The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Transatlantic Division serves as USACE’s tip of the spear in one of the most dynamic construction environments in the world, STRENGTHENING PARTNERSHIPS, BUILDING CAPACITY, and ENHANCING SECURITY for our nation, allies, and partners. 

We deliver agile, responsive, and innovative, design, construction, engineering and contingency solutions in support of U.S. Central Command, U.S. Special Operations Command and other global partners to advance national security interests.

Colonel James G. Riely

Commander, Task Force Essayons

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Published March 5, 2019

Colonel James G. (Jim) Riely became commander of Task Force Essayons on February 19, 2019. As the Commander, he provides oversight of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers support to the Combined Joint Task Force (CJTF) for Operation Inherent Resolve, Iraq and Syria. He commands a unit that provides planning, design, engineering, environmental support, and construction contract administration services for U.S. military operations. Task Force Essayons is headquartered in Camp Taji, Iraq, with offices in Iraq and Kuwait. 

Colonel Riely is originally from Croton, New York, and is a graduate of Archbishop Stepinac High School in White Plains, New York.  He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1996 and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Army Engineer Regiment.

After graduating from the Engineer Officer Basic Course, Colonel Riely served as a Platoon Leader and Company Executive Officer in the 92nd and 11th Engineer Battalions, Fort Stewart, Georgia.  Following the Engineer Officer Advanced Course, Colonel Riely was assigned to Joint Task Force-Bravo (JTF-B), Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras, Central America, serving as the USACE Chief Construction Project Officer for JTF-Bravo’s Southern Joint Operations Area (Honduras, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua).  After his tour in Central America, he served as the Battalion Maintenance Officer and as the Commander of Alpha Company in the 4th Engineer Battalion at Fort Carson, Colorado, and during Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF-1). Following company command, Colonel Riely served as a Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) Battalion Executive Officer and Assistant Professor of Military Science. After schooling at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, he was assigned as a G-5 Planner with the 3rd Infantry Division in Iraq and at Fort Stewart.  He then served as S-3 (Operations and Training Officer) of the Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart.  He was next assigned as the Department Chair and Professor of Military Science of the Loyola-Towson University Army ROTC Battalion, Baltimore, Maryland.  

Colonel Riely then had the honor of serving as commander of the 40th Engineer Battalion in 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division at Fort Bliss, Texas. During the first year of this command, the battalion converted from a Brigade Special Troops Battalion into the 40th Engineer Battalion and reintroduced the proud lineage of the 40th Engineer Battering Rams into the Brigade Combat Team formation. Following battalion command, Colonel Riely served as the Deputy Director of the Department of Military Instruction at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point until February 2019. 

Colonel Riely holds a Master’s in Engineering Management from the University of Missouri-Rolla; a Master’s in Political Geography from Rutgers University; and a Master’s in Military Arts & Science from the Army’s School of Advanced Military Studies.  

Colonel Riely’s awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, and Joint Service Commendation Medal. He is authorized to wear the Combat Action, Air Assault, and Airborne Badges.