REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- Maj. Chris Colbert had the privilege of having not one, but two general officers at his promotion ceremony Aug. 3 at the Aviation and Missile Command headquarters at Redstone Arsenal.
"This is a big deal for me," Colbert said. "This is an opportunity to make a special day even more special."
While AMCOM commander Maj. Gen. Jim Richardson hosted the ceremony, his predecessor -- retired Maj. Gen. Lynn Collyar -- also participated. When Colbert first came to AMCOM as a captain, he served as the aide-de-camp to Collyar. He then went on to serve as the commander of AMCOM Headquarters and Headquarters Co. with Richardson as his commanding officer.
"We promote based on potential," Richardson said, adding that Colbert's "broadening assignments" with AMCOM combined with his leadership skills, character, competence and experience as a Black Hawk aviator and flight company commander give him the potential to have a successful Army career as a future commander of a battalion and, perhaps, even a brigade or higher.
"This just tells you about his potential in the Army," Richardson said.
"Your future is bright," he told Colbert.
During his time as an aide for Collyar, Colbert traveled to several AMCOM sites.
"He came here to be an aide and it became an opportunity for him to see what AMCOM does. It was a broadening-type experience," Collyar said. "But he helped us more than we helped him. He taught me because I got to travel around the world with an Army aviator. And those travels allowed him to see a little of the missile side."
Colbert commissioned into the Army in 2005 after graduating from West Point. His career began with his assignment as the company executive officer for the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade in Germany.
His career went on to include deployments in support of both Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom-Afghanistan. During a deployment to Iraq in 2007-09, he served as the flight platoon leader and detachment commander responsible for all rotary-wing movement of the Multi-National Corps-Iraq and Multi-National Force-Iraq commanding generals. During a deployment to Afghanistan, he served as a brigade battle captain for the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade and then as an assistant operations officer while at home station.
Colbert then commanded A Company of the 2-3 General Support Aviation Battalion at Hunter Army Airfield, Ga., where he provided rotary wing support for the Division Command Team as well as visiting dignitaries to include the Secretary of the Army, Chief of Staff and Sergeant Major of the Army, and the U.S. Secret Service. He also served as the battalion home detachment commander during the battalion's deployment to Afghanistan.
Colbert left AMCOM in June for the Air Command and Staff Course at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Ala. He and his wife Abby, who served as an Army flight surgeon, made the trip back to AMCOM for his promotion.
The promotion "means I get to continue to be a Soldier and that's what I love to do. They say you should find work that allows you to do what you love and you won't work a day in your life. This is what I love," Colbert said.
He thanked AMCOM leadership and all those who attended the promotion ceremony, saying that his assignment at AMCOM "helped make me the man and the officer that I am."