Lt. Col. Rachel Honderd will assume command of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Charleston District, in a change of command ceremony this tomorrow, July 12, at 10:30 a.m. at The Citadel’s Alumni Center. Honderd replaces Lt. Col. Jeff Palazzini, whose new assignment will be at the College of International Security Affairs (CISA) at National Defense University.
Honderd joins the District as the 88th Commander and District Engineer from her assignment as the Deputy Commander for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District. She has five years prior experience in the Corps, serving in the Seattle District, Northwestern Division as a Civil Works Project Manager, an Operating Project Manager at Libby Dam, Montana, and Deputy Commander. She also served in the Kansas City and Afghanistan Districts as Deputy Commander. Over the course of the last 20-plus years, she has served in a variety of troop units including construction and sapper engineer battalions and has deployed on multiple combat tours to Iraq, Africa, and Afghanistan.
LTC Honderd joined the U.S. Army in 1996 as an intelligence intercept analyst and electronic warfare specialist (Arabic). After serving her first tour of duty as an enlisted Soldier, she was selected for the Green to Gold program and commissioned into the Army Corps of Engineers at Augusta State University, in May 2001.
LTC Honderd’s military education includes the Engineer Officer Basic Course, the Engineer Officer Advanced Course, and the Joint Engineer Operations Course. She is a graduate of the Command and General Staff College and the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, Cali., with a language certification in Arabic. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminology from Western Washington University, a Master’s in Public Administration from Augusta State University, and a Master’s of Science in Construction Management from the University of Washington. She is a certified Project Management Professional.
Her awards and decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Meritorious Service Medal, Bronze Star Medal, Joint Commendation medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the Iraqi Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terror Service Medal and the Non-Article Five NATO Medal.
LTC Honderd is originally from Seattle, Wash. Her parents and siblings reside across the U.S. from Washington and Oregon, to Arizona, Colorado, and Texas.
As district engineer, Honderd will 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. Honderd will oversee the military construction program at Fort Jackson, as well as other federal agencies throughout the city, state, and region.