Col. Christopher G. Beck assumed command of the Southwestern Division from Brig. Gen. Paul E. Owen, today in a ceremony officiated by Lt. Gen. Todd T. Semonite, Chief of Engineers and Commanding General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Owen served as the commander of the division since 2017 and will take command of the Corps’ South Pacific Division in July.
“I certainly do not take this opportunity and responsibility lightly and I know that I am, again, being surrounded by world-class professionals as I join the Southwestern Division’” Beck said, speaking to Division staff, stakeholders and state and local officials via Facebook live.
Speaking directly to the Soldiers and Civilians of the Division, Beck spoke of his enthusiasm for his new position.
“To the SWD team, I am very excited to join this outstanding organization. I’ve had the opportunity to see first-hand some of the great achievements of this team and personally know some of the great folks of this organization,” he said. “This team has been part of many significant efforts critical to our nation and our military. I look forward to being part of delivering a very demanding and diverse program critical to this region of the United States.”
Beck comes to SWD from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Transatlantic Division where he served as the Division Engineer and Commander. Beck received his commission from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1993, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering. He holds master’s degrees from the University of Missouri for Science and Technology in Engineering Management, from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in Structural Engineering and from the U.S. Air Force War College in Strategic Studies.
As the SWD Commander and Division Engineer, Beck will oversee hundreds of water resource developments and military design and construction projects. SWD is one of ten Major Subordinate Commands in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
SWD has served the region since 1937. The Division's regional team, which includes four District offices in Little Rock, Ark., Tulsa, Okla., and Galveston and Fort Worth, Texas, provides diverse engineering and construction expertise and other services in all or part of seven states. The Division's area of responsibility covers some 2.3 million acres of public land and water, with an annual program totaling more than $2 billion.