By Michelle MillerJanuary 17, 2020
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Alabama -- The Program Executive Office for Aviation held a change of charter Jan. 14 at the Redstone Test Center hangar to commemorate Maj. Gen. Thomas Todd transferring his responsibilities as the program executive officer to Patrick Mason.
"I can't begin to say what an absolute honor and privilege it is for me to serve with the tremendous PEO Aviation team as we execute our mission," Mason said.
Mason, who retired from the Army with more than 30 years of service in 2016, was sworn into the Senior Executive Service in June 2017 and assumed duties as the senior civilian and deputy PEO under Todd.
Mason thanked Todd for his mentorship and leadership throughout his tenure as the deputy PEO.
"I am extremely grateful for your example as a senior leader of setting priorities, remaining focused and working to achieve a work-life balance," Mason said. "We all should emulate this as we move forward in our careers."
As the PEO, Mason will be the Army's top aviation acquisition officer responsible for purchasing and managing the life cycle of the Army's aviation weapon systems and equipment. He will oversee 10 project offices including: Apache Helicopters, Aviation Mission Systems & Architecture, Cargo Helicopters, Utility Helicopters, Improved Turbine Engine, Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft, Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft, Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Fixed Wing Aircraft and Multi-National Aviation Special Projects.
Bruce Jette, assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology, officiated the ceremony.
Jette said he has confidence Mason will be successful in his new position saying Mason has shown tremendous capability and competency in his ability to lead and manage as the deputy PEO.
"Maj. Gen. Todd has done an outstanding job of working with his counterparts, balancing challenges effectively and we are well on our way to generating amazing solutions," Jette said. "He understands leadership, he knows how to work with people and he understands how to manage large organizations."
Todd is no stranger to PEO Aviation. Throughout his 30 year military career, he has served in the organization for 23 years and six ranks as a captain, a major, a lieutenant colonel, a colonel, a brigadier general and a major general. He received his second star in 2019.
"Being the PEO has been one of the hardest things I've ever done, but it's been one of the greatest things I've ever had the privilege of doing," Todd said. "I never thought I'd love anything more than Alabama football, but I think I like PEO Aviation a lot better."
Todd was awarded the Legion of Merit by Jette during the ceremony. Retired Maj. Gen. Tim Crosby, a former PEO, presented Todd with the Honorable Order of St. Michael, Gold award from the Army Aviation Association of America for his significant contributions to the promotion of Army aviation. Todd's wife, Tracy, was presented the AAAA Order of Our Lady of Loreto award for her support to Army aviation.
Established in 1987, PEO Aviation's top priority is reducing the burden on our Soldiers with a mission focus to design, develop, deliver and support advanced aviation capabilities for operational commanders and our allies. PEO Aviation is made up of 3,000 military, government civilian and contractor employees specializing in acquisition, logistics and technical fields, to include 1,300 personnel deployed throughout the world supporting combatant command requirements.
Todd's next assignment is deputy commander, Combined Security Transition Command, Afghanistan, U.S. Forces-Afghanistan, Operation Freedom's Sentinel, Afghanistan.