August 5, 2015 – Today, President Barack Obama appointed Brigadier General Richard G. Kaiser as member of the Mississippi River Commission. MRC appointments are nominated by the President of the United States and vetted by the U.S. Senate.
Kaiser is commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Great Lakes and Ohio River Division, headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, and is responsible for directing federal water resource development in the Great Lakes and Ohio River basins, which consists of seven engineer districts that operate in a seventeen state area.
He received his commission in 1987 upon graduation from Marquette University with a degree in civil engineering. He later earned a master’s degree in engineering management from the University of Missouri-Rolla and a master’s degree in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College. His military education includes the Engineer Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, the British Army Staff College and the U.S. Army War College.
Kaiser’s awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit (Oak Leaf Cluster), the Bronze Star Medal (two Oak Leaf Clusters), the Meritorious Service Medal (four Oak Leaf Clusters), the Army Commendation Medal (Oak Leaf Cluster), the Army Achievement Medal, the Combat Army Badge, the Master Parachutist Badge, the Air Assault Badge and the Ranger Tab.
The Mississippi River Commission was created by an Act of Congress on June 28, 1879, to plan and provide for the general improvement of the entire length of the Mississippi River. This includes improving navigation, preventing destructive floods and facilitating commerce. The presidential appointees consist of three officers from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, a representative from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and three civilians, two of whom must be civil engineers.
The commission itself is an advisory body. Its general duties include recommending policy and work programs, studying and reporting on modifications or changes to the Mississippi River and Tributaries project, commenting on matters authorized by law, making inspection trips, and holding public hearings that facilitate exchanges of viewpoints and ideas between the public and the MRC. Since 1879 the commission has been “listening, inspecting and partnering” with water resource interests in a watershed that is influenced by the drainage of more than 41 percent of the United States and two provinces of Canada.