Lt. Col. Matthew L. Rowland and 1st Sgt. Clarence P. Davis assumed command and responsibility of the U.S. Army Priority Air Transport Command (USAPAT) from Lt. Col. Heather L. Maki and 1st Sgt. Christopher L. Brown during a change of command ceremony July 14 at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland.
USAPAT, assigned to The Army Aviation Brigade, U.S. Army Military District of Washington, plans, coordinates and conducts worldwide executive airlift in support of U.S. Army senior leaders, DoD executives, Congressional delegations and combatant commanders. They serve as the U.S. Army proponency for C-20 and C-37 executive jet aircraft."Changes of command are bittersweet," said Col. Prescott Farris, commander, The Army Aviation Brigade, who hosted the ceremony. "It's a time when the command says goodbye to one great command team and welcomes another. USAPAT is an Army organization made up of the finest pilots, engineers and stewards the Army has."Maki assumed command of USAPAT July 2015 and previously served in Afghanistan, Kosovo, Korea, Germany and stateside. Her decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal (3OLC), Master Aviator Badge, Air Assault Badge and Parachutist Badge."I was always told that being a battalion commander would be the most rewarding experience of my career, and I will say that commanding USAPAT did not disappoint," said Maki, outgoing commander. "[These Soldiers] represent some of the finest aviators, flight engineers , chefs, operations officers, staff NCO's and civilians the Army has to offer, and when you have a group of that caliber it makes for an exceedingly remarkable team."Rowland's previous assignments include service in Afghanistan, Iraq, Kosovo, Qatar, Germany and stateside. His decorations include the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Senior Aviator Badge and Parachutist Badge."I have had the privilege of being a part of this unit for almost three weeks, and I have received a taste of the professionalism and dedication the officers and NCO's are known for," said Rowland, incoming commander. "I look forward to continuing to foster this great command climate, as well as further the accomplishments of Lt. Col. Maki and 1st Sgt. Brown."Brown previously served in Afghanistan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Germany and stateside. His decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Drill Sergeant Identification Badge, Master Aviation Badge, Air Assault Badge, Drivers Badge, and the Silver Schützenschnur German Marksmanship Badge."Before you are some of the best Soldiers anywhere in the United States Army," said Brown, outgoing first sergeant. "It has been the highest honor of my career to serve alongside you. USAPAT's next chapter is about to begin. I'm excited for the new command team and the officers and NCO's that will be here to help mold the unit as we near our thirtieth anniversary."Davis previously served in Afghanistan, Iraq, Korea and stateside. His decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal (two oak leaf clusters) Senior Aviator Badge, Parachutist Badge, German Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge and the Army Drivers Badge."Today is a great day; I get the opportunity to lead a great team, USAPAT!" said Davis, incoming first sergeant. "I know I am taking over for a group of motivated Solders that are all about taking care of each other and accomplishing the mission no matter how big or how small."The U.S. Army Military District of Washington serves as the Army Forces Component and core staff element of Joint Force Headquarters National Capital Region which conducts operations that deter, prevent and respond to threats aimed at the National Capital Region; and conducts world-class ceremonial musical and special events in support of our Nation's leadership.