The U.S. Army Environmental Command (USAEC) executes environmental programs (cleanup, conservation, compliance, pollution prevention) to enable DoD readiness and Army environmental stewardship.
For half a century, USAEC has provided the knowledge, tools and programs that support ready and resilient Soldiers, installations, and commands by balancing military training with sound environmental practices.
The command was established on Nov. 15, 1972 when the Army created the Program Manager for Demilitarization of Chemical Materiel to destroy the nation's toxic chemical agents and munitions.
In 1975, the organization took on the task of managing the newly established Installation Restoration Program, which was set up to develop a process for evaluating environmental conditions at Army installations. With this expansion of responsibilities it was renamed the Department of the Army Project Manager for Chemical Demilitarization and Installation Restoration and was realigned under the U.S. Army Materiel Command (AMC).
Between 1978 and 1980, the Army’s environmental responsibilities expanded to include research and testing, and pollution control technology. The organization became known as the U.S. Army Toxic and Hazardous Materials Agency or USATHAMA.
As the Army refocused its growing environmental program it established a separate program manager in 1985 to address Colorado’s Rocky Mountain Arsenal. In 1986, another program was set up to manage the destruction of the nation's toxic chemical agents and weapons. USATHAMA transitioned from the U.S. Army Materiel Command to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1988 when environmental compliance became a part of its responsibilities.
The organization’s mission, name and chain of command changed again in 1993. As it shifted from program execution to program management, USATHAMA became the U.S. Army Environmental Center, a field operating agency located at Aberdeen Proving Ground and reporting to the newly established Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management.
In 2006, following word it would be relocated to Fort Sam Houston, Texas, by September 2011 as part of the Base Realignment and Closure Act of 2005, the U.S. Army Environmental Center transformed into the U.S. Army Environmental Command. It is a major subordinate command of the Installation Management Command. This move was part of an Army-wide effort to improve critical support programs to Soldiers and their families through effective support of mission activities. The integrated organization allows the U.S. Army Environmental Command’s staff of biologists, chemists, engineers, lawyers and researchers to provide sound advice and supervision of installation environmental programs Army-wide.
Between June 2009 and September 2011, USAEC moved its operations and personnel to San Antonio, Texas. On May 5, 2010, the USAEC colors were cased at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., and uncased at USAEC’s new home on Fort Sam Houston on May 21, 2010.
As part of the Army's efficiency reforms to ensure the prioritization of resources to readiness and modernization, IMCOM was realigned as a major subordinate command under AMC on March 1, 2019. USAEC remains a subordinate element of IMCOM, once again joining the AMC family.
While names and reporting chains have changed over the last 50 years, USAEC’s mission of ensuring continued use of Army training lands through sound environmental practices and stewardship remains the same. The command remains focused on Army readiness. Unrestricted training lands and compliant and sustainable installations are vital to Army readiness. The USAEC team will continue to fulfill the Army's diverse mission demands and support its installations, garrisons and commands by providing environmental expertise that supports ready and resilient Soldiers and installations.