REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (Oct. 11, 2022) – Few people can pinpoint the exact moment when they decided on their career, but for Lt. Col. Michael Flint, the memory is clear.
It was 1981 and the Iran hostage crisis had just ended. One of those hostages was returning home near to where young Flint and his family lived outside Cincinnati, Ohio. After seeing coverage on the news, Flint’s father decided that the family would be a part of the crowd welcoming him.
It was a cold day, made even colder by the whirling blades of a helicopter. But when Flint first saw the news helicopter on hand to report the story, he was fascinated-- enough that he posed in front of that helicopter with his sister. Later in childhood, the idea that he could pilot one of those helicopters began to take shape.
“Both of my cousins joined the military right out of high school,” Flint shared. “The one that is closer to me in age, we played army all the time. And that stayed with me – I decided I was going to go off and join the Army and become a pilot somehow.”
Flint enlisted in the Army Reserve in 2003 and entered active service in 2005 as an aviation officer after completing his undergraduate studies. Last week, he was promoted to lieutenant colonel in a ceremony held at his new duty station, the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Aviation & Missile Center. Although he is a new member of the team, arriving in August, Flint has already been welcomed into the fold, as is the DEVCOM Aviation & Missile Center way.
Flint comes to DEVCOM AvMC from the DEVCOM Army Research Lab where he served as the science and technology project officer and military lead for Fires and Aviation. As for the flying career, yes, he did get to do that. Flint flew Chinooks for the Army, which included 24 months deployed in support of combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. As much as he loved that part of serving, he has also taken quite well to becoming an acquisition officer.
“We've been fighting counterinsurgency and now they started training to focus back on the peer/near peer fight,” Flint said. “A lot of that change is still familiar to me, as we start looking at multi-domain operations in this sort of fight -- not just in the physical space, but the non-physical space: information operations, electronic warfare, and all of these very non-physical aspects. So it is a really interesting time right now.”
Huntsville is not new to Flint and his wife, Lisa. They actually met here when Flint was assigned to the Program Executive Office for Aviation. Flint said – only partially joking -- that he knew it was true love when Lisa agreed to leave Huntsville and accompany him to his next duty station at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
As for the future, Flint is happy to be back at Redstone Arsenal serving as AvMC’s senior science and technology project officer for the Technology Development Directorate.
“Everybody's been really phenomenal and helpful in explaining what it is they do -- the things that they're doing to help the modernization enterprise and bring capabilities to the Soldiers,” Flint said. “I see a lot of really positive things about how we, in this organization work with our program management counterparts and our counterparts at the CFTs, and how we are a part of that synergy in the modernization enterprise.
“When we think about Army Futures Command, in their desire to create persistent modernization, I really see a lot of that spirit of alive and well here.”
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.