The Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park has units in two states and four counties including sites at Chickamauga Battlefield, Missionary Ridge, Lookout Mountain, Moccasin Bend and Signal Point.
Source: Park staff
Chickamauga Battlefield will have a new temporary commander in chief as officials fill the military park's superintendent post.
Pat Kenney, now branch chief for the National Park Service planning unit in Denver, will be in town next week to meet with local staff before he takes over as interim superintendent of the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park on Sept. 20.
"Is it still hot in Chattanooga?" Kenney asked in a phone interview, joking that he might wait in Colorado for temperatures to drop here.
An Iowa native who graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Kenney will replace Shawn Benge, who has been the park's superintendent for 3 1/2 years. Benge said the department heads will run the show in the meantime, so most guests won't notice the change.
"It will be seamless for the visiting public," said Benge, who was promoted to deputy director of the National Park Service's nine-state Southeast region. He leaves the Chickamauga park Friday.
Sam Weddle, a local spokesman for the park, said it probably will be four to six months before a permanent superintendent is named.
"It will take that long before we know," he said.
The job is posted at USAJobs.gov, he said, but typically a superintendent post will be filled by someone already in the National Park Service.
Kenney, 46, has worked for the Park Service for 20 years and said he has wanted to be a park superintendent for some time. He said he has "an affinity" for the Southeast and might apply for the long-term position.
"To be honest, I'd say I haven't made up my mind," he said.