Maj. Gen. Richard G. Kaiser assumed command of the Mississippi Valley Division (MVD), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Sept. 7, 2017. He also serves as president of the Mississippi River Commission.
Kaiser serves as the senior military officer in the division, headquartered in Vicksburg, Mississippi, responsible for water resources engineering solutions in a 370,000-square-mile area, extending from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico and encompassing portions of 12 states. The mission of the division is to serve the Mississippi Valley region by managing the watersheds and developing collaborative engineering solutions that will reduce risks through the reduction of flood damage potential, maintain and enhance navigation, and protect, restore and enhance environmental ecosystems; while being prepared to respond to regional and national emergencies. The division’s work is carried out by district offices located in St. Paul, Minnesota; Rock Island, Illinois; St. Louis, Missouri; Memphis, Tennessee; Vicksburg, Mississippi; and New Orleans, Louisiana.
Prior to coming to MVD, Kaiser served as commanding general of the Combined Security Transition Command and deputy chief of staff for Security Assistance, Headquarters, Resolute Support, Afghanistan.
Other previous assignments include commander of the USACE Great Lakes and Ohio River Division, Cincinnati, Ohio; deputy chief of staff (operations), Allied Rapid Reaction Corps in England; chief of staff for the 82nd Airborne Division, and commander of the 20th Engineer Brigade at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and Operation New Dawn, Iraq; director of operations, 18th Airborne Corps (Rear Det.) at Fort Bragg; commander, Special Troops Battalion – 3rd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division (Light) at Fort Drum, New York, and Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan; senior engineer observer/controller for the Combat Maneuver Training Center, U.S. Army Europe and 7th Army in Germany; assistant division engineer (later operations officer) for the 326th Engineer Battalion, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) at Fort Campbell, Kentucky; aide-de-camp to commanding general for the Engineer Officer Advanced Course at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri; commander, Alpha Company, 27th Engineer Battalion at Fort Bragg, and Joint Task Force-180, Operation Uphold Democracy in Haiti; assistant engineer plans officer for the 20th Engineer Brigade at Fort Bragg; platoon leader and executive officer for Bravo and Charlie Companies of the 8th Engineer Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, Texas, and during Operation Desert Storm in Saudi Arabia.
Kaiser is a native of Racine, Wisconsin. He graduated from Marquette University in 1987, where he was commissioned into the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Marquette University, a master’s degree in engineering management from the University of Missouri - Rolla, a master’s degree in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College and is a certified Project Management Professional. His military education includes Engineer Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, the British Army Staff College and the U.S. Army War College.
Since 1879, the seven-member presidentially appointed Mississippi River Commission has developed and matured plans for the general improvement of the Mississippi River from the Headwaters to the Head of Passes. The Mississippi River Commission brings critical engineering representation to the drainage basin, which impacts 41% of the United States and includes 1.25 million square miles, over 250 tributaries, 31 states and two Canadian provinces.