Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Penny Bloedel assumed duties as Deputy Commander of the Alaska District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in January 2017. She manages Alaska District’s resources, manpower and programs, annually executing military construction, civil works and environmental programs throughout Alaska. She also directs emergency operations during emergency contingencies.
LTC Bloedel was previously assigned to the 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley, Kansas from 2011 to 2014. Her assignments there include Brigade Engineer, 4/1 Infantry Brigade Combat Team in 2014, Battalion Operations Officer, Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion from 2013 to 2014, Battalion Executive Officer, 4-1 Brigade Special Troops Battalion (BSTB) from 2011 to 2013, and Engineer Operations Officer, 1st Infantry Division in 2011. From 2012 to 2013, as Executive Officer of 4-1 BSTB, LTC Bloedel deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom to Paktika Province, Afghanistan.
From 2006-2010, LTC Bloedel was assigned to the 18th Engineer Brigade in Germany. In 2006, she served as operations officer in the Brigade’s Construction Management Section in Heidelberg, Germany. From January 2007 to December 2009, she served as a company commander in the 54th Engineer Battalion in Bamberg, Germany, first as the Headquarters and Headquarters Company Commander and later, after the battalion’s transformation, as the Forward Support Company Commander. After company command, LTC Bloedel served as an assistant operations officer for 18th Engineer Brigade in Schweinfurt, Germany. LTC Bloedel deployed as a company commander to Baghdad, Iraq from 2008-2009 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. During her time as its commander, Forward Support Company, 54th Engineer Battalion won the 2008 Army Award for Maintenance Excellence, recognizing the United States Army’s best maintenance program.
LTC Bloedel’s other assignments include Battalion Adjutant for the 565th Engineer Battalion, 130th Engineer Brigade from 2003-2005, Company Executive Officer and Platoon Leader, 320th Engineer Company (Topographic) from 2001-2003, and in 2001, Platoon Leader, 38th Engineer Company (Medium Girder Bridge), all in Hanau, Germany. While serving as Executive Officer in the 320th Engineer Company, LTC Bloedel deployed to Iraq in March 2003 in support of the Global War on Terror.
LTC Bloedel received a Master’s of Arts Degree in Geography from Kansas State University in 2016, a Master’s of Science Degree in Geology and Geophysics from Missouri University of Science & Technology in 2006, and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Science in 2000 from the United States Military Academy, West Point, from where she also received her commission into the United States Army Corps of Engineers. Her military education includes the Engineer Officer Basic Course, Engineer Officer Career Course, and the Army Command and General Staff College.
Her awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Meritorious Service Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Air Assault Badge, various other medals, ribbons and awards, the Ordnance Order of Samuel Sharpe Medal and Bronze Order of the de Fleury Medal.
LTC Bloedel is originally from Winfield, Kansas. She is married to David Derochick, a U.S. Army Judge Advocate, originally from Barkhamsted, Connecticut.