Portland District

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Lieutenant Colonel John D. Cunningham

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Lieutenant Colonel John Cunningham assumed the duties as the deputy commander of the Portland District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, May 22 2017. The District manages an annual program worth more than $350 million in combined civil works and environmental restoration projects.


Portland District has one of the Nation’s most comprehensive and diversified civil works programs. Covering most of Oregon and southwest Washington, Portland District is operating locks and dams along the Columbia River, managing dams in the Willamette Valley for flood risk management, maintaining Oregon’s coastal rivers for navigation and leading the Nation in hydropower generation, while ensuring equal attention is placed on environmental protection and restoration, fish and wildlife enhancement and recreation. The Corps’ Hydroelectric Design Center, a national leader and Center of Expertise, is located at Portland District.


Lt. Col. Cunningham received his U.S. Army commission in 2002 and has served in leadership and staff positions in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Republic of Korea and multiple locations in the United States. Between 2003 and 2007, he was a platoon leader, executive officer and battalion logistics officer with the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. From 2007 to 2009, he commanded two companies within the 1st Special Troops Battalion, at Fort Campbell and while deployed to Iraq.


From 2012 to 2014, Lt. Col. Cunningham was an instructor in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, before transferring to the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, Texas, where he served from 2014 to 2015 as the division engineer officer (forward) and counter-IED officer in Kandahar, Afghanistan. He continued with the 1st Cavalry Division, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 91st Engineer Bn. from 2015 to 2016 as the executive officer.


Lt. Col. Cunningham holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point and a Master of Science degree in Power Systems Engineering from the University of Texas. His military education includes the Common Core and Advanced Operations courses from the Command and General Staff College. His military awards and decorations include three Bronze Star medals, three Meritorious Service medals, the Army Commendation medal and two Military Outstanding Volunteer Service medals.


Lt. Col. Cunningham is married and has six children.