HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK)—The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Huntington District, conducted a change of command ceremony on Thursday at the Huntington City Hall Auditorium. Col. Jason Evers transferred command of the district to Col. Jayson Putnam.
Col. Kimberly A. Peeples, Commander of the Great Lakes and Ohio River Division of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers presided over the ceremony.
The District Commander’s responsibilities center around carrying out the District’s mission within the Ohio River Basin including navigation on 311 miles of the Ohio River, along with the tributary rivers and drainage basins covering 45,000 square miles in parts of five states, including West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Virginia and North Carolina.
This sort of ceremony which acknowledges a change in commanding officers is meant to emphasize the continuity of leadership and unit identity no matter the changes in authority. The transfer of power is physically represented by the passing of the colors, a tangible symbol of the unit.
Col. Evers has served in command of the Huntington District since July 17, 2018.
Col. Putnam was born in Berlin, Vermont, and he was commissioned into the Corps of Engineers through the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1997. He served as the USACE G3 at HQ, USACE before his assignment to the Huntington District.
His previous assignments include Commander of the 9th Brigade Engineer Battalion; Brigade Deputy Commander/Provisional Commander for 3rd Brigade, 3ID; Commander of the 11th Engineer Battalion at Ft. Benning; Executive Officer for the Director of Operations, OACSIM at the Pentagon; Executive Officer for the Strategy & Effects Directorate at ARCENT’s Operational Command Post (OCP) in Kuwait; Battalion Executive Officer and Operations Officer for the 249th Engineer Battalion (Prime Power) at Ft. Belvoir; Executive Officer for the Deputy Chief of Engineers at HQ USACE, Branch Chief for the Multi-Spectral Branch at NGA’s School for Geospatial-Intelligence (TSG); Brigade Engineer for 4/3 ID at Ft. Stewart and in Iraq; Company Commander for E/3-7 Infantry (C/11th EN BN) at Ft. Stewart and in Iraq; Battalion Adjutant and Company Executive Officer for the 65th Engineer Battalion at Schofield Barracks; and Platoon Leader for C/91st Engineer Battalion at Ft. Hood and in Bosnia.
Col. Putnam’s decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal (with four Oak Leaf Clusters), Army Commendation Medal (with three Oak Leaf Clusters), Army Achievement Medal (with two Oak Leaf Clusters), NATO Medal, Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge, and the Combat Action Badge.
He earned his Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Environmental Engineering at West Point, a Master’s of Science Degree in Engineering Management from the University of Missouri-Rolla, a Master’s Degree in Defense Geographic Information Systems from the Royal School of Military Survey at Denison Barracks, Hermitage, UK and a Master’s Degree in Strategic Studies from the US Army War College.
He is married to Laura (Hyland) Putnam from Long Island, NY. They have two children, Alex, 8, and Anna, 6.