Maj. Gen. Robert Whittle Jr. took command of the Great Lakes and Ohio River Engineer Division July 12 during a change-of-command ceremony in Cincinnati. Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite, chief of engineers and commanding general of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, presided over the ceremony.
Whittle, who previously served as commandant for the U.S. Army Engineer School located at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., pinned on his second star moments prior to assuming command from Maj. Gen. Mark Toy.
As the new division commander, Whittle is responsible for directing federal water resource development in the Great Lakes and Ohio River basins with infrastructure valued at over $80 billion, through seven engineer districts totaling more than 4,200 people operating through a 17-state area.
Whittle has held a number of staff and command positions. His first duty assignment was in the 40th Engineer Battalion, Baumholder, Germany, where he served as both platoon leader and company executive officer. As a captain, Whittle served as a company commander in 2nd Engineer Battalion in Camp Castle, Korea. He then worked as a project manager in the Philadelphia Engineer District, and as the executive officer to the commanding general of the North Atlantic Engineer Division. Following his graduation from the Command and General Staff College and School of Advanced Military Studies at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., he served as a plans officer in the 1st Infantry Division and the Battalion S3 of the 9th Engineer Battalion, deploying in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He later served as the executive officer of the 9th Engineer Battalion and the commander of Task Force Guardian in Schweinfurt, Germany.
In 2008, Whittle commanded the 1st Engineer Battalion, Fort Riley, Kan., and subsequently deployed as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Following battalion command, he served as the action officer and division chief, Strategic Plans and Policy Directorate (J-5) on the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He later commanded 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, at Fort Hood, Texas, deploying to Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom from 2013–2014. Following brigade command, he served as the executive officer to the commander of Operation Resolute Support in Afghanistan until he assumed duties as the deputy commanding general for the 1st Cavalry Division, at Fort Hood, Texas.
Whittle, a native of Mystic, Conn., holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the United States Military Academy, a Master of Science in Environmental Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, a Master of Military Arts and Science from the School of Advanced Military Studies, and a Master of Strategic Studies from the Marine War College. He is a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Virginia.
Toy is set to take command of Mississippi Valley Engineer Division, located in Vicksburg, Miss., July 23.
Caption for photo (click photo for larger view): Maj. Gen. Robert Whittle Jr. accepts the Great Lakes and Ohio River Engineer Division flag from Chief of Engineers Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite during the division’s change-of-command ceremony July 12 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Corps of Engineers photo by Jack Sweenney)