ROCK ISLAND, Ill. – Command of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District, changes hands on Friday, June 29 during a ceremony on Arsenal Island at Historic Quarters One beginning at 10 a.m.
Col. Mark Deschenes becomes the 47th Rock Island District commander, assuming command from Col. Shawn McGinley who has served in the position since July 2009. Maj. Gen. John Peabody, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mississippi Valley Division commander, will officiate the ceremony.
Deschenes, an army officer with 23 years of service, arrives at the Rock Island District after serving as the Director of the Directorate for Counter Improvised Devices, Maneuver Support Center of Excellence, Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. As the new commander, Deschenes 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 systems, 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.
Release no. FY12-06-25