Elvin R. Heiberg III

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Lieutenant General Elvin R. Heiberg III

Elvin Ragnvald Heiberg III (March 2, 1932 – September 27, 2013) was a United States Army general who was Chief of Engineers between 1984 and 1988.[1]


Born at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, Heiberg became a third-generation West Pointer when he graduated fifth in the United States Military Academy class of 1953. He later obtained three master's degrees; the first a Master of Science in civil engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, then two Master of Arts degrees from George Washington University, one in government and one in administration. He also received a degree from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. Heiberg graduated from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.

Early in his military career Heiberg served as operations officer of the 3d Brigade, 3d Infantry Division, in Germany, and taught in the Social Sciences Department at the Military Academy. In 1968-69 he commanded the divisional 4th Engineer Battalion in Vietnam and was awarded a Silver Star. He then served as special assistant and executive assistant to the director, Office of Emergency Preparedness, under the Executive Office of the President.

Heiberg served for a year as executive to Secretary of the Army Howard Callaway. He then headed the United States Army Corps of Engineers' New Orleans District and in 1975-78 the Ohio River Division. He served as senior engineer on the staff of U.S. Army, Europe, in 1978-79. Heiberg was the USACE director of civil works in 1979-82 and then Deputy Chief of Engineers. After managing the army's Ballistic Missile Defense Program for a year, he became Chief of Engineers in 1984. Heiberg, the 46th Chief of Engineers, remains the youngest "Chief" of the Corps of Engineers since 1838, when Brigadier General Totten became the 11th "Chief Engineer" (then the title).

Heiberg retired as a lieutenant general (three stars) in June 1988.

As a civilian, Heiberg was chief executive officer of Rollins Field Services, Inc., under the Delaware firm Rollins Environmental Services, 1988-1990. He then moved to J.A. Jones Construction, a major engineering firm headquartered in Charlotte, NC. He headed J.A. Jones Construction Services from 1990–1993 and, in 1992 started J.A. Jones Environmental Services.

In 1993, Heiberg moved back to the Washington DC area and founded Heiberg Associates, Inc., which provides engineering and environmental consulting services to a variety of clients.

Heiberg was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1995, and later became a founding member of the National Academy of Construction. Heiberg often provided volunteer services to the National Research Council, the research/study arm of the two National Academies (Science;Engineering). Starting in 2000, that work was primarily in reviewing draft reports before they are finalized.

Heiberg married Kathryn ("Kitty") Schrimpf in Kansas in 1953, after graduating from the United States Military Academy. She accompanied Heiberg on most of his military assignments. They resided in the Washington DC area, where Heiberg Associates was headquartered, and where Mrs. Heiberg ran her own business in antiques, porcelain repair and custom framing ("Creative Concepts"). Among her many volunteer efforts, Mrs. Kitty Heiberg performed work within the Nixon White House and a great variety of Army and Army wives' community efforts. They had four grown children, all married, and several grandchildren. He died of cancer on September 27, 2013 in Arlington County, Virginia.

Awards and decorations[edit]

Heiberg's military awards include;

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Elvin R. Heiberg III, General Who Took Blame for Hurricane Katrina Failures, Dies at 81". The New York Times. October 3, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Elvin R. "Vald" Heiberg III, PE". Dawson & Associates. 2012. Retrieved 6 December 2012. Brazil’s Grand Commander, Order of Military Merit 

This article contains public domain text from "Lieutenant General Elvin R. Heinberg III". Portraits and Profiles of Chief Engineers. Archived from the original on June 19, 2005. Retrieved August 20, 2005. 

Military offices
Preceded by
Joseph K. Bratton
Chief of Engineers
Succeeded by
Henry J. Hatch