Parker Awards honor best active-duty units
February 10, 2011
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Four units received awards at this year's annual Lt. Gen. Ellis D. Parker Awards Feb. 2 at The Landing.
The top active-duty units earned awards in four different categories: Best Table of Distribution and Allowances, Best Combat Support Battalion, Best Combat Battalion and Overall Winner.
Gen. Richard Cody, retired Master Aviator and event guest speaker, said he was honored to present awards to the top combat units currently serving.
"This is significant, in a time of war, to recognize these Soldiers," Cody said. "Over the last two days I've gotten the chance to look at the (Aviation) Branch, and it is strong."
He continued by saying the leadership and Soldiers here deserved to pat themselves on the back for all the hard work it's taken to bring the Branch to where it is. He added that it's important to maintain a strong educational foundation and to invest in the future of the young men and women currently serving.
"Army Aviation has and always will operate in the air, but also in the ground regime," Cody said. "We have to realize that (the skills Soldiers have learned) are perishable. We have to focus on our people and our investment in training. You can't build those skills overnight."
Cody also commended Maj. Gen. Anthony G. Crutchfield, U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker commanding general, on his commitment to the Branch and the work he has done so far as its leader.
"I'm extremely pleased to see the direction (Crutchfield) is staking out for our Army," he said. "(Crutchfield) can't do this alone. It's just as important for (the whole team) to focus on our current and future fight."
Cody closed by saying it was important to remember the cost of current war.
"Let us never forget that our Army's most precious resources aren't our aircraft, but our people," he said. "Over nine years of war and Soldiers still reenlist to stay in the fight. They understand how important the Aviation Branch's role in this fight is. I'm very proud of all of you and I couldn't be prouder to be an Army Aviator."
The Parker awards were established by Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan in 1992, then Chief of Staff of the Army, to honor Lt. Gen. Ellis D. Parker at his retirement. The award recognizes superior Aviation units in the areas of leadership, training, maintenance and safety, according to Col. Russ Stinger, 110th Aviation Brigade commander and event master of ceremonies during the awards luncheon.
* Overall Winner: 603rd Aviation Support Battalion, Fort Stewart, Ga.
* Best Combat Battalion: 5th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment, Fort Campbell, Ky.
* Best Combat Support Battalion: 2nd Battalion, 1st Aviation Regiment, Fort Riley, Kan.
* Best Table Of Distribution And Allowances: 160th Special Operations Training Battalion, Fort Campbell, Ky.