Col. Julie A. Balten is the 63rd commander of the Los Angeles District. With more than 23 years of active service, she leads 746 military and civilian personnel operating in a 226,000-square-mile area of California, Arizona, Nevada and Utah. She is responsible for a $750 million annual budget for planning, engineering, construction, asset management, regulatory, emergency management and environmental services for three Army and eight Air Force installations, inter-agency and international customers, and the nation’s civil water resources infrastructure in the Southwest, and a current value of assets worth $240 million.
She was commissioned as an engineer officer in 1997, following graduation from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering.
Balten also holds a Master of Science in Engineering Management from Missouri University of Science and Technology, a Master in Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Washington and a Master of Science in National Resource Strategy from the Eisenhower School, National Defense University. Her military education includes the Engineer Officer Basic and Advanced courses, Command and General Staff College and the Combined Arms Service and Staff School.
Balten served in a variety of command and staff positions for engineering units at the platoon, company and battalion levels, as well as joint positions, both at home and abroad. Her most recent assignment was as team chief of a Joint Mission Assurance Assessment team with the Defense Threat Reduction Agency. She also commanded the 249th Engineer Battalion at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, and served as a military assistant to the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness.
Balten deployed as the executive officer of the 15th Engineer Battalion in support of Operation Inherent Resolve in 2011 and as the facilities program manager for Multi- National Corps, Iraq, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2007 to 2008. She also was a company commander for the 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion, Camp Castle, Korea. Balten’s other U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ assignments include with the 249th Engineer Battalion and as the project manager and Forward Engineer Support Team leader with the Japan District.
Balten’s awards and decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal (3rd Award), Army Commendation Medal (2nd Award) and the Army Achievement Medal. She also earned the Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge and Office of the Secretary of Defense Identification Badge.
Balten is married to Michael Vantzelfden of Portland, Oregon. They have one child, Kash.