Lieutenant Colonel Richard C. Collins is Deputy Commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Middle East District, located in Winchester, Virginia, and has been since July 2019.
The Middle East District is responsible for providing engineering, construction, and related services in the Middle East, Central Asia, and other areas as required. Its work includes designing and constructing facilities for use by U.S. forces, performing engineering activities for other U.S. government and foreign agencies, and providing operations and maintenance services for various customers. In addition, the district provides project management, engineering, contracting and support services to the USACE district in Afghanistan.
Throughout his military career, Lt. Col. Collins has held numerous leadership and staff positions. His first assignment was as a platoon leader in the 70th Engineer Company (Topographic) and then as adjutant in the 29th Engineer Battalion (Topographic) at Fort Shafter, Hawaii. He then served as the deputy resident engineer for the Palau Compact Resident Office, Honolulu Engineer District. He was then assigned as the logistics officer for the RUGGED 14th Combat Engineer Battalion (Corps) (Wheeled) and later commanded the Headquarters and Headquarters Company where he deployed his company to Iraq in 2003 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He then served as the resident engineer for the Yokota Air Base Resident Office, Japan Engineer District. He returned to Iraq in 2009 as a military transition team chief to partner with 2nd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division in mentoring an Iraqi Army brigade. Upon redeployment, he served as the deputy commander for the Albuquerque Engineer District from March 2010 to June 2012. He was then assigned as the officer-in-charge of the 14th Engineer Detachment (Construction Management Team), 130th Engineer Brigade, and deployed the detachment to Afghanistan in 2013. He then served as the chief of facilities and construction for the U.S. Army Pacific from 2014 to 2016. Prior to his assignment with the Middle East District, Lt. Col. Collins served as deputy commander for the Far East District from June 2016 to June 2018.
His civilian education includes a bachelor of science in Civil Engineering from the University of Arkansas, a master of science in Engineering Management from the University of Missouri – Rolla, and a master of science in Civil Engineering from the University of Washington. His military education includes the Engineer Officer Basic Course, Engineer Officer Advance Course, Combined Arms and Service Staff School, and Army Command and General Staff College – Intermediate Level Education.
Lt. Col. Collins was commissioned into the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers after being recognized as a Distinguished Military Graduate from the University of Arkansas in 1995. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Missouri.
His military awards include the Bronze Star with two oak leaf clusters, the Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters, the Army Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Army Achievement Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Korean Defense Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with one bronze service star, Iraq Campaign Medal with three bronze service stars, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon, the NATO Medal – International Security Assistance Force, the Air Assault Badge, and the Bronze Order of the de Fleury Medal.