President’s Cockpit / MG Jeff Schloesser, U.S. Army Retired: Welcome to our annual Army Aviation Blue Book! It provides the “who is who” of the bread and butter units, organizations, and teams that make Army Aviation the pride of our Army and a much sought after capability on the battlefield or in deterring potential strategic competitors.
Co. B “Big Windy,” and Co E, 1-214th General Support Aviation Battalion practice field refueling on Jan. 23, 2020 in the Republic of Cyprus./ U.S. ARMY PHOTO BY MAJ ROBERT FELLINGHAM
This issue also includes the announcement of the 312 Army Aviation Soldiers and family members who have won scholarship grants, totaling a record $535,000! This incredible program is only possible due to the generosity of many, including active and retired aviators, industry, and most especially, our dynamic Chapters. All of us at AAAA wish the scholarship recipients success!
As we go to print for this issue, our country and much of the world is still facing major disruptions and challenges from the COVID 19 pandemic. That said, our Army and our Branch have not been sitting idle waiting for a vaccine. As both our Branch Chief, MG Dave Francis, and the Director of Army Aviation BG “Mac” McCurry write, Army Aviation has been moving out, training hard at Fort Rucker and in the field, modernizing doctrine, and developing the future platforms we need to dominate on a Multi-Domain Operations battlefield.
As normal in our issues, the Branch Sergeant Major and Chief Warrant Officer of the Branch have articles. In this issue, CW5 Koziol has asked the Senior Warrant Officer Advisor to the Chief of Staff of the Army, CW5 Yolondria S. Dixon-Carter, to talk about key Army level programs, which is really important for all of us to consider as we focus at the tactical end of our own duties.
We have some major advancements to highlight this month. Army Aviator General Dan Hokanson has been promoted to four star and has become the Chief, National Guard Bureau, and a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Former Program Executive Officer, Aviation Thomas Todd has been promoted to lieutenant general and assumed duties at Army Futures Command as the Deputy Commanding General, Acquisition and Systems Management. We are proud of both generals and wish them the very best as they take on their very significant duties.
As many of you may know, we at AAAA are always trying to remain relevant to our membership and our branch. Last year we appointed SGT Ashley Sanchez as an AAAA National Executive Board Member-at-Large. This year we have additionally appointed 2LT Chance Mathias, currently at Flight School at Fort Rucker, as an NEB Member-at-Large. Our great Vice President of Membership, CW4 Becki Chambers, helps introduce Lieutenant Mathias to our members in this issue. Welcome Chance!
As of this writing, we are still planning to hold our enhanced Cribbins Symposium at the Von Braun Conference Center in Huntsville 16-18 November. In partnership with our Branch Chief, we have included medical professionals at Fort Rucker and from AAAA in the planning process, which MG Francis, Bill Harris, and I review frequently. I want to thank retired COL (Dr.) Hal Kushner, Army Aviation Hall of Fame inductee and former POW, as our newly appointed AAAA Vice President of Member and Family Wellness, who is helping to spearhead our preparations. Registration opens up 1 October. Plan on attending – and bring your masks!
Stay healthy! As always, I pledge to ensure that AAAA does its part to help YOU – our Soldiers, families, and senior leaders!
MG Jeff Schloesser, U.S. Army Retired
34th President, AAAA