Col. Jayson Putnam took over command of the Huntington (W. Va.) Engineer District from Col. Jason Evers during a change of command ceremony July 15 at the Huntington City Hall Auditorium.
Col. Kimberly A. Peeples, commander of the Great Lakes and Ohio Division, presided over the ceremony, which featured a traditional passing of the unit’s colors from the outgoing commander to the incoming commander. The custom of acknowledging a change in commanding officers emphasizes the continuity of leadership and unit identity despite changes in individual authority, the Huntington Engineer District said in a news release.
Evers had led the Huntington district since July 17, 2018. The district commander is responsible for carrying out its mission within the Ohio River Basin, including navigation on 311 miles of the Ohio River, tributary rivers and drainage basins covering 45,000 square miles in parts of five states.
“The economic benefits associated with the Huntington District are significant, broad-based and affect every resident of the region,” the district noted.
Putnam, the incoming commander, was born in Berlin, Vt. He was commissioned into the Corps of Engineers through the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1997. Prior to his new assignment, he served at Corps Headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Previous assignments have included: commander of the 9th Brigade Engineer Battalion; brigade commander/provisional commander for 3rd Brigade, 3ID; Commander of the 11th Engineer Battalion at Ft. Benning, Ga.; executive officer for the Strategy and Effects Directorate at ARCENT’s operational command post in Kuwait; battalion executive officer and operations officer for the 249th Engineer Battalion (Prime Power) at Ft. Belvoir, Va.; executive officer for the deputy chief of engineers at Corps Headquarters; branch chief for the Multi-Spectral Branch at NGA’s School for Geospatial-Intelligence (TSG); brigade engineer for 4/3 ID at Ft. Stewart, Ga., and in Iraq; battle adjutant and company executive officer for the 65th Engineer Battalion at Schofield Barracks; and platoon leader for C/91st Engineer Battalion at Ft. Hood, Texas, and in Bosnia.
Putnam’s decorations include: the Bronze Star; the Defense Meritorious Service Medal; the Meritorious Service Medal (with four Oak Leaf Clusters); the Army Commendation Medal (with three Oak Leaf Clusters); the Army Achievement Medal (with two Oak Leaf Clusters); the NATO Medal; the Parachutist Badge; Air Assault Badge; and the Combat Action Badge.
Putnam earned a Bachelor of Science in environmental engineering at West Point, a Master of Science degree in engineering management from the University of Missouri-Rolla, a master’s degree in defense geographic information systems from the Royal School of Military Survey at Denison Barracks, Hermigate, UK, and a master’s degree in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College.