REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. – Carvil Chalk always wanted to fly.
It’s a passion for the skies he transformed into a career serving the Soldier as the deputy director for aviation technology at the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Aviation & Missile Center’s Technology Development Directorate.
“We have a great mission to develop technology for the Warfighter,” Chalk said. “The mission of aviation science and technology is to look at the Army's doctrine and mission related to aviation systems, and then to seek out technology solutions, and develop and demonstrate those solutions, so that our program managers have better technology to choose from, as they improve or develop new aviation warfighting equipment.”
Growing up in northeast Georgia, Chalk found the thought of flight “fascinating.” As a high school student he joined the Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the Air Force, whose members perform search and rescue, homeland security and disaster relief missions, and obtained his private pilot’s license. He graduated from the University of North Georgia with a bachelor’s degree in physics, and went on to a graduate research assistantship with the University of Tennessee Space Institute, where he met a group of experimental test pilots from the Army, connections that would shape his career.
Upon receiving his master’s degrees in engineering science and flight test research, Chalk took a job as a flight test engineer at Fort Rucker, and eventually moved to Huntsville, where he continued to work for what is now the Redstone Test Center. He held a variety of positions there, to include chief engineer for flight test and the director of test program integration. In 2018 he came to DEVCOM AvMC in a developmental assignment as the acting chief engineer for the aviation science and technology group, and in October 2019 moved into his current role. He is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School Class 124.
“I really enjoyed the time I spent in flight test at the Redstone Test Center, not only because it involves aircraft and helicopters and I like to fly, but the mission of test and evaluation is one I align with philosophically,” Chalk said. “When I came to AvMC I discovered another great aviation mission in terms of discovering new technologies and developing and demonstrating those for the benefit of the Army. It was great to find something new and different to achieve with a group of passionate people supporting the Warfighter, and all related to Army aviation.”
Chalk offered the following advice for those who want to follow a similar career path.
“I benefited at every step along this path from colleagues and mentors who invested in me,” Chalk said. “Some of them I listened to early, others I was late to hear. If you’re in a position of leadership, invest in the people you serve and find ways to help them grow. Teach them how to do your job better and help them find roles that align their skills and interests with the Army’s needs. If you’re in a position to be mentored – and aren’t we all – listen early and often to those who are seeking your good. I wasn’t always humble enough to take their advice or counsel – it’s something I’m still learning and applying – so don’t wait to garner that skill.”
The DEVCOM Aviation & Missile Center, headquartered at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the Army’s research and development focal point for advanced technology in aviation and missile systems. It is part of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM), a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Futures Command. AvMC is responsible for delivering collaborative and innovative aviation and missile capabilities for responsive and cost-effective research, development and life cycle engineering solutions, as required by the Army’s strategic priorities and support to its Cross-Functional Teams.