On July 12, employees and stakeholders witnessed history as Lt. Col. Rachel Honderd assumed command of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Charleston District, as the District’s first ever female commander.
Honderd became the 88th commander and district engineer of the Charleston District. She succeeded Lt. Col. Jeffrey Palazzini, whose new assignment is at the College of International Security Affairs at the National Defense University.
Nearly 200 people were in attendance to witness the event. Newly-promoted Maj. Gen. Diana Holland, USACE South Atlantic Division commander, presided over the ceremony.
Honderd came to the Charleston District with a long list of previous USACE experience. She most recently served as deputy commander of the Rock Island District. She also served in the Seattle District as a civil works project manager, dam operating project manager and deputy commander. Honderd also served as deputy commander of the Kansas City and Afghanistan Districts.
Honderd’s career is coming full circle, as she started her Army career in Basic Training at Fort Jackson. As district commander, she will now oversee the military construction program there, where the District is constructing and renovating several buildings and has done more than $1 billion in work in the last 10 years. She will also be responsible for planning, engineering and constructing water resource projects, such as the Charleston Harbor Post 45 Deepening Project, and administering laws for the protection of navigable waterways and regulatory actions for the state. She will oversee approximately 225 employees who are stationed throughout the state.