The U.S. Army has picked Maj. Gen William H. "Butch" Graham Jr.  to be its next Chief of Engineers and commanding general of the Corps of Engineers. 

Graham currently is deputy chief of engineers and commanding general for civil works and emergency operations. Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III announced Graham's selection July 10.

If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Graham would lead one of the most prominent federal infrastructure organizations, including 37,000 civilians and soldiers. Corps responsibilities include river locks, flood protection and other civil works projects and domestic and overseas military construction.

Graham's selection is no surprise, given his long career that includes senior Army positions in both arenas.

Among them are key Corps posts, including command of the North Atlantic Division, based in Brooklyn, N.Y., and of the Pittsburgh District. He also served as Corps’ chief of staff in Washington, D.C., headquarters. Other Army assignments include serving as director of the Coalition-Joint Engineering Directorate in the Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan, which supported Operation Enduring Freedom.

Industry group Waterways Council Inc. praised Graham's nomination. "He has been a strong partner and supporter of the inland waterways and we look forward to continuing to work with him in the years ahead," says Tracy Zea, its president and CEO.

If confirmed, Graham would succeed Lt. Gen. Scott A. Spellmon, 60, whose four-year term as chief ends on Sept. 13. He also rose to the position from leading its civil and emergency operations programs.