SAVANNAH, Ga. – Assuming command amid the burgeoning Savannah Harbor Expansion Project, Col. Marvin L. Griffin became the 40th commander of the Savannah District at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, June 19. It was a fitting tribute as the ceremony was held just blocks away from CSS Georgia recovery efforts currently underway near Old Fort Jackson.
Distinguished guests, family members and District employees packed the Regency Ballroom as Col. Thomas J. Tickner concluded his two-year tenure with the district.
“I couldn’t be prouder of the Savannah District,” Tickner said. “I had the privilege to watch as this district advanced SHEP into its construction phase – a historic moment for Georgia and the entire Southeast.”
As Tickner readies for a deployment to Afghanistan, he recognized the district as an economic engine for the U.S. ready to move into the future.
“We’ve reached just tip of the iceberg when it comes to the national transportation system,” said Tickner. “This region has invested heavily in making the Southeast an economic engine for the United States.
“Infrastructure such as rail, roads, intermodal facilities, distribution hubs have brought commerce creating the need for a deeper, more efficient port. We have already seen private investment and foreign investment in to the region. This is what will help jump start the economy.”
Tickner took command of the Savannah District in July 2013. During his tenure, Tickner oversaw completion of Project Partnership Agreement between the state of Georgia and the Corps of Engineers outlining funding for the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project. He also oversaw the beginning of construction of the Savannah harbor deepening.
Griffin, who arrives at the district following a Senior Service College Fellowship with the Secretary of Defense Corporate Fellowship Program, carries the torch helming the district’s vast public works projects, including the SHEP. From cadet to commander, Griffin’s return to the Savannah District reunites him to the location where he began his career, he said.
“My first Corps experience was here in the Savannah District as a West Point cadet and Engineering major,” he said. “I am incredibly humbled and honored to assume command of this great District, standing upon the shoulders of those like [my first commander] Col. Wayne Boy, and Col. Tom Tickner, who have gone before me and set in place a legacy of exceptional engineering support to this nation.”
Griffin graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point and was commissioned into the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1994. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from West Point, earned a Master of Science degree in civil engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and is a licensed professional engineer in the state of Missouri.
Griffin’s previous assignments include deployments to Operation Enduring Freedom-Afghanistan, Operation Iraqi Freedom and to Operation Joint Guardian in Kosovo. He has served as an instructor and assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering, United States Military Academy at West Point, where he also earned his bachelor’s degree and commission. Griffin previously served in the Corps of Engineers as the deputy commander of the Little Rock District in Arkansas.
With nearly 700 employees throughout Georgia and the Carolinas, Griffin now leads a legion of employees who provide expertise across a wide range of disciplines – from engineering, architecture, design, construction and master planning to subsurface exploration, hydropower and environmental stewardship.
The Savannah District maintains the deep water harbors in Savannah and Brunswick, Georgia, and it leads the effort to deepen the Savannah harbor. The District manages a multimillion dollar military construction program at 11 Army and Air Force installations in Georgia and North Carolina, and oversees water resources and development activities in Georgia and portions of South Carolina.
The District also oversees civil projects including dams and lakes Hartwell, Russell, and Thurmond on the Georgia-South Carolina border; and environmental and regulatory permits for Georgia. The Savannah District supports worldwide missions related to real estate, master planning, and construction of barracks and other facilities to enhance overseas contingency operations. The Savannah District traces its heritage in Savannah to 1829.