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Col Vernie Reichling Biography

Commander - Memphis District

Published Oct. 22, 2012


Col. Vernie L. Reichling Jr., took command of the Memphis District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, July 9, 2010, following an assignment at Headquarters, Department of the Army where he served as the Division Chief for Leader Development in the G-3/5/7. Col. Reichling graduated from the Virginia Military Institute in 1987 with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Civil Engineering and was commissioned as an Engineer Officer.  


As Memphis District Commander, he is responsible for flood risk management, navigation, environmental stewardship, emergency operations, other authorized civil works, and work for others along 610 miles of the Mississippi and White Rivers, encompassing a 25,000 square mile area in six states – Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Mississippi.


Upon graduating from the Engineer Officer Basic Course, he was assigned to the 307th Engineer Battalion, 82nd Airborne Division where he served as a Platoon Leader and led his platoon in the initial parachute assault into Panama during Operation Just Cause. He also served as a Company Executive Officer, deploying to support Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm in Southwest Asia.


After completing the Engineer Officer Advance Course, he was assigned to the 23rd Engineer Battalion, 1st Armored Division in Friedberg, Germany where he served as the Battalion Maintenance Officer and later, Commander of Company C. He was selected as the Aide-de-Camp to the Commanding General of the 1st Armored Division, where he deployed as part of the Implementation Force (IFOR) for Operation Joint Endeavor in Bosnia-Herzegovina.


After earning a master of science degree in Architectural Engineering from the University of Kansas and graduating from the Army Command and General Staff College, Col. Reichling was assigned to the 937th Engineer Group at Fort Riley, Kan., where he served as the Adjutant. He then was assigned to the 70th Engineer Battalion, 1st Armored Division and served as the Battalion Operations and Executive.  


Col. Reichling was next assigned to Headquarters, United States Army Corps of Engineers in Washington, D.C., where he served as the Secretary of the General Staff and as the Special Assistant to the Commanding General and Chief of Engineers. He then served as the Installation Branch Chief, Office of the Chief Engineers in the Pentagon.


On May 15, 2006, Col. Reichling assumed command of the 70th Engineer Battalion “KODIAKS” at Fort Riley, Kan. After ten months of training, he deployed the battalion to Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom 06-08. For 15 months, Task Force Kodiak conducted route and area clearance missions, cleared more than 100,000 kilometers of roads, located more than 300 Improvised Explosive Devices and cleared more than 2.7 million square meters in and around Bagram Airfield. For its service the battalion earned the Meritorious Unit Citation and Combat Action Streamer.


His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star (2nd Award), the Meritorious Service Medal (5th Award), the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with Arrowhead Device, the NATO Medal (2nd Award), the Combat Action Badge, the Ranger Tab and the Senior Parachutist Badge with Combat Jump Star.