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Colonel Ronald J. Hughes

181st Infantry Commander

COL R.J. Hughes began his military career after being commissioned as an Engineer Officer at the United States Military Academy at West Point. After his initial training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, he was assigned to the 326th Engineer Battalion in Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and served as a Platoon Leader and Assistant Brigade Engineer. After supporting Operation Enduring Freedom, he attended the Engineer Captains Career Course. He went on to activate and serve as the first commander of the 67th Engineer Detachment (Mine Dog), a newly designed and conceptual unit marking the first U.S. military use of demining dogs since Vietnam. Following this assignment, he served as a Battalion Maintenance Officer and Company Commander for the 5th Engineer Battalion where he deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom conducting route clearance operations in Baghdad for the 4th Infantry Division. Following company command in 2007, the U.S. Special Operations Command selected COL Hughes for assignment to Fort Bragg where he served as a Special Missions Unit Engineer Squadron Executive Officer, Assistant Operations Officer and Engineer Squadron Commander. During COL Hughes’ service at Fort Bragg, he deployed numerous times in support of the Global War on Terrorism serving in various capacities as part of a Special Operations Task Force in both Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2015, COL Hughes assumed command of the 3-410th Brigade Engineer Battalion at Fort Bliss, Texas and was responsible for the mobilization, training and deployment of Army National Guard and Reserve Engineer units in support of global requirements. Upon completion of command in 2017, COL Hughes returned to Fort Bragg and served as the 82nd Airborne Division Engineer. COL Hughes earned his Masters of Science in National Security Strategy from the National War College in 2019.
COL Hughes currently serves as the Director of the Mission Assurance Division in DLA J32 with a focus on Supply Chain Security, COOP, Critical Infrastructure, and Agency Management Reviews.
COL Hughes’ awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal (1OLC), Defense Meritorious Service Medal (1OLC), Meritorious Service Medal (2OLC), Army Commendation Medal (4OLC), Army Achievement Medal (1OLC), Valorous Unit Award, Meritorious Unit Citation, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal (2CS), Iraq Campaign Medal (5CS), Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, Combat Action Badge, Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge and Sapper Tab. COL Hughes was awarded the U.S. Army Engineer Association’s De Fleury Medal.
Colonel Hughes is married to his wife, Melissa, and has one daughter Elisa.