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Pittsburgh District welcomes new commander

Pittsburgh District
Published July 20, 2023
A man standing in front of a flag

Col. Nichols Melin will assume command of the Pittsburgh District on August 4.

A man speaks at a podium in front of a lake.

Pittsburgh District Commander Col. Adam Czekanski gives a speech during Woodcock Creek Lake’s golden jubilee celebration in Saegertown, Pennsylvania, July 14, 2023. Community leaders and Corps of Engineers employees gathered on a summer morning to celebrate Woodcock Creek Dam’s 50th birthday. The corps built Woodcock Creek Dam to reduce floods along the French Creek, saving communities such as Saegertown and Meadville from catastrophic flooding year after year and has prevented more than $38 million in flood damages since its construction in 1973. (U.S. Army photo by Andrew Byrne)

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District will transfer leadership during a Change of Command ceremony Friday, Aug. 4, at 10 a.m. at the Senator John Heinz History Center, 1212 Smallman Street, Pittsburgh.

Colonel Adam Czekanski, commander of the Pittsburgh District since July 2021, will transfer command to Colonel Nicholas Melin during a traditional military ceremony. Major General William Graham, Deputy Commanding General for Civil Works and Emergency Operations, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Headquarters, will preside over the ceremony.

The Change of Command ceremony symbolizes the continuation of leadership and unit identity. It represents the transfer of responsibility and authority from one individual to another while continuing the mission. The ceremonial passing of the unit colors from the departing commander to the incoming commander physically represents the transfer of authority.

“It has truly been an honor to serve with the great men and women of the Pittsburgh District these past two years,” said Czekanski, a Silver Creek Central School 1994 graduate and current resident of Orchard Park. “There has not been a day since I joined this exceptional team that I have not been thoroughly impressed with their commitment to success and their dedication to serving our Nation.”

Melin comes to the Pittsburgh District following an assignment as the division chief for Oceania, South, and Southeast Asia in the Directorate for Strategy, Plans, and Policy (J-5) on the Joint Staff. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil and Mechanical Engineering from West Point, a Master of Military Art and Science from the United States Army Command and General Staff College, a master’s degree in Strategic Studies from Madras University and a Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering Science from Oxford University. Melin served in key leadership positions such as commanding a Security Force Assistance Battalion. He is a registered Professional Engineer in Missouri.

As commander and district engineer, Melin will lead the Pittsburgh District in delivering integrated solutions that minimize risk and enhance reliability for the region’s water resource infrastructure while improving the environment. The Pittsburgh District covers an area of approximately 26,000 square miles comprising the upper Ohio River Basin and extending into five states: Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Maryland, and New York.

The district supports commercial navigation on the upper Ohio, Allegheny, and Monongahela rivers, operating and maintaining 23 locks and dams. Pittsburgh’s flood-damage reduction mission encompasses 16 multi-purpose reservoirs that have prevented an estimated $866 million in flood damages during 2022. The district’s flood-risk management portfolio also includes more than 80 local flood protection projects, which have prevented more than $5.3 billion in flood damages during their lifetime.

Media note:  Members of the media are invited to attend the Change of Command ceremony. No RSVP is required.


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CONTACT: Public Affairs Office at 412-395-7500 or email

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Public Affairs Office
1000 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Release no. 23-013

Chick Lock

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