FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- As Soldiers stood in formation, the 1st Battalion, 145th Aviation Regiment welcomed a new commander while bidding farewell to the outgoing leader.

Lt. Col. Kent M. MacGregor assumed command from Col. Joseph J. Hodgson as the unit colors passed from Hodgson, to Col. Woodard B. Hopkins III, 1st Aviation Brigade commander, to MacGregor during a ceremony on Howze Field March 15.

Hopkins expressed his gratitude to the outgoing commander, as well as expressed his confidence in MacGregor's ability to lead the battalion.

"In Colonel Hodgson's place, we're gaining another truly capable leader in Lieutenant Colonel Kent MacGregor," said the brigade commander. "He has a fantastic reputation throughout the Branch, and I expect nothing but great things in his ability to lead, train and care for Soldiers.

MacGregor comes to Fort Rucker from his most recent assignment with the Human Resources Command in Fort Knox, Kentucky, where he served as an Aviation Branch assignment officer.

He began his military career in 1991 when he joined the Army as a telecommunications operator and turbine engine mechanic in the Army Reserves and the Army National Guard, and later received his commissioning in 1998 after graduating from Arizona State University with a degree in aeronautical technology and management.

He's served in numerous leadership positions, including as a platoon leader and troop commander with multiple division cavalry squadrons throughout the world from Fort Hood, Texas, to Korea, as well as held multiple staff assignments that took him from Camp Doha, Kuwait, to Fort Wainwright, Alaska.

"Welcome to the Old Warrior and Golden Hawk families," Hopkins said to MacGregor during the ceremony. "I have the utmost confidence that you're the right leader to continue the significant history of this battalion, and I'm grateful that you're taking on this incredible opportunity.

"Please be confident and comfortable knowing that this important organization will be well led and successful as it honors the combat legacy of our ancient old warriors, and develops, trains and educates the future leaders of the best Aviation leaders in the Army and the world," added Hodgson. "We're certain that you will love your time serving these incredible professionals and their families."

The 1-145th is the Aviation Branch's officer training battalion, and it conducts leader development and professional education for all Aviation Branch officers through four companies, which conduct the commissioned officer Aviation basic leader course, the captains career course, and all but two of the Aviation warrant officer specialties through the Aviation warrant officer basic and advanced courses, according to Hopkins.

It's because of these responsibilities and the battalion's ability to train Aviation's future leaders that both Hopkins and Hodgson said the job is a monumental task to take on.

"[The history of this battalion] is the perfect example of what warriors can achieve when their actions are squared by our Army's professional ethic and its framing values -- especially when they are driven by a clear vision and the right training," said the outgoing commander. "This regiment's warfighting legacy reminds us why this battalion is here -- to forge Army professionals and leaders, and prepare them for combat."

MacGregor said he's ready to take on the challenge.

"Summer and I are honored and excited to become a small part of this historic battalion, brigade and larger (U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence) team -- thank you Colonel Hopkins for this opportunity," he said. "We're thrilled to join the Fort Rucker team and proud to have the opportunity to serve and lead the Old Warriors as we maintain the unwavering principles of developing the next generation of Aviation warfighters, and continuing to strive to enhance the way we educate our future Aviation and Army leaders."