A 6-Date Salute to Combat Engineers

The name Richard Gridley may not be familiar to many, so this Memorial Day we share a bit of military-focused engineering history as our way of thanking, saluting, and paying respect to all the great engineers who have dedicated their engineering talents--and given their lives-- to protect the liberties we all enjoy as citizens of this great nation.

Date 1: June 16 1775

Colonel Richard Gridley, along with his two assistants was appointed General George Washington’s chief engineer given unofficial birth to what would later be known as the Army Corps of Engineers

Date 2: 1779

Congress creates a separate Army Corps of Engineers that was comprised of mostly French subjects hired from Louis XVI by George Washington to build fortifications near Boston at Bunker Hill

Date 3: March 16, 1802

The Army Corps of Engineers becomes a separate, permanent branch of the government because of the Military Peace Establishment Act signed by President Thomas Jefferson. It is responsible for founding and operating the US Military Academy at West Point.

Date 4: December 1862

Six ponton bridges to support the Union attack on Fredericksburg were laid across the Rappahannock River under heavy, and devastating gunfire from the South.

Date 5: WWII

Although they had nearly 150 years of experience in wars as well as non-military civil projects, the Corps of Engineers found they were not equipped for the events unfolding in Europe during WWII. New technologies and tactics employed by the Germans made it necessary for change and so Congress appropriated more funds for our national defense that provided the army—and engineers—to prepare for this new kind of warfare and thus the term "combat engineers" was born. The primary objectives of combat engineers was--and still is--to keep the army moving towards attack while impeding an enemy advance. Some functions include:

  • Construction/deconstruction of roads, rails, and bridges
  • Building barracks, depots, and similar structures
  • Water supply and sanitation
  • Laying beach roads, unloading/loading supplies, vehicles, and personnel from transports in order to land on and maintain a beachhead in hostile territory
  • Map production
  • Mine warfare including the defusing of mines
  • Establishing supply/ammunition dumps, and
  • Clearing of rubble, debris, and obstructions

Date 6: May 28, 2017

Today, the United States Army Corps of Engineers is a division of the Department of Defense and is made up of approximately 37,000 civilian and military personnel, providing engineering services in more than 130 countries, making it one of the world’s largest public engineering, design, and construction management agencies.

We, at Tec Inc. Engineering & Design, thank all our military personnel--with an extra nod to our kinsmen in engineering--for your service to our country.

God Bless the USA.

Tamara Zupancic, Marketing Manager

Submitted by Tamara Zupancic, Tec's Marketing Manager and Lead Cheerleader.