By David Agan, Fort Rucker Public AffairsAugust 1, 2018
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Hundreds descended upon the U.S. Army Aviation Museum to welcome the new commander of the Aviation Center Logistics Command and bid farewell to the outgoing commander during a ceremony July 31.
Col. Richard A. Martin assumed command of ACLC from Col. Michael J. Best as the colors changed hands from Best to Maj. Gen. Douglas M. Gabram, commanding general, U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command, to Martin.
Gabram hosted the ceremony, and praised Best for his leadership and the performance of the organization during his time as commander.
"At Rucker, [Best] and his team provided over 600 quality and safe aircraft and the logistical support needed to enable USAACE (U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence) and the Air Force to fly over 206,000 hours," said Gabram. "He enabled the training of over 39,000 students in over 300 programs of instruction in a cost-effective manner."
Gabram also welcomed the new commander and expressed confidence in his ability to lead ACLC.
"[Martin's] vast technical and tactical experience with both operations and maintenance will serve us all well," said Gabram. "Rich, get ready for a great ride," he continued.
Martin shared his gratitude to the outgoing commander for leaving a legacy of caring for the people of his organization.
"It's clear to me that you've led this command well, that you've loved the people, you've built a sense of pride in ownership across this entire command and it shows in all they do," said Martin. "I know that they'll continue to make you proud in their future endeavors and to honor your legacy. Thank you for all that you've done in preparing this command for the challenges that lie ahead."
Martin reflected on the importance of ACLC's mission and the impact of logistics throughout Aviation history.
"From the Ia Drang Valley, through Desert Shield and Storm, to Afghanistan and Iraq, whether as a crewmember, maintenance personnel or support staff, we're all on the same team," he said. "Army Aviation continues to depend upon each of us and has since we began flying the machines that you see throughout this museum."
Martin received a commission as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Aviation Branch in May 1995. He has served in multiple deployments, including Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003, OIF 06-08 and OIF 09-10. Prior to assuming command of ACLC, Martin served as a seminar leader and instructor for the Advanced Military Studies Program at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
As he relinquished command to Martin, Best shared some parting words with those gathered at the ceremony.
"It's mission first, people always," said Best. "I encourage everyone in ACLC to continue to take care of one another and remember you are producing the future of our Army."