By Nathan Pfau, Army Flier Staff WriterJune 17, 2016
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (June 17, 2016) -- The 1st Battalion, 13th Aviation Regiment welcomed a new command team during a change of command and responsibility ceremony for the "Swift and Deadly" unit.
Lt. Col. Kevin E. McHugh, 1st Battalion, 13th Aviation Regiment commander, assumed command from Lt. Col. Romeo R. Macalintal, Jr., and Command Sgt. Maj. George S. Webster assumed responsibility from Command Sgt. Maj. Ronald K. Graves, as the unit colors passed from Macalintal, to Col. Woodard B. Hopkins, 1st Aviation Brigade commander, to McHugh, signifying the command change during a ceremony on Howze Field June 10.
Hopkins presided over the ceremony and welcomed the new team while he bid farewell to the outgoing team, and expressed his full confidence in McHugh's and Webster's leadership.
"Today, one of the leading units in training excellence bids farewell to their command team and welcomes the new team," said the 1st AB commander. "My initial impression of both of these leaders is that they respect and value this team, and I expect nothing less than excellence in the years to come for the Soldiers and civilians of the 1-13th under their leadership. I am confident that the Swift and Deadly battalion is getting an outstanding command team."
McHugh graduated from George Mason University in 1997 and was commissioned in the Armor Branch. It wasn't until 2000 that he came to Fort Rucker to attend the Aviation Captains Career Course and complete the Initial Entry Rotary Wing course.
Throughout his career, he's held multiple leadership positions across the globe, including battalion assistant S-3 and B Company flight operations officer for the 2nd Bn., 52nd Avn. Regt. at Camp Humphreys, South Korea; commander for the D/58th Avn. Regt., also at Camp Humphreys; as well as a observer/trainer for the Aviation Heavy Lift and Tactical Operations Center at the Joint Readiness Training Center in Fort Polk, Louisiana.
McHugh comes to Fort Rucker from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where he served as a senior Aviation trainer in the Mission Command Training Program, and has served in multiple deployments, including with the 4th Brigade, 10th Mountain Division as the brigade Aviation officer and chief of operations in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2007-2009; as well as the brigade S4 and executive officer for the 7-101st General Support Aviation Battalion in support of Operation Enduring Freedom from 2010 to 2012.
"On the field to your front stands a group of our nation's finest," said McHugh during the ceremony. "They are Soldiers, some who have recently raised their right hands, and others who have and continue to serve for a purpose that is bigger and broader than themselves.
"They display dedication and the opportunity to lead a group of this caliber -- I am truly humbled and honored to be here today," he continued. "To the Soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 13th Aviation Regiment, you look absolutely flawless -- thank you for doing what you do each and every day in support of our mission. It is my honor and privilege to assume this position, and I look forward to continuing the legacy of this great battalion."
Webster also has a distinguished military career, entering the Army in 1994 and attending Advanced Individual Training at Fort Rucker where he became a 15P, Aviation operations specialist.
He's held numerous operational and leadership positions, including operations specialist, Aviation operations chief, range control shift leader, recruiter, command Aviation NCO-in charge, Air Traffic Control operations chief and operations sergeant major.
He's served across the world, from Fort Drum, New York, and Fort Hood, Texas, to Camp Humphreys, South Korea to Camp Doha, Kuwait.
"I'm excited and humbled to be part of the Golden Hawks team and I look forward to carrying on a mission that (Macalintal and Graves) have been responsible for leading," said the incoming command sergeant major.
Both Graves and Macalintal expressed their utmost confidence in the incoming command team.
"I've been fortunate enough to serve with Webster before and I'm sure the Army got it right when selecting you to take responsibility for this outstanding unit," said Graves.
"As the honor of leading the 1-13th comes to a close, I've been assured that the Swift and Deadly battalion will get to Soldier on with exactly the type of leaders needed to take this organization to further heights," added Macalintal. "To Lieutenant Colonel and Mrs. McHugh, and Command Sergeant Major and Mrs. Webster, good luck, and I know you'll do just fine."