PORTLAND, Ore. --
Geoff Van Epps was promoted to the rank of brigadier general today in a traditional military ceremony at the historic Gen. George C. Marshall House at the former Vancouver Barracks in Vancouver, Washington.
Major General Richard Heitkamp, deputy commanding general of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, hosted a long-standing traditional ceremony which is a public indication of the increased responsibility that the service member is about to assume.
This ceremony demonstrates the confidence placed in Van Epps’ ability to carry out these new responsibilities by senior officers, Congress and the President of the United States. The ceremony also allows family, friends and colleagues to celebrate and share in the hard-earned achievement.
Van Epps included his family in the ceremony. His daughter, Addison, placed his new rank insignia on his uniform. His sons Ryan and Jackson and Erica uncased the one-star flag which, when displayed, signifies the general’s presence, and respect and courtesy afforded general officers.
Van Epps is the commanding general of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Northwestern Division, and is stationed in Portland, Oregon. In this position, he oversees a multi-billion-dollar annual program in civil works, military construction and environmental restoration covering 14 states throughout the Columbia and Missouri River basins and upper Midwest.
Van Epps was commissioned as an engineer officer from the U.S. Military Academy in 1995 where he received a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. He also holds a Master of Science in Engineering Management from the University of Missouri at Rolla (now the Missouri University of Science and Technology), a master’s degree in Economics, Finance and Management from the Universitat Pompeu Fabra and a master’s degree in International Relations from the Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals, while studying as an Olmsted Scholar in Barcelona, Spain. He is a registered Professional Engineer in North Carolina.
Prior to his arrival at Northwestern Division, Van Epps served as the director of the Office of the Chief of Engineers. Colonel Van Epps’ command assignments include commander, 130th Engineer Brigade, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii; commander, 10th Engineer Battalion and 1st Brigade Special Troops Battalion, both as part of the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Stewart, Georgia; and commander, Company B, 249th Engineer Battalion (Prime Power) at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
Van Epps’ other key assignments include chief engineer for the NATO Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan; chief of staff, US Army Engineer School, Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri; Army fellow at the George C. Marshall Center for European Security Studies in Germany; assignment officer at Army Human Resources Command; and a battalion executive officer in the 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.
His awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, two Bronze Star medals, and the Defense Meritorious Service Medal.
Photos from the ceremony will be released later today.