Major General Don T. Riley became the Deputy Commanding General and Deputy Chief of Engineers on April 1, 2008. He is second in command of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers which has more than 31,000 employees and manages an annual budget of more than $30 billion.
MG Riley’s previous assignment was as the Director of Civil Works, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. As Director, he managed the Army’s Civil Works Program as the Nation’s primary planner, designer, builder, and operator of flood control, navigation, environmental restoration, and multiple-purpose water resource projects. General Riley came to Corps of Engineers Headquarters following command of the Corps’ Mississippi Valley Division (MVD) in Vicksburg, Mississippi, where he received a Presidential appointment as President of the Mississippi River Commission. Prior to commanding MVD, General Riley was the Deputy Chief of Staff (Engineer) of U.S. Army Europe, headquartered in Heidelberg, Germany.
A native of Hayward, California, General Riley is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY, and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers in 1973. He earned a master’s degree in civil engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, and is a Registered Professional Engineer in California. He is also a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and the United States Army War College and holds a Masters of Military Arts and Sciences from the School of Advanced Military Studies. In his early military career General Riley was a platoon leader, assistant operations officer, company executive officer, and company commander in the 14th Engineer Battalion, Fort Ord, California. His staff assignments included Operations Officer of the 23rd Engineer Battalion; Chief, G3 Plans and Exercises, 3rd Armored Division; and Deputy G3, 5th Infantry Division. As a lieutenant colonel, he commanded the 7th Engineer Battalion at Fort Polk, Louisiana and later the 17th Engineer Battalion at Fort Hood, Texas. As a colonel, he served as Chief, G3 Plans and Exercises, I Corps and he commanded the 555th Engineer Group, Fort Lewis, Washington; directed the Maneuver Support Battle Lab at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri; and served as Executive Officer to the Commanding General, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, Fort Monroe, Virginia.
General Riley is married to the former Roslyn Shelton (Retired Army Nurse Corps Lieutenant Colonel) of Shreveport, LA, and they have four children and two grandchildren: Devin and wife Marie with daughters Addison and Ainsley, Army Captain Darren, Daniel, and Caitlyn.
In this episode, Don talks about current threats and opportunities facing the civil engineering profession and the importance of visionary, strategic leadership, as a key factor in promoting innovation in the industry. He also discusses the value of ‘anticipatory engineering’ and the need to both adopt a systems approach and to adapt to future conditions.