USAACE welcomes new deputy
August 30, 2012
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (August 30, 2012) -- The U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence welcomed a new deputy commander to the installation and said farewell to a familiar face during a ceremony Aug. 24.
Col. Douglas M. Gabram assumed duties as the new USAACE and Fort Rucker deputy commander from Col. Jessie O. Farrington, during the Wings of Honor ceremony at the U.S. Army Aviation Museum.
"[Gabram] has done so much for so many Soldiers," said Maj. Gen. Kevin W. Mangum, USAACE and Fort Rucker commanding general during the ceremony. "He has a great passion for Soldiers, standards and making a difference."
Gabram returns to Fort Rucker after almost 17 years, where he once served as the deputy chief, Aviation Planning Group for the commanding general from 1993 to 1995.
He began his military career as a distinguished military graduate from Bowling Green State University in 1984 and has held positions including OH-58C Cavalry Scout Platoon Leader, and Cavalry Troop commander in the 5th Squadron, 17th Cavalry, 6th Cavalry Brigade in Fort Hood, Texas and AH-64 company commander with the 1st Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, Ky.
His leadership career also includes positions with the 21st Cavalry Brigade, Fort Hood, Texas, as the brigade S-3, and deputy brigade commander; battalion commander for the 1st Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment, 101st Airborne Division during two Operation Iraqi Freedom deployments; and executive officer to the commanding general of the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization in the Pentagon.
Farrington, a long-time friend of Gabram's, had nothing but praise for the incoming deputy commander as he addressed the audience.
"You're getting a great deputy commander in Colonel Doug Gabram," said Farrington. "Doug and Lori Gabram are the real deal and an awesome Army couple. He is our most combat experienced Army Aviation colonel -- I think he's going to do well here."
Gabram is an experienced Aviator who is qualified in the UH-1H, OH-58A/C, AH-1, AH-64A and AH-64D Longbow Apache, and comes to Fort Rucker from his previous assignment in Fort Hood, Texas, as the brigade commander of the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, and said that he hopes to live up to the reputation that Farrington has attained on the installation.
"I'm proud to call him my friend and I'm a better person having crossed paths with Jess Farrington. He is a proven warrior, respected leader and a true gun pilot. You can fake attitude, you can fake enthusiasm, but you can't fake passion, and Jess possesses over-the-top passion for our profession," said Gabram. "I'll do the best I can do to sustain the altitude and airspeed you created in this position."
Farrington will continue his service on Fort Rucker as a special assistant to the commanding general before he retires in March with more than 36 years of service.
As the ceremony came to a close, Gabram thanked all of the senior leaders and his Family before sharing a final thought.
"Our mission here is to continue to produce the best combat Aviators and Soldiers with a warrior ethos built on mutual trust, and high technical and tactical competence to take care of our Soldiers on the ground in the tough fights," he said.