Corps’ Division swears in new commander

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 13, 2000

Brig. Gen. Edwin Arnold was sworn in Tuesday as the new commander of the Mississippi Valley Division and president designate of the Mississippi River Commission, both based in Vicksburg.

Maj. Gen. Milton Hunter, deputy chief of engineers, told him to take care of employees and customers and to have fun.

“Remember, you could be in Washington with me,” Hunter concluded, getting a laugh from Arnold and the audience.

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Arnold came to head the two U.S. Army Corps of Engineers agencies after commanding the Southwest Division in Dallas. He succeeds Maj. Gen. Phillip Anderson, who will assume command of the South Atlantic Division in Atlanta.

Turning to Anderson, Hunter said the leadership of the Corps of Engineers has had nothing but confidence in his handling of the Division that stretches from the border with Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.

The Corps has been rattled by outside examinations alleging benefits of its water management projects have been overstated in order to obtain funding.

Hunter said Anderson has overseen work on some of the most complex and controversial projects in the Corps, adding there has never been anything but confidence in Anderson’s ability and objectivity.

“I am Ed Arnold and I am an engineer soldier I am proud to be here,” Arnold said, introducing himself to the audience at the change of command that included members of the Mississippi River Commission, local political leaders, representatives of the Division’s customers and the civilian employees of the Division and commission.

“I know I am following in a long line of most capable commanders and only time will tell if I, too, will be placed among your ranks,” he said.

He said he was confident the Division and commission will have many opportunities to demonstrate its professionalism and competence.

As the new head of the MVD/MRC, Arnold oversees the work of six districts that cover all or parts of 12 states and 370,000 square miles. One of the main charges is the Mississippi River and Tributaries Project authorized by the Flood Control Act of 1928. The project is designed to provide flood control and navigation in the Mississippi River Valley.

Arnold is a native of Bay City, Texas, and a graduate of the University of Texas with bachelor’s and master’s degrees. He also is a graduate of the Army engineer courses, the Command and General Staff College, School of Advanced Military Studies and the War College.

Among his assignments were deputy commander of the Army Engineers Center at Fort Leonard Wood and the director of Battle Lab Support. He also held engineer posts at Fort Gordon, Ga. and in Europe.