By Nathan Pfau, Army Flier Staff WriterNovember 27, 2013
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (November 27, 2013) -- Hundreds came together at the U.S. Army Aviation Museum Nov. 22 to welcome a new chief warrant officer of the Aviation Branch and say farewell to a man that has left his mark on Army Aviation during his three years of responsibility.
CW5 Allen R. Godfrey, incoming chief warrant officer of the Aviation Branch, assumed responsibility from CW5 Michael L. Reese, who has held the position since 2010, as the charter passed from Reese to Maj. Gen. Kevin W. Mangum, U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker commanding general, to the hands of Godfrey.
"He's just the right guy (for the job) -- another humble servant with the background, the experience, the expertise and the perspective to really take the ball that Mike Reese is handing him and continue to move down the field," said Mangum during the ceremony. "The warrant officer cohort is so much more than just the muscle and the brains. It's the expertise and continuity … they are the skill players on this team, and we have a great coach in Randy Godfrey as we move forward."
Godfrey comes to Fort Rucker after his most recent deployment in Afghanistan. He's held numerous leadership positions from platoon leader, flight leader and, most recently, as command chief warrant officer of the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade.
The new CWOB's assignments have taken him all over the world to Fort Rucker, Germany and Korea, and he has been deployed to Kosovo, twice to Iraq and three times to Afghanistan. He is a Master Army Aviator who has logged more than 5,800 hours and 1,500 combat hours, and has earned the Combat Action Badge and the Air Assault Badge.
"I don't think General Mangum could have picked a better guy to continue this position, and you're going to make an excellent sixth chief warrant officer of the Aviation Branch," Reese said to Godfrey during the ceremony. "I just hope that you enjoy your time here as much as (my Family and I) did."
Godfrey expressed his thanks to Mangum for his selection and patience to allow the new CWOB to finish his most recent deployment before returning to Fort Rucker, and to Reese for his contributions to Army Aviation over the past three years.
Reese implemented and established a number of initiatives, including redesigning the Warrant Officer Advanced Course and implementing the command warrant officer position that placed a chief warrant officer in each of the Aviation brigades, according to Mangum.
"I am honored and humbled to have this opportunity to serve Army Aviation," said Godfrey. "I will work hard to continue these initiatives."
He added that warrant officers are the technical experts, leaders, trainers and advisers, as well as pilots in command, air mission commanders, platoon leaders and maintainers.
"They keep us safe and tactically focused on the combat mission," said the new CWOB. "(Warrant officers) identify the problem, provide solutions to the problem, but we cannot be the problem.
"Twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, our Aviation Soldiers are deployed around the world supporting our brothers and sisters in arms," said Godfrey. "Remember to start our day asking, 'What are we doing for the warfighter?' At the end of the day, the answer is, 'We provide a no-fail support for the warfighter on the ground.'"
Mangum told Godfrey that he's got very big shoes to fill following Reese, but joked that judging from the size of the new CWOB's shoes, he should have no problem.
"No one has done the job better than Mike Reese has these past few years," said the commanding general. "He's truly a selfless, humble servant who has given his all and set a great example as what a chief warrant officer of the Aviation Branch can and should be -- a leader of vision, a leader of values, a leader of standards."
Reese will continue serving Army Aviation at Redstone Arsenal in where he'll serve in the AH-64 program manager's office.