Colonel Robert Hilliard assumed the duties of deputy commander, Mississippi Valley Division, Vicksburg, Mississippi, Aug. 6, 2018. He also serves as secretary of the Mississippi River Commission.
A native of Georgia, Hilliard graduated from Auburn University in Alabama, where he received his commission in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1996.
Previous assignments include senior engineer observer/controller at the U.S. Army’s National Training Center, Fort Irwin, California (2016-2017); commander, 4th Engineer Battalion, Fort Carson, Colorado (2014-2016); brigade operations and executive officer, 555th Engineer Brigade (2012-2013), executive officer, 14th Engineer Battalion (2010-2011), and chief of plans, I Corps Engineer Section, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington (2009-2010); project manager, Wilmington District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (2006-2008); commander, C Company, 70th Engineer Battalion, Fort Riley, Kansas (2002-2004); and platoon leader and company executive officer, A Company, 40th Engineer Battalion, Baumholder, Germany (1997-2000).
Hilliard served two tours supporting operations in the Balkans, two tours in Iraq supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom and two tours in Afghanistan supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
His civilian education includes a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Auburn University, a master’s degree in engineering management from the University of Missouri-Science and Technology (Rolla) and a master’s degree in civil engineering from Montana State University (Bozeman). Hilliard’s military education includes the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and the U.S. Army War College. He is a registered professional engineer in the state of Missouri.
His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal (3), Meritorious Service Medal (5), Navy Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal (3), Joint Achievement Medal, Combat Action Badge, Parachutist Badge and Ranger Tab.
The Mississippi Valley Division is 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. 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.
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 Head of Passes to the Headwaters. 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.