New leader takes reins of 1-14th
The command group for 1st Bn., 14th Avn. Regt. troops the line during a change of command ceremony at Howze Field June 21. From left, Lt. Col. Bevin K. Cherot, incoming commander, Lt. Col. Scott J. Halverson, outgoing commander, Maj. Peter Velesky, 1st Bn., 14th Avn. Regt. commander of troops, and Col. Russ Stinger, 110th Avn. Bde. commander.

FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- A former flight student returned to Fort Rucker this week to take command of an attack and recon unit.

Lt. Col. Bevin K. Cherot assumed command of the 1st Battalion, 14th Aviation Regiment “Tomahawks” from Lt. Col. Scott J. Halverson during a change of command ceremony at Howze Field June 21.

Cherot, who recently finished duties at the Pentagon, is also an OH-58C Kiowa pilot and graduate of Fort Rucker’s Army Aviation Officer Advanced Course. He also has a bachelor’s degree in history from Boston University and a master’s degree from Louisiana State University.

Col. Russell E. Stinger, 110th Aviation Brigade commander, said the day was meant to be a celebration of the unit and its accomplishments. He also presented Cherot with a challenge to continue the work the unit has been doing under Halverson.

“Bevin, you have some big shoes to fill,” he said. “I have no doubt you’ll do a tremendous job.”

Cherot said he is looking forward to working with the unit and added he felt up to the challenge. He thanked his Family and the members of the unit for their support.

“I’m deeply humbled and grateful to have the opportunity to lead the great Soldiers of this unit,” he said. “We will live up to the past. This unit has a great lineage that goes all the way back to the Vietnam War. I will aim to lead in a fashion that lives up to that great tradition.”

Halverson thanked Stinger, the unit and his Family for all their hard work and dedication since he took command of the unit in 2009. He spoke highly of Cherot’s accomplishments as a Soldier and commander and said he felt the unit is in good hands.

“After two short years that have passed in the blink of an eye, I’m passing command to an outstanding officer and friend who will continue the tradition of excellence this unit has established,” he said. “Our battalion is bound not only by a unique skill, but a calling and desire to prepare the next generation of young Americans to fight and win.”

Halverson continued by remarking on the success of the unit since he took command two years ago and how he hopes the unit will continue on that path.

“The focus of our efforts has been to provide for the operational commanders in the field,” he said. “Our success has not been measured in flight hours, missiles fired or students trained, but rather by the enormous contributions Apache and Kiowa pilots are making in the field every day.”

Stinger said Halverson will be missed as commander, but his accomplishments will live on within the unit. He added that despite “putting a lot on his shoulders in the last two years, he never winced and his Soldiers never hesitated.”

“The battalion has the longest and most complex programs in the brigade training Kiowa and Apache Aviators,” he said. “Because of that, they have the longest wait time and biggest hole to dig out of. It’s because of that, that they were chosen to completely rewrite how we operate, train and coordinate. During this time, and only because of (Halverson’s) incredible leadership, we changed entrenched methods that have been in place for years and we developed a model that provided flexibility never before available to us to train. This model has redefined the future of flight training. Without him, this may not have happened.”

Halverson will remain at Fort Rucker as the command inspector general.

Page last updated Fri June 24th, 2011 at 09:48