Col. Stephen Murphy serves as the 64th commander of the New Orleans District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). Col. Murphy’s Army career began in 1997 when he received his commission as an engineer officer from the Illinois Institute of Technology. Over the last 22 years, he has served at all echelons within the Army, to include assignments with Armored, Stryker, Airborne, and Special Operations units, as well as in the interagency in Washington D.C. No stranger to USACE, Col. Murphy commanded the Nashville District from 2015 to 2017 where he delivered a civil works program estimated at 290 million dollars annually with a focus on navigation, hydropower, and flood risk management. He has deployed to combat four times in both Iraq and Afghanistan as well as to conduct peacekeeping operations in the Balkans. Within the United States, Col. Murphy has also participated in humanitarian assistance missions, to include fighting forest fires in Montana and providing hurricane relief in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina.
Col. Murphy holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology, a Master of Science in Civil Engineering from Missouri University of Science and Technology, and a Master of Arts in Strategy from the Army War College.
Col. Murphy comes to New Orleans from Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania where he recently graduated from the U.S. Army War College. Prior to the War College, his two decades of service span numerous engineer command and staff assignments in USACE, the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), the U.S. Army Special Operations Command (USASOC), the US Army Special Operations Aviation Command (USASOAC), 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), the 82nd Airborne Division, the 2nd Infantry Division, and the 1st Cavalry Division. He has also had the unique experiences of serving as an infantry battalion operations officer in combat in southern Afghanistan with 2-1 Infantry (Stryker) out of Joint Base Lewis-McChord as well as an Army Interagency Fellow assigned to the Pakistan Desk at the Department of State in Washington D.C. when Osama Bin Laden was killed in 2011.
Col. Murphy’s awards include the Bronze Star Medal with one Oak leaf cluster, Defense Meritorious Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Army Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters, Army Commendation Medal with four oak leaf clusters, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Army Achievement Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with two campaign stars, Iraq Campaign Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster, NATO medals for both Bosnia and Afghanistan, and the Combat Action Badge. He is also a recipient of the Army Engineer Association’s Bronze De Fleury Medal.
Col Murphy has earned the Ranger tab, Sapper tab, and Master Parachutist Badge.
In addition to the Army War College, Col. Murphy is also a graduate of the Engineer Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, the Joint Engineer Officer Course, and the U.S. Marine Corps Command and Staff College.
A native of Greenville, South Carolina, he is happily married to the former Nicole Lyda, also from South Carolina, and they have two children, Will, 15, and Claire, 12.