FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Returning to the place his Army career started, a new master Aviator took command of the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker during a change of command ceremony on Howze Field Aug. 19.

Brig. Gen. Anthony G. Crutchfield, former Joint Center for Operational Analysis-Lessons Learned, U.S. Joint Forces Command director, Suffolk, Va., assumed command from Maj. Gen. James O. Barclay III, who served here for the past two years.

"One of the Army's greatest strengths is every time we lose an outstanding leader, another steps forward," said reviewing officer Lt. Gen. Robert L. Caslen Jr., U.S. Army Combined Arms Center commander, Fort Leavenworth, Kan.

He noted his confidence in the new commander's ability to follow Barclay's success here.

"Tony, I'm certain you will serve this post well. I'm confident these next few years will be rewarding for your Family and the post," Caslen said to Crutchfield.

Crutchfield commissioned in 1982, and earned degrees from Marshall University, Webster University and the Army War College. He is rated in the AH-64 Apache, UH-60 Black Hawk and AH-1 Cobra.

"I didn't think I'd ever be here as a commander. I am not here because of my accolades alone. Many of you have helped," he said. "We are coming home (to) the place where my career started, where my first born, my daughter, Adria, was born. It is like coming home. You do not have to be from Alabama to love Alabama and Fort Rucker. I'm ready to go to work."

Crutchfield is joined here by his wife, Kimberly.

Barclay and his wife, Debbie, now move to Washington, D.C., where he becomes Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff, G-3/5/7, United States Army, at the Pentagon.

"Today is about Soldiers, not Barclay or Crutchfield," Barclay said. "I'm proud of all of you. You are what makes our nation and our Army great."

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