As in its earliest days, the Corps of Engineers still thinks of itself as an organization ready to help build the nation's infrastructure. However, today "infrastructure" means something more than just internal improvements and transportation systems. Although maintaining the nation's public works remains an imperative, today environmental issues are the chief public works challenges.

Infrastructure development no longer automatically means large construction and maintenance operations. It means developing management techniques, new approaches, and new technology to use our resources more efficiently and to reduce resource depletion. It also means eliminating or reducing contaminants, such as radioactive wastes, toxic and solid wastes, and nonpoint source pollutants of our surface and groundwater. Finally, it involves working with other agencies and organizations to develop effective responses to ecological crises such as oil spills, drought, and fire. In all these areas, the Corps began developing expertise a century or more ago. Clearly, the Corps' historical strengths in program management, engineering design, research and development, and construction will prove invaluable as the agency readies to meet the challenges of the 21st century.


Arnold, Joseph L. The Evolution of the 1936 Flood Control Act, Fort Belvoir, Virginia: Office of History, U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, 1988.

Fowle, Barry W., ed. Builders and Fighters: U. S. Army Engineers in World War II, Fort Belvoir, Virginia: Office of History, U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, 1992.

Giles, Janice Holt. The Damned Engineers, 2d ed., Fort Belvoir, Virginia: Historical Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 1985.

Goetzmann, William H. Army Exploration in the American West, 1803-1863, New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 1959.

Hill, Forest G. Roads, Rails & Waterways: The Army Engineers and Early Transportation, Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press, 1957.

Moore, Jamie W. and Dorothy P. Moore. The Army Corps of Engineers and the Evolution of Federal Flood Plain Management Policy, Boulder, Colorado: University of Colorado Institute of Behavioral Science, 1989.

Schubert, Frank N., ed. The Nation Builders: A Sesquicentennial History of the Corps of Topographical Engineers, 1838-1863, Fort Belvoir, Virginia: Office of History, U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, 1988.

Shallat, Todd. Structures in the Stream: Water, Science, and the Rise of the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, Austin, Texas: University of Texas Press, 1994.

Walker, Paul K. Engineers of Independence: A Documentary History of the Army Engineers in the American Revolution, 1775-1783, Washington, D.C., Historical Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 1981.

<< Back