Vicksburg, Miss. (WJTV) – The U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) held a change of command ceremony at its main headquarters on the Waterways Experiment Station in Vicksburg on Thursday, July 14.
Colonel Teresa A. Schlosser transferred command to Colonel Christian Patterson while Major General Richard Heitkamp, Deputy Commanding General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), served as the reviewing officer for the event.
Patterson is not only the organization’s first African-American commander, he is also the first public affairs officer. Prior to assuming command, Patterson served as the organization’s communications director.
A native of Jackson, Patterson earned his commission as a second lieutenant in the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps program at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He is a 28-year veteran with deployments in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and Afghanistan, and has also served tours in France, Honduras, Dominican Republic and St. Kitts and Nevis.
Patterson holds a master’s degree in business administration from Belhaven University, a bachelor’s degree in mass communication from Louisiana State University, an associate’s degree in radio, television, and film from Hinds Community College, and a Professional Certificate in Strategic Communication and Leadership from Seton Hall University. He is currently pursuing his doctorate in communication at Liberty University.
The ERDC Commander is responsible for site management and planning of all associated facilities and laboratories and directs the Command Staff Division. In their role, they assist the Director and Deputy Director of the ERDC in the planning and execution of research and development activities, with an emphasis on identifying the needs of combatants and liaising with the districts, installations and the engineer regiment.
A retirement ceremony for Schlosser was held immediately after the change of command.