The United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is a United States federal agency that began in 1775, when Congress created a position within the Army Corps for a chief engineer.

By 1802, the Army expanded on the idea of having engineers as part of the Army Corps and established an entirely separate branch, called the USACE.

From there, the branch has only gotten bigger and better.

As one of the biggest public engineering, design, and construction management agencies in the world, the USACE is now made up of nearly 37,000 civilians and soldiers. And beyond helping the United States of America thrive in defense and community, the efforts of the Corps has extended to over 130 nations worldwide.

The Responsibilities of Army Corp Engineers

The USACE is mostly responsible for adapting to the changing defense requirements of the Nation. However, this branch of the Army also played an integral role in developing the country from its earliest times, and it continues to help build the country even now.

For example, the Corps helped build costal fortifications, surveyed roads and canals, helped eliminate navigational hazards, explored and mapped the Western frontier, and even helped construct buildings and monuments in the Nation’s capital.

More recently, the USACE has found itself working on projects such as:

  • Building, strengthening, and maintaining America’s defense infrastructure where servicemen train, work, and live
  • Researching and developing technology to aid war fighters
  • Helping servicemen overseas maintain stability and a high quality of life, despite being away from home
  • Boosting the economy by creating and promoting outdoor recreational areas such as campgrounds, lakes, and marinas for the general public to enjoy
  • Reducing hurricane and storm damage by strengthening the Nation’s infrastructure to withstand the elements
  • Protecting, restoring, and sustaining the Nation’s environment including efforts in the Everglades, the Louisiana coast, and along other major waterways throughout the country
  • Cleaning sites contaminated with hazardous, toxic, or radioactive waste and material

As you can see, the people involved in the USACE are dedicated to bettering the Nation on many levels, as well as protecting those in the armed forces that are protecting the country from afar.

As a result, those that are part of the USACE have to ensure that they are properly trained to remain safe while on the job. They also need to make sure they’re in compliance with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Safety and Health requirements.

This means they need to take the USACE EM 385-1-1 Safety and Health course designed to do the following:

  • Increase safety awareness for those working on federal construction, service, and environmental contracts
  • Gain insight into what an unsafe worksite looks like
  • Teach members how to prepare a site-specific Accident Prevention Plan (APP)
  • Show members how to serve as a safety health official (SSHO)
  • Explain the Activity Hazard Analysis (AHA) forms, including their development

As you can see, those involved with the USACE play a vital role in the United States’ environmental and defense well-being, and needs a team of individuals properly trained to take on such projects in order to make a difference.