Brigadier General Pete Helmlinger assumed duties as the Commander of the Northwestern Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, on July 27, 2018.
Headquartered in Portland, Oregon, the Northwestern Division is one of the Corps' nine regional commands and encompasses a 14 state area containing the Missouri River and Columbia River Basins. As Division Commander, he leads a professional workforce of 5,200 Army Civilians and Soldiers and executes a $3 billion annual military construction, civil works, and emergency management program through five operating districts in Kansas City, Missouri; Omaha, Nebraska; Portland, Oregon; and Walla Walla and Seattle, Washington. Key missions include managing the nation’s water resources infrastructure for economic growth and environmental sustainability, timely response to natural disasters, support to military installations and civilian communities and strengthening national security.
Brig. Gen. Helmlinger was commissioned as an Engineer Officer from the U.S. Military Academy in 1988 and received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. He also holds a Master of Science in Civil Engineering (Construction Engineering & Management) from Stanford University and a Master of Science in National Resource Strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. His military education includes the Engineer Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, Command & General Staff College, and Senior Service College. He is a registered Professional Engineer in Virginia.
Brig. Gen. Helmlinger served as the Commander of the Corps’ South Pacific Division in San Francisco, California, from 2016 to 2018. He also commanded the Corps' Transatlantic Afghanistan District in OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM/FREEDOM’S SENTINEL from 2014 to 2015; the Corps' Europe District in Wiesbaden, Germany from 2011 to 2014; and the 14th Engineer Battalion (Rugged!) in OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM from 2008 to 2009. His operational experience includes two other tours in OIF as a Brigade Executive Officer and Battalion Operations Officer (S-3).
Brig. Gen. Helmlinger’s other assignments include Chief of Staff, HQ USACE; Assistant Director, Civil Works, HQ USACE; Executive Officer, 555th Combat Support Brigade (Maneuver Enhancement), Fort Lewis, Wash; Executive Officer and S-3, 54th Engineer Bn. (Mechanized), Bamberg, Germany; Executive Officer, 130th Engineer Brigade, Hanau, Germany; Project Engineer, USACE Far East District in Korea; Operations Officer, HQ I Corps, Fort Lewis; Company Commander and Adjutant (S-1), 14th Engineer Bn., Fort Lewis and Fort Ord, California; Aide-de-Camp, USACE Pacific Ocean Division; and Platoon Leader, 65th Engineer Bn., 25th Infantry Division (Light), Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.
His awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit (2nd award), Bronze Star Medal (3rd award), Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal (5th award), Army Commendation Medal (2nd award), Army Achievement Medal (2nd award), Meritorious Unit Commendation (3rd award), Army Superior Unit Award, Combat Action Badge, Ranger Tab, Sapper Tab, Parachutist Badge, Pathfinder Badge, and the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge (Gold). He is a recipient of the Army Engineer Association Bronze de Fluery Medal.