FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- The 1st Battalion, 145th Aviation Regiment welcomed its new command sergeant major during a change of responsibility ceremony at Howze Field June 9.

Command Sgt. Maj. Francisco J. Declet, 1st. Bn., 145th Avn. Regt. command sergeant major, assumed responsibility from Command Sgt. Maj. David S. Lane as the unit colors changed hands from Lane to Lt. Col. Col. Kent MacGregor, 1st Bn., 145th Avn. Regt. commander, to Declet during the ceremony.

"The sergeants major and command sergeants major in this organization have upheld a profound tradition and lineage of the NCO corps, and I have had the distinct privilege of working alongside one of these prestigious NCOs in Command Sergeant Major Lane, who exemplifies these traits in every way," said MacGregor during the ceremony, and welcome the incoming command sergeant major and his wife, Brenda, to the team.

"Command Sergeant Major Declet and Brenda, welcome to the team. I have absolute confidence that you will continue to uphold the lineage of outstanding sergeant majors and command sergeants major who have served this battalion," he said. "In the short time that I've gotten to know you, your zeal, discipline, knowledge and energy is impressive. I know that you will serve the battalion, 1st Aviation Brigade and the Wiregrass community with distinction."

Declet comes to Fort Rucker from previous assignments that span multiple countries and continents, including Camp Humphreys, Korea; Illesheim, Germany; and Egypt. He's served in multiple deployments, including Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom in Kuwait, as well as deployments in Bosnia and Kosovo.

With his extensive experience, Declet said he will do his best to ensure the Soldiers of the battalion are ready and able to complete their mission.

"As your senior enlisted leader, I will ensure you remain ready to fight and win today's wars, and our training for the future Army Aviation and Aviators will continue to be a No. 1 priority," said the incoming command sergeant major. "I believe the Army gives us a handful of once-in-a-lifetime opportunities throughout our military career and service to our country, and I believe this is one of them for me.

"Standing here as the command sergeant major of the 145th Aviation Regiment is a great pleasure and a great honor, and it is important to maintain and continue, but it is just as important to welcome change," he continued. "The excellent reputation of the 145th is known to all the Aviation community, and I understand I have a unique responsibility to serve the Soldiers and civilians of the 145th."

Lane understands Declet's new responsibilities better than anyone and said he has full confidence that he'll fulfill his duties as the battalion's highest ranking NCO.

"Frank, what was once my responsibility is now yours. This has been the smoothest and most gratifying (transition) I've ever been a part of. I couldn't have chosen a better successor myself and I can't wait to see where you take the Old Warriors," said the outgoing command sergeant major as he bid farewell to the Soldiers of the battalion and thanked the leadership for the opportunity to serve.

"Being your sergeant major has been one of the highlights of my career. Knowing that the senior Aviators of the Aviation Branch all once stood right where you are today, really is not just humbling but is quite enlightening because it lets me know the future of the Branch is in good hands," he added.