District Chief Counsel

Steve Sowell

USACE, Mobile District
Published May 26, 2017

Steve Sowell became the District Counsel in April 2017.  In this position, he is responsible for supervision and management of a 17-person legal office dedicated to the provision of legal services in support of the District’s strategic vision and campaign plan to deliver innovative and effective solutions to the Nation's engineering challenges.

Steve holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Auburn University, and a Juris Doctor from the University of Alabama School of Law.  He is also a retired Army Colonel, having served 30 years of combined service on active duty, and in the Alabama Army National Guard and the U.S. Army Reserve. 

Steve began his military career in 1985 after completion of Army ROTC and commissioning as a Second Lieutenant of Infantry.  After nine-plus years on active duty, to include service in The Sinai, Egypt and Germany, he left the Army and entered law school in the summer of 1995.  Upon completion of law school in 1998, Steve entered private practice in Mobile, Alabama, concentrating in Creditor Representation in Bankruptcy proceedings.  In 2002, Steve joined the Office of Counsel, Mobile District, serving as an Assistant District Attorney with a focus on Contract and Fiscal law while representing Project Management and Contracting Division.  In 2013, Steve became the Deputy District Counsel where he added supervisory and office management duties to his focus areas.  Concurrent with Steve’s legal career, he served 13-plus years with the Alabama Army National Guard to include a tour in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom.  He served in various positions to include command of a Cavalry Squadron.  Steve concluded his military career in the U.S. Army Reserve, where he performed short tours in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Republic of Korea. 

Steve’s civilian awards include the Commander’s Award for Civilian Service; Bronze Certificate for Outstanding Performance in Support of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act; Certificate of Achievement for Support during Hurricanes Frances and Jeanne; Certificate of Appreciation and South Atlantic Division Commander’s Coin for Service in Afghanistan; Chief of Engineers’ Coin; three District Engineer Coins; and two Division Engineer Coin.

His military awards and decorations include the Faithful Service Medal of Alabama; Army Reserve Component Overseas Training Ribbon; Multi‑National Forces and Observers Medal; National Defense Service Medal; Army Service Ribbon; Overseas Service Ribbon; Afghanistan Campaign Medal; Armed Forces Reserve Medal with “M” to indicate mobilization in support of U.S. Military operations or contingencies designated by the Secretary of Defense; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; Superior Unit Citation; Army Achievement Medal with one oak-leaf cluster; Army Commendation Medal with two oak-leaf clusters; Meritorious Service Medal with two oak-leaf clusters; Legion of Merit; Bronze Star Medal; Airborne Wings; Air Assault Wings; Ranger Tab; Pathfinder Badge; Expert Infantryman’s Badge; British Parachutist Badge; Senior Parachutist Badge; 53rd Infantry Brigade (Separate) with shoulder-sleeve insignia for former wartime service; 10th Mountain Division with shoulder-sleeve insignia for former wartime service.


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