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News | Aug. 6, 2020

Transatlantic Division welcomes new commanding general

By Julie Shoemaker U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Transatlantic Division

Brigadier General Kimberly M. Colloton assumed the role of Commander and Division Engineer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Transatlantic Division (TAD), July 24.

The Assumption of Command ceremony is a military change of command that takes place when the outgoing commander has already departed.  The former TAD Commander, Col. Chris Beck, relinquished command of the Division in late June and subsequently assumed command of the Southwestern Division and was later promoted to brigadier general.

The Chief of Engineers and Commanding General of USACE Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite hosted the ceremony at TAD headquarters in Winchester, Va.  The ceremony was held with minimal audience members attending to comply with all USACE and local COVID policies and procedures. Fewer than 20 people attended in person but Colloton’s husband Mike Krulc and son Stanley were among them. The majority of friends, family members and TAD personnel watched via livestream or watch party event on Facebook.

During the COVID compliant flag passing ceremony, TAD’s flag passed indirectly among TAD’s Command Sgt. Maj. Randolph Delapena, Semonite, Colloton, and back to Delapena. When Colloton took the flag, she accepted the duties and responsibilities as TAD’s seventh commander and the first female commanding general since the Transatlantic Division was established in 2009. 

Colloton, came to TAD from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers South Pacific Division where she commanded 2,500 civilians and Soldiers providing vital water resources, military construction, civil works, emergency response, and environmental stewardship in California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico and parts of Colorado, Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming and Texas.

Semonite shared his confidence in Colloton and introduced her to the TAD team as well educated and exceptionally experienced. “Taking care of people has always been at the forefront of Kim’s leadership doctrine,” Semonite said. “Within her first 90 days as South Pacific Division commander, she led a Leadership Symposium designed to review issues highlighted in a recent Command Climate Assessment.  Recognizing that steering organizational culture requires strategic change, she developed a Talent Management Program, creating rotational opportunities for her senior leadership team. Kim is truly the mark of all we ask for in our superstar engineer generals.”

Then directly to Colloton, Semonite added, “Your demonstrated leadership skills have proven you can tackle the tough jobs. I look forward to seeing you in action in your new role as the Transatlantic Division Commander.”

Semonite described TAD as one of the most complex divisions within the Corps of Engineers and said to the members of the TAD team that he couldn’t be prouder of a more passionate and talented team.

The Transatlantic Division consists of one stateside district, the Middle East District, one district in Afghanistan, and an overseas task force with more than 700 military and civilian professionals executing nearly $6 billion in construction, engineering, contracting, and technical services. TAD provides military construction, foreign military sales, and Operations and Maintenance support across 12 countries in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility and in support of the U.S. Special Operations Command global construction program.

“I acknowledge that times are very challenged right now, and that we all look for some level of certainty—even in a very uncertain period,” said Colloton. “I commit to all of you that I will bring all I have to bear to work through the tough challenges. My responsibility to you all as the Commander of the Transatlantic Division is to help us navigate through the uncertainty and make sure we as an organization are prepared, that we build a resilient team, that we make informed and thoughtful decisions and that we develop adaptable and flexible plans, that enable us to adjust to expected changes and overcome any barriers in our path.

“I know first-hand the strength of the team of leaders and professionals that the Transatlantic Division is made of,” she said, reflecting on her time as Afghanistan Engineer District Commander and a member of an earlier, Forward Engineer Support Team leader. “I have three priorities – deliver the program, support our partners, and take care of our people.”

Colloton said she was proud to serve on this team of passionate professionals who embody the spirit of the Corps of Engineers, who are resilient, ready and willing to step up and meet the moment at hand and “engineer solutions to the Nation’s toughest challenges at home and abroad.”