Colonel Richard Pannell assumed the duties of deputy commander, Mississippi Valley Division, Vicksburg, Miss., on July 25, 2016. He also serves as secretary of the Mississippi River Commission. Colonel Pannell previously served as the commander of the Corps’ Galveston District, Galveston, Texas.
Originally from Athens, Ga., Pannell graduated the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, where he received his commission in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1989.
Pannell’s military service highlights include deputy commander, 18th Engineer Brigade, Heidelberg, Germany (2008-2011); commander, 7th Engineer Battalion, Fort Drum, N.Y. (2006-2008); Battalion S3 and executive officer, 9th Engineer Battalion, Schweinfurt, Germany (2003-2005); commander, A Company and C Company, 554th Engineer Battalion, Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. (1994-1997) and platoon leader, 2nd Platoon, A Company, 307th Engineer Battalion, Fort Bragg, N.C. (1990-1991).
Pannell’s overseas service consists of three tours in Germany and three combat tours in the Middle East for Operations Desert Shield/Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Colonel Pannell earned a Master of Science in water resources management from the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Master of Science in geography from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He also has a Master of Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College. Pannell’s military education includes the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and the U.S. Army War College.
His awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal (3), Meritorious Service Medal (5), Army Commendation Medal (2), Combat Action Badge, Senior Parachutist Badge, Sapper Tab 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, Minn.; Rock Island, Ill.; St. Louis, Mo.; Memphis, Tenn.; Vicksburg, Miss.; and New Orleans, La.
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.