Army promotes Maryland NG pilot to CW5
June 11, 2009
Against the backdrop of a U.S. Army UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter, a Maryland Army National Guard aviator was promoted May 21 to chief warrant officer 5, the highest warrant officer rank attainable.
Chief Warrant Officer 5 Daniel B. Chapman was promoted at Weide Army Heliport on the Edgewood Area of Aberdeen Proving Ground by Col. Charles Schulze, deputy chief of staff for Aviation for the MDARNG.
Chapman reached a milestone only a few Soldiers ever reach.
"As an Army officer, Dan has performed magnificently under difficult and demanding circumstances," Schulze said. "He is an officer we have all come to know, respect and rely upon."
Chapman graduated from Perry Hall High School in Baltimore County, and began his Army career in 1982. He entered Army Aviation in 1984 when he graduated from Warrant Officer Candidate School and Initial Entry Rotary Wing School at Fort Rucker, Ala.
Chapman is currently the Blackhawk standardization instructor pilot with Joint Forces Headquarters, Aviation.
During his career with the MDARNG, Chapman served as instrument flight examiner, aviation safety officer, operations officer, and he was the team leader in Tal Afar, Iraq, during a 15-month deployment with Detachment 1, 1159th Medical Evacuation Company from 2004 to 2006, providing support to the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment and 2-14 Cavalry of the 25th Infantry Division.
Chapman celebrated his promotion with his wife of 25 years, Sharon, and their three children - Bryan, Krystina and Zachary. Also in attendance were Chief Warrant Officer 5 Keith Harris, command chief warrant officer for the MDARNG, and about 150 Family members, friends and Soldiers.
"When Dan was six months old he went up with his Uncle Red in a two seated helicopter with the doors off -- and fell asleep," said Chapman's mother, Rosemary Chapman. "When they landed, his uncle said Dan would be a pilot someday."
Chapman's uncle was Rowland Roeloff, one of the first Federal Aviation Administration-licensed commercial rotary wing pilots in the country. He may be best known, according to Rosemary, for being the first helicopter pilot to be cited for illegally flying over the White House and Capitol Building in April 1948.
Chided as being "the consummate underachiever," Chapman has qualified in six Army airframes: the TH-55 (Osage), OH-6 (Cayuse), UH-1 (Iroquois), OH-58 (Kiowa), AH-1 (Cobra) and UH-60 (Blackhawk). He now hopes to attend the CH-47 (Chinook) qualification course to be familiar with all the airframes currently flown at Weide Army Heliport.
Chapman has piloted Army aircraft while conducting assorted cavalry scout, counter drug, attack, general support, air assault, and medical evacuation missions. Once he completes CH-47 training he will also be qualified for cargo missions.
He said he enjoyed flying the OH-6 best.
"It's a very maneuverable, single-pilot aircraft, and there is nothing like the freedom and excitement of the scout mission," he said.
No matter what aircraft he is flying, Chapman loves his job - and flying with the MDARNG.
"The ability to operate in three dimensions -- the speed of flying, the freedom, and flexibility to provide varied support to multiple missions -- that is what it is all about," he said. "I never take it for granted. I know I'm lucky, and God willing, I will be doing this for a long time."