FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- "Swift and Deadly" Soldiers welcomed a new commander, Lt. Col. Darren Cox, during a change of command ceremony June 15 at Howze Field.

Cox, formerly the deputy division chief for Transformation within the Aviation Directorate, replaces Lt. Col. Shawn Prickett, who led 1st Battalion, 13th Aviation Regiment for the past two years. Prickett becomes the deputy brigade commander for 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, N.Y.

The unit runs a wide array of missions, according to Col. Kenneth Biland, 1st Aviation Brigade commander, which 1st Bn., 13th Avn. Regt. falls under.

Advanced Individual Training Soldiers train with A Company, while B Co. staff oversees Fort Rucker directorates training and administrative duties. Air Traffic Control students are part of C Co., and international students are taken care of by D Co. staff. The 6th Military Police Detachment and firefighters are also members. Before recently deactivating, B Co., 46th Engineer Battalion also fell under 1st Bn., 13th Avn. Regt.

Biland spoke about his confidence in the unit's incoming commanding officer.

"Darren, the Army could not have picked a better qualified officer. I challenge you to build upon the success Shawn has achieved, and take the 'Swift and Deadly' battalion to even greater heights as you march ahead."

Cox commissioned from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in 1990, and attended flight school for the AH-1 Cobra course from 1991-1992.

"Soldiers of 1st Bn., 13th Avn. Regt., I am humbled by your service. I am also extremely proud of you, your accomplishments and all you have yet to accomplish. I am very grateful to have been given this opportunity to serve you as your commander," he said.

Cox is joined here by his wife, Kimberly, and their daughters, Nicole, Lauren and Megan.

Biland thanked Prickett for his dedication and service here.

"Shawn, I never worried about the 'Swift and Deadly' battalion while you were commander," Biland said. "You have served as a role model for thousands of Soldiers you have helped train for combat. You have acted as an ambassador of good will for thousands of foreign Aviation students (who) have returned home with a positive image of our country. You expertly led one of the most diverse Aviation battalions in the Army. Achieving no less than the highest measure of success, you formed a cohesive team and created an environment that proudly produced the best Aviation warfighting Soldiers and leaders in the world."

Prickett commissioned in Army Aviation in 1991 from the U.S. Military Academy. He is qualified in UH-1 Hueys, AH-1 Cobras, TH-67 Creeks and OH-58A/C and D Kiowas.

He thanked the Soldiers and civilians he served with for their hard work, and encouraged them to continue providing stellar services to the installation and Army.

"Thank you for making a difference. That's what really matters. Commanding this organization has truly been the experience of a lifetime," Prickett said.

During a brief ceremony at the headquarters building before the change of command, Biland presented Prickett the Meritorious Service Medal for his leadership.

His wife, Tonya, was inducted into the Order of Our Lady of Loretto for her work with Family Readiness Groups, the Fort Rucker Community Spouses Club, the post elementary school and other military organizations.

Their children, Trevor and Shaelyn, both received Army Brat Certificates for supporting and understanding their parents' demanding jobs, Biland said.

Geneva Mayor Wynnton Melton presented Prickett with a City Council resolution, thanking him and the city's sister unit for their assistance during natural disasters and participation in celebratory events.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16