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Posted 6/5/2015

Release no. 15-037

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. – Command of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District, changes hands on Friday, June 5, during a ceremony on Arsenal Island at Historic Quarters One beginning at 10 a.m.

Col. Craig S. Baumgartner becomes the 48th Rock Island District commander, assuming command from Col. Mark J. Deschenes who has served in the position since June 29, 2012. Maj. Gen. Michael C, Wehr, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mississippi Valley Division commander, will officiate the ceremony.

Baumgartner, an Army officer with 22 years of service, arrives at the Rock Island District after serving as the Command Engineer of the U.S. Army Cyber and Second Army. As the new Commander, Baumgartner takes responsibility of a District that encompasses 78,000 square miles in parts of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois and Missouri. With headquarters in the Quad Cities on Arsenal Island, the Rock Island District administers federal water resource programs in the Upper Midwest with nearly 900 employees carrying out a variety of missions to include maintaining river navigation, flood risk management, ecosystem restoration, emergency management and regulatory functions.

Change of command ceremonies have been carried out for centuries. It is a military tradition steeped in heraldry and its purpose is to emphasize the continuity of leadership and unit identity despite changes in individual authority. The tradition is continued as the Rock Island District passes its command flag from the outgoing commander to the incoming commander.