Medal, and the General Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award.