PORTLAND, Ore. -- At a change of command ceremony Tuesday, Col. John S. Kem assumed command of the Northwestern Division office of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He succeeds Brig. Gen. Anthony C. Funkhouser, who has served as commander since July 2012.
Kem will direct a 4,800-member workforce and a multi-billion annual program in civil works, military construction, and environmental restoration that spans 14 states throughout the Missouri and Columbia river basins. These activities are implemented through five operating districts in Portland, Or., Seattle and Walla Walla, Wash., Kansas City, Mo., and Omaha, Neb.
Prior to assuming Command of Northwestern Division, Kem served as the Chief, Programs Division, Office of the Chief of Legislative Liaison for the U.S. Army. In addition to numerous stateside and overseas combat and operations assignments, Col. Kem served as Commander of the 16th Armored Engineer BN, 1st Armored Division and Commander of the Corps’ Europe District, where he was responsible for construction and engineering support for EUCOM and AFRICOM. He was deployed to Afghanistan as the Director of Engineering, NATO Training Mission and oversaw a $10.5 billion program to build facilities for the Afghan National Army and Police.
Kem was commissioned in the Corps of Engineers after graduating as a distinguished cadet from the U.S. Military Academy with a B.S. in civil engineering in 1985. He holds an MBA from Kellogg Business School and M.S. in Environmental Engineering from Northwestern University. He is a licensed professional engineer in the State of Virginia and a Chartered Financial Analyst.
Release no. 13-031