FORT STEWART, Ga. – Lt. Col. Kevin T. Black, 3rd Infantry Division director of training and operations, and native of Hoover, Alabama, was promoted to colonel by his family and Maj. Gen. Antonio A. Aguto, commanding general, 3rd ID in a ceremony held at Marne Garden Oct. 23.
Black was one of only 14 lieutenant colonels selected by the Army Talent Management process to receive a brevet promotion. This program allows a junior grade officer to serve one grade higher, wear the rank, and be paid at the higher grade when assigned to a critical position.
Black commissioned as an Armor officer through the University of Alabama’s Army ROTC program in Tuscaloosa in 2001 where he earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering. He also earned a master’s degree in communications and leadership from Park University in 2014.
Black oversees the training, operations and readiness of more than 15,000 Soldiers for the division with the most Medal of Honor recipients in the Army. Before becoming a Dog Face Soldier in June, Black was the battalion commander of 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, at Fort Hood, Texas.
“Being selected is a truly a humbling honor, and is a product of the tremendous teams I have been a part of and I couldn’t be here without that teamwork,” said Black.
Aguto described the decision to seek out Black as the person to manage the division's operations as among the best he has made as a commander.
"Selecting Kevin Black to serve as our operations officer, and bringing his family here to serve with us, is one the key decisions I am most proud of."
"While general officers may make decisions, it is the colonels who truly run our Army,” Aguto continued. “Kevin is intelligent, relentless and I absolutely could not be prouder to welcome you to the ranks of the senior leader."
The Army used brevet promotions until the 1920’s to reward officers for their service. The Army reinstated their use to add flexibility to its personnel systems as it transforms to a talent-based system that accommodates multiple paths to a successful career in the Army.
“I believe it is a good program to be reinstituted,” said Black. “It was around 100 years ago and now it is being used to incentivize some of the harder jobs that are available.”
Black said the program will help him become a more competitive and well-rounded leader to those serving with him.
A 1996 graduate of Hoover High School, Black is the son of retired Sgt. Maj. Jim and Sharon Black.
Black was inspired to join the Army by his family’s tradition of service. His father is an Army veteran and both of his grandfathers served in WWII in the Army or Army Air Corps.
"As part of this brevet promotion, we are honoring a tradition that has endured since the Continental Army in promoting leaders who have demonstrated their potential to lead in protecting the freedoms of our country,” Aguto said. “Continue to be yourself; be the leader you have been, the leader we know you can be, and I know that you will move on to even greater ranks in our Army."
The Army will pilot brevet promotions by opening 225 positions during the summer 2020 assignment cycle, and up to 770 in upcoming assignment cycles.
Officers will have visibility of brevet positions for which they are eligible in their Army Talent Alignment Process marketplace. The remaining brevet promotions are expected to be available by the summer 2021 ATAP cycle.