News: Heitkamp receives Bronze Star Medal for service as the Officer in Charge, Kabul Area Office
Story by Alicia Embrey
CAMP PHOENIX, Afghanistan - Col. Richard J.E. Heitkamp was awarded the Bronze Star Medal by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Transatlantic Division Commander, Maj. Gen. Michael Eyre during a Sept. 26, 2013 ceremony at Engineer Village, Camp Phoenix, Kabul, Afghanistan.
Heitkamp, an Adrian, Minn., native, earned the medal for his yearlong service while deployed supporting Operation Enduring Freedom as the Kabul Area Office officer in charge, Transatlantic Afghanistan District, from Dec. 28, 2012, to Nov. 3, 2013.
Prior to his assignment in Afghanistan, Heitkamp was the chief of Joint and Army concepts at the Combined Arms Center, Fort Leavenworth, Kan., and developed the Army’s mission command functional concept. He commanded the 1/95th Engineer Battalion from April 2010 to April 2011 at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., and the 12/104th Engineer Battalion from December 2007 to April 2010.
Heitkamp previously served with USACE when assigned to the Contingency Response Unit, Headquarters USACE, Washington, D.C. He was the NORTHCOM Team Chief supporting contingency operations for USACE and U.S. Army North. He also served as the G3 for the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, later serving as the adviser on Improvised Explosive Devises Training to the Deputy Commanding General for the Combined Arms Center for Training. As engineer team chief for 2/361st Training Support Battalion, he supported training for USAR and NDARNG engineer units in North and South Dakota.
While assigned to the XVIII Airborne Corps at Fort Bragg, N.C., he served as the assistant S3 and later company commander in the 27th Engineer Battalion (Combat) (Airborne). He was also aide de camp to the Commandant, US Army Engineer School and later chief of the Environmental Division, Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. His assignments include platoon leader and executive officer in the 44th Engineer Battalion (Combat) at Camp Howze, Republic of Korea.
Heitkamp is a graduate of the Command and General Staff College and the Advanced Military Studies Program at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. He holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and master’s degrees in Environmental Engineering (water and wastewater treatment), Engineering Management, and Military Arts and Sciences. He is also a 2011 graduate of the U.S. Army War College earning a master’s degree in Strategic Studies.
According to Maj. Gen. Eyre, Heitkamp was awarded the Bronze Star for his exemplary leadership, skill and ceaseless efforts resulting in the successful management and execution of more than $1.5 billion worth of construction encompassing 148 Afghan National Security Forces projects, spanning nine provinces of Regional Command East.
His distinctive accomplishments reflect great credit upon himself, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the United States Army.
The Bronze Star Medal is the fourth-highest award in the U.S. Armed Forces. It is awarded to an individual who, while serving in the U.S. military or while serving with friendly foreign forces, engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the U.S. is not a hostile and aggressive party. The individual distinguishes him or herself by heroic or meritorious achievement while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States or while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force.
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