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Green becomes 68th commander of Nashville District

Brig. Gen. Kimberly A. Peeples (Right), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Great Lakes and Ohio River Division commander, passes the Nashville District flag to Lt. Col. Robert W. Green as he took command of the Nashville District during a change of command ceremony June 16, 2023, at the Tennessee National Guard Armory in Nashville, Tennessee.

Posted on June 19, 2023

Lt. Col. Robert W. Green took command of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District today during a change of command ceremony at the Tennessee National Guard Armory. He becomes the 68th commander of the “twin rivers” district, commonly referred to as the jewel of the Great Lakes and Ohio River Division.

Green comes to the Nashville District from the Memphis District in Memphis, Tennessee, where he served as deputy commander. As commander of the Nashville District, he assumes responsibility for managing the water resources development and navigable waterways operations for the Cumberland and Tennessee River basins covering 59,000 square miles, with 42 field offices touching seven states and a work force of over 800 employees.

During the change of command, the new commander thanked past mentors, soldiers, NCOs, Army civilians and teammates for being a part in his successes, and said he now looks forward to working alongside the great people in the Nashville District, the most professional and distinguished district in the Corps.

“I’m excited to see what we will accomplish as we pull together with our partners from across the region and the nation,” Green said. “This district has an incredible history and tradition of delivering to meet the nation’s most difficult challenges going back over 130 years, but I am excited to join this team in building on those traditions as we continue to deliver for the American people for the next 130 years.”

Brig. Gen. Kimberly A. Peeples, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Great Lakes and Ohio River Division commanding general, officiated the change of command and said Green comes to the Nashville District as a seasoned professional with a great reputation in the Army.

“He is the perfect fit – the right leader at the right time – to carry on the legacy of this proud district,” Peeples said. “Rob, I am confident in your ability to successfully lead this district and deliver. You will deal with new challenges and old, but I am confident you will bring great energy and new perspectives to achieve continued success. You have the full support of the division, and you are joining a winning team!”

Peeples also welcomed his wife Krystal and family to the Great Lakes and Ohio River Division and Nashville District. Krystal previously served in the Army on active duty more than eight years as an aviation and UH-60 Blackhawk pilot before becoming a full-time mother to their three kids Jacob, Taylor, and Autumn.

Green is a native of Michigan. He received his U.S. Army commission in 2005 and has served in leadership and staff positions in the United States during his Army career. He has deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Freedom Sentinel, and Operation Resolute Support in Afghanistan, Operation New Dawn in Iraq, and Operation Spartan Shield in Kuwait.

His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal with oak leaf cluster, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Army Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster, the Navy Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster, Joint Meritorious Unit Award with oak leaf cluster, Meritorious Unit Commendation (with two oak leaf clusters), National Defense Service Medal, Afghan Campaign Medal, Iraqi Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, NATO Service Medal, Pathfinder Badge, and Bronze Order of the de Fleury Medal.

Green holds a Bachelor of Science degree in applied engineering sciences and Master of Science degree in construction management from the Michigan State University. He also holds a Master of Arts degree in civil engineering from the University of Washington. He holds his professional engineering license in the state of Michigan and is certified as an associate constructor from the American Institute of Constructors. His military education includes the Engineer Officer Basic Course, Aviation Captains Career Course, and Command and General Staff College.

Peeples had high praise for the outgoing commander, Lt. Col. Joseph M. Sahl, and noted how this caring officer led the district out of the pandemic, provided stability, purpose and connection to the workforce while allowing the district to solve the nation’s toughest engineering problems without interruption.

“He understands that the success behind mission execution is through our most valuable resource of all – our people. Joe is one of the most caring leaders I have ever met,” Peeples said. “Joe has displayed unwavering commitment to the USACE mission through his continual focus on the people who make up the Nashville District and has been recognized for his leadership at the highest levels of the Corps.”

The general added that Sahl demonstrated exceptional leadership and dedication in the response to the tragic flood in Waverly, Tennessee, by leading the creation of the Waverly Flood Task Force with the state, and coordinated efforts across multiple state, local, and federal agencies.

“Through Joe’s collaborative efforts, he established a strong partnership between the district and the local community, contributing significantly to informing the public about the risks of flooding and the measures they can take to protect themselves and their properties,” Peeples said.

During Sahl’s command, he executed a federal civil works program exceeding $300 million, while managing regulatory and emergency management activities. He also led the creation of the Waverly Flood Task Force with the state of Tennessee to coordinate efforts across multiple local, state and federal agencies. The close relationships he developed with the Tennessee National Guard and Tennessee Emergency Management Agency ensured the Nashville District would be integrated into planning and provided value during emergency responses.

Sahl is also credited with spearheading efforts to improve project delivery by implementing a comprehensive project governance structure that more efficiently forecasted, programmed, and monitored projects. Under his watch, the Nashville District awarded $109 million to replace the spillway Wolf Creek Dam spillway gates in Jamestown, Kentucky, and $91 million to replace the Center Hill Dam spillway gates in Lancaster, Tennessee. His leadership and effective communication with USACE and national leaders secured more than $500 million in funding for the Chickamauga Lock Replacement Project and Kentucky Lock Addition Project.

In saying farewell, Sahl thanked Nashville District’s senior leaders, corporate board, and employees for taking on and tackling the toughest challenges.

“I have enjoyed getting to work with you for two years,” Sahl said. “You are the reason for any success I highlight today and represent all that is great in America.”

Sahl also thanked his wife Kathy, expressing his love and pride for her and appreciation for her support through his tenure as commander. He also gave credit to his parents, siblings, and sons Joey and Cody for their incredible support. He is now set to attend the U.S. Air Force Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama.

Peeples presented Sahl with the U.S. Army Meritorious Service Medal prior to the change of command recognizing his outstanding service as commander of the Nashville District. The commanding general also presented a certificate of appreciation to his wife Kathy highlighting her dedication and support to the district while balancing community and family responsibilities.


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