The US Army Aviation Center of Excellence announces the 2016 Lt. Gen. Ellis D. Parker Award recipients.

Overall Top Battalion of the Year:

• The 2016 Lt. Gen. Ellis D. Parker overall "Top Aviation Battalion of the Year Award" is awarded to Task Force Viper, 1-3rd Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, 12th Combat Aviation Brigade, Germany.

Category Awards for Combat, Combat Support, Combat Service Support, and Table of Distribution and Allowances:

• The "2016 Top Combat Aviation Battalion of the Year Award" is awarded to Task Force Viper, 1-3rd Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, 12th Combat Aviation Brigade, Katterbach Kaserne, Germany.

• The "2016 Top Combat Support Aviation Battalion of the Year Award" is awarded to 3-227th Assault Helicopter Battalion, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, Fort Hood, Texas.

• The "2016 Top Combat Service Support Aviation Battalion of the Year Award" is awarded to 601st Aviation Support Battalion, 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, Fort Riley, Kansas.

• The "2016 Top Table of Distribution and Allowances Aviation Battalion of the Year Award" is awarded to Special Operations Aviation Training Battalion, US Army Special Operations Aviation Command (Airborne), Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

About the Awards

In 1993, then- Chief of Staff of the Army (Ret.) Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan approved the Lt. Gen. Ellis D. Parker Award to honor the Army's top Aviation battalion.
The "Parker Award" is a multi-component (Active Component, US Army Reserve, and Army National Guard) Department of the Army level award that recognizes excellence at the battalion level, the primary war fighting Army Aviation force.
The annual award aims to recognize excellence, provides incentive to excel in areas of leadership, training, maintenance and safety, and encourage innovation.
The four categories are combat, combat support, combat service support, and table of distribution and allowances, with one overall top battalion of the year.
Competition is limited to battalion-size units, with the exception of separate units that are not part of a battalion (such as medical evacuation companies), and deployed Aviation task forces.
Nominated battalions are initially boarded against category peers, then undergo an evaluation against four primary evaluation criteria--safety, leadership, training and maintenance. Category winners then compete against each other for the top aviation battalion of the year award.

About retired Lt. Gen. Ellis D. Parker

Retired Lt. Gen. Ellis D. Parker assumed command as Aviation Branch Chief shortly after the Branch's formation. He is credited with having consolidated and modernized Army Aviation hardware, doctrine, training and logistics, making possible the Army's transition from the Cobra to the Apache helicopter.
A veteran Army Aviator, Parker is an inductee in the Army Field Artillery Hall of Fame and Army Aviation Hall of Fame. He is a former commander of the Aviation Center at Fort Rucker, Ala.
Army Aviation officially became a Branch in 1983, under his watch as Dep. Director of Requirements and Army Aviation Officer, Headquarters, Department of the Army.