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USACE Emergency Management Chief earns Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) designation

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Vicksburg District
Published Aug. 10, 2023

VICKSBURG, Miss. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Vicksburg District announces that Emergency Management Chief Robert P. Hess was approved by the Certification Commission during the July 25, 2023, review meeting to receive the Certified Emergency Manager (CEM®) credential. 

Hess qualified as a CEM® by submitting an extensive credentials package giving personal and professional background achievements and a written examination.  

The CEM® designation is the highest honor of professional achievement available from the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM), representing professionals whose goals are saving lives and protecting property and the environment during emergencies and disasters. 

Hess will be recognized at the International Association of Certified Emergency Managers 71st Annual Conference & Exhibit in Long Beach, CA, November 6-8, 2023.

Hess has served as the district’s Chief Emergency Manager since 2021. He previously served as the deputy chief of Emergency Management and Force Readiness Department at the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Sector Mobile in Mobile, Alabama. Throughout his tenure, he implemented and enforced of all aspects of Executive Order 10173, the Ports and Waterways Safety Act of 1972, Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA) of 2002, Security and Accountability of Every Port (SAFE Port) Act of 2006 and other U.S. Coast Guard maritime security authorities for the Sector Mobile Area of Responsibility covering five deep-water ports located in Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. 

In addition to various civilian assignments with the Department of Defense, Hess completed 27 years of service with USCG and retired in 2016. His operational assignments include Deepwater Horizon branch director, USCG State of Alabama, Emergency Preparedness Liaison Officer, USCG Eighth District New Orleans, Louisiana, and Hurricane Katrina Operations section chief, and USCG Sector Mobile Incident Management Team (IMT). 

A native of Indiana, Hess is a certified master’s level emergency manager, exercise practitioner, professional continuity practitioner and Type 3 incident commander. Hess is also a fire, Emergency Management Services (EMS), Incident Command System (ICS) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) instructor, as well as a paramedic and career firefighter. He is also an adjunct professor at Alabama Fire College, where he is one of few instructors permitted to teach the HAZMAT Awareness and Operations level, HAZMAT Technician level and HAZMAT Incident Commander Certification courses. Hess holds a master’s degree in criminal justice management. 

The USACE Vicksburg District is engineering solutions to the nation’s toughest challenges. The Vicksburg District encompasses a 68,000-square-mile area across portions of Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana that holds nine major river basins and incorporates approximately 460 miles of mainline Mississippi River levees. The Vicksburg District is engaged in hundreds of projects and employs approximately 1,100 personnel.

Helen Wright

Release no. 23-028