Lt. Col. Nathan A. Branen reported to the Nashville District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Aug. 3, 2020 to assume his duties as the Deputy District Commander. As the Deputy District Commander, he assists in directing all the water resource activities of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers throughout the Cumberland River Basin, and navigation and regulatory matters in the Tennessee River Basin, an area of more than 59,000 square miles, with 49 field offices touching seven states and a work force of over 700 federal employees.
Lt. Col. Branen received his commission from the University of Minnesota ROTC program in 2005. After Officer Basic Course in Fort Leonard Wood Missouri, he reported to the 4th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 1st Infantry Division, at Fort Riley, Kansas in 2006. There he served as a Platoon Leader, Company Executive Officer, Assistant Battalion Operations Officer and Battalion Logistics Officer. He served in these positions over two deployments to Iraq, the first in 2007-2008 and the second in 2009-2010.
Upon redeployment in 2010, Lt. Col. Branen attended the Engineer Captains Career Course, completed his master’s degree and attended Phase 0 of the Marine Engineer Dive Officer Course in Fort Leonard Wood Missouri. He completed the Dive Officer’s Course in Panama City Beach, Florida in 2011 and took command of the 544th Engineer Dive Detachment, 30th Engineer Battalion located in Fort Eustis, Virginia. He commanded the detachment through 2014, then joined the USACE Middle East District where he served as the Saudi Arabia Office’s Officer in Charge through 2015. Following Command and General Staff College in 2016 he joined the 1st Cavalry Division in Fort Hood, TX where he served as a military advisor in Afghanistan, a Battalion Executive officer in the Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, and the Executive Officer in the 8th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team. His final assignment before joining the USACE Nashville District was as the Secretary of the General Staff for the 1st Cavalry Division Command Group.
Lt. Col. Branen’s military awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal (three awards), Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Valorous Unit Award, Meritorious Unit Citation, Iraq and Afghanistan Campaign Medals, NATO Medal, Combat Action Badge, Sapper Tab, and Engineer Dive Officer Badge.
Lt. Col. Branen hails from Burlington, Wisconsin. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Minnesota as well as a Master of Science degree in Geological Engineering from the University of Missouri at Rolla. Lt. Col Branen is a graduate of the Engineer Officer Basic Course, the Engineer Captain’s Career Course, and the Army Command and General Staff College (CGSC) – Intermediate Level Education (ILE).