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U.S. Army Engineer School (USAES)
Active 1778 – present
Country United States United States
Allegiance United States Department of the Army Seal.svg United States Army
Branch Regular Army
Type TRADOC school
Role Generate military engineer capabilities for the U.S. Army
Garrison/HQ Fort Leonard Wood
Motto(s) Essayons (Let Us Try)
Colors Scarlet and White
Commandant Brigadier General Anthony C. Funkhouser

The United States Army Engineer School (USAES) is located at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. Originally founded as a School of Engineering by General Headquarters Orders, Valley Forge on 9 June 1778,[1] the U.S. Army Engineer School provides training that develops a wide variety of engineering skills including: combat engineer, bridging, construction, geospatial, topography, diving, and firefighting.

USAES defines its mission as:

Generate the military engineer capabilities the Army needs: training and certifying Soldiers with the right knowledge, skills, and critical thinking; growing and educating professional leaders; organizing and equipping units; establishing a doctrinal framework for employing capabilities; and remaining an adaptive institution in order to provide Commanders with the freedom of action they need to successfully execute Unified Land Operations.[2]


As with the United States Army Corps of Engineers, the Engineer School traces its roots to the American Revolution. General Headquarters Orders, Valley Forge, dated 9 June 1778 read 3 Captains and 9 Lieutenants are wanted to officer the Company of Sappers. As the Corps will be a SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING, it opens a prospect to such gentlemen as enter it... Shortly after the publishing of the order, the "school" moved to the river fortifications at West Point. With the end of the war and the mustering out of the Army, the school closed. However, the Regiment of Artillerists and Engineers was constituted a military school and was reopened at the same location in 1794. For four years it constituted a school of application for new engineers and artillerymen. Closing in 1798, due to a fire which destroyed many facilities, the engineers were without a school for three years.

In 1801, the War Department revived the school, and Major Jonathan Williams became its superintendent. Less than a year later, Congress authorized the Corps of Engineers and constituted it at West Point as a military academy. For the next 64 years, the Military Academy was under the supervision of the Corps. Although the curriculum was heavily laced with engineering subjects, the Academy commissioned officers into all branches of the service. Following the American Civil War (1861-1865), supervision of the Academy passed to the War Department.

When the Engineer Battalion took station at Willets Point in 1866, Engineer leaders saw the opportunity to develop a school oriented exclusively to engineers. From 1868 to 1885, an informal School of Application existed. Part of this effort involved the creation of the Essayons Club. This was an informal group which met during the winter months and presented professional engineer papers. In 1885, the School of Application received formal recognition by the War Department. In 1890, the name was changed to United States Engineer School.

In 1901, the School moved from Willets Point (later renamed Fort Totten) to Washington Barracks in Washington D.C. and was renamed the Engineer School of Application. This name lasted only a few years. In 1904, the name was changed back to the Engineer School. The Engineer School remained at Washington Barracks for the next 19 years, although it closed from time to time because of a shortage of officers, or national emergencies. In 1909, certain courses associated with the field army moved to Ft. Leavenworth, and the Army Field Engineer School opened in 1910. That school, a part of the Army Service Schools, closed in 1916. The First World War forced a closing of the Engineer School as the instructors and students were needed to officer the expanding engineer force. The school resumed its instruction in 1920, but at a different location. Washington Barracks was transferred to the General Staff College and the Engineer School moved to Camp A. A. Humphreys, south of Mount Vernon, in Virginia. This was a WWI camp built on land acquired by the War Department in 1912. The original name for the tract was Belvoir. In 1935, Camp Humphreys was renamed Fort Belovir.[3]

After 68 years, in 1988, the home of the Engineer School was moved to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri "due to a shortage of land for training at Fort Belvoir" [3] The move also allowed engineer training of officers, warrant officers and enlisted to be conducted in the same location.[4]

USAES and Engineer Regiment Symbology.[5]


The distinctive insignia for the U.S. Army Engineer School was approved by the War Department on June 27, 1929. It had been used on diplomas and stationery since 1924. Scarlet and white are the colors of the Engineers. Scarlet represents the shared heritage with the Artillery. From 1794 to 1802, the Engineers were part of the Corps of Artillerists and Engineers. White is the traditional color of the Infantry. Its use on the shield reflects the Engineers’ secondary mission of fighting as infantry. Above the shield is the “Lamp of Knowledge”. The lamps represents the Engineer Schools mission to train and educate.

Under the shield is the motto of the Engineers-Essayons. It is a French term which means “Let us strive”, “Let us try”. The use of this term reflects the contributions of French Engineers to the Nation’s struggle for independence and the influence of the French Engineers on the early development of the Corps.

The castle symbolizes the classical role of Engineers as those who build fortifications and those who breach their walls. The castle has been used by the Corps since 1840, when it was adopted as a device on the uniform of the Cadets of the United States Military Academy.


The U.S. Army Engineer School is composed of Headquarters staff, the Directorate of Training and Leader Development, the Directorate of Environmental Integration, 1st Engineer Brigade, the Counter Explosive Hazards Center and the Engineer Personnel Development Office.

Visual representation of the U.S. Army Engineer School structure


As of 2014, the Commandant of the U.S. Army Engineer School is Brigadier General Anthony C. Funkhouser. The regimental Command Sergeant Major is CSM Butler J. Kendrick III. The Regimental Chief Warrant Officer is CW5 Scott R. Owens

U.S. Army Engineer School Commandants

U.S. Army Engineer School and Engineer Regimental Command Sergeants Major

Image Name Period of Office
CSM Harold Baxter.jpg
CSM Harold G. Baxter 1969-1971
CSM John Spooler.jpg
CSM John Spooler 1972-1974
CSM Dock Clemons.jpg
CSM Dock Clemons 1977-1978
CSM Jack Butler.jpg
CSM Jack Butler 1978-1982
CSM Acie Gardner.jpg
CSM Acie Gardner 1986-1991
CSM W E Woodall.jpg
CSM W. E. Woodall 1991-1992
CSM Richard N Wilson.jpg
CSM Richard N. Wilson 1992-1993
CSM Roy L Burns.jpg
CSM Roy L. Burns 1993-1996
CSM Julius Nutter.jpg
CSM Julius Nutter 1996-1997
CSM Robert M Dils.jpg
CSM Robert M. Dils 1997-1999
CSM Arthur Laughlin.jpg
CSM Arthur Laughlin 1999-2000
CSM Robert R Robinson II.jpg
CSM Robert R. Robinson II 2000-2002
CSM William D McDaniel Jr.jpg
CSM William D. McDaniel Jr. 2002-2003
CSM Clinton J Pearson.jpg
CSM Clinton J. Pearson 2003-2008
CSM Robert J Wells.jpg
CSM Robert J. Wells 2008 – 2011
CSM Terrence W Murphy.jpg
CSM Terrence W. Murphy 2011 - 2013
CSM Butler J Kendrick Jr.jpg
CSM Butler J. Kendrick Jr. 2013 - 2015
CSM Bradley J. Houston 2015 -

U.S. Army Engineer Regimental Chief Warrant Officers

Image Name Period of Office
CW5 Robert K Lamphear.jpg
CW5 Robert K. Lamphear 2007 - 2011
CW5 Scott R Owens.jpg
CW5 Scott R. Owens 2011 - 2015
CW5 FOBISH ACUs sm.jpg
CW5 John F. Fobish 2015 -

See also

External links


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