As the 58th Commander of the Philadelphia District, Lieutenant Colonel Michael A. Bliss commands a 500-person District. District missions include dredging waterways for navigation, protecting communities from flooding and coastal storms, responding to natural and declared disasters, regulating construction in the nation’s waters and wetlands, remediating environmental hazards, restoring ecosystems, building facilities for the Army and Air Force, and providing engineering, contracting and project management services for other government agencies upon request.
Established in 1866, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Philadelphia District encompasses the 13,000-square-mile Delaware River Basin and the Atlantic coast from New Jersey’s Manasquan Inlet to the Delaware-Maryland line. Within its boundaries are more than eight million people in eastern Pennsylvania, western and southern New Jersey, most of Delaware, New York’s Catskills region and part of northeastern Maryland.
Lieutenant Colonel Bliss was commissioned into the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1996. Prior to serving with the USACE Philadelphia District, LTC Bliss was the Northeast Region Director for the Solider for Life Program within the Office of the Chief of Staff.
His previous assignments include: Assault and Obstacle Platoon Leader, Company Executive Officer, and Battalion Adjutant, 23rd/16th EN BN, Giessen, GE; Assistant S3(Training) and B Company Commander, 11th EN BN, Fort Stewart, GA; Project and Deputy Resident Engineer, Ft. Riley Field Office, Kansas City USACE District; S3 for 1st Special Troops Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (AA); Executive Officer, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (AA); Communications Director, Soldier for Life Office, Office of the Chief of Staff. His operational deployments include: Bosnia Herzegovina, Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
He holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Clarkson University in New York, a Master of Science in Engineering Management from the Missouri Science & Technology University, a Master of Science in Civil & Environmental Engineering from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and is a registered professional engineer in the state of Kansas. His military education includes: United States Army Winter Mountain Warfare School (’93); Engineer Officer Basic Course (’96); Engineer Officer Advanced Course (’00); Combined Arms & Services Staff School (’00) Intermediate-Level Education Common Core and Qualification Courses (’09); and the Air Assault School (’12).
Lieutenant Colonel Bliss’ awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal (w “V” & 1OLC), Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (w/2 OLC), Army Commendation Medal (w/1 OLC), Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal (w/1 BS), Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Kosovo Campaign Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal (w/1 BS), Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal (w AHD), Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Armed Forces Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Presidential Unit Citation, Army Superior Unit (w/1 OLC), Combat Action Badge, Air Assault Badge.
Lieutenant Colonel Bliss is married to the former Cheria Lamb and they have three children Cheyennee, Tiyler, and Brandon.