FORT MOORE, Ga. – Chief Warrant Officer 4 Michael Bryan with Ranger Flight Company, 4th Ranger Training Battalion, Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade, achieved an aviation milestone during a flyover demonstration that was part of the redesignation ceremony officially renaming Fort Benning as Fort Moore May 11, 2023, at Doughboy Memorial Stadium. This historic flyover included his 3,000th career flight hour.
Bryan, who served as the air mission commander for the formation of three UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters that flew over the stadium packed with Soldiers, community leaders, Army Families and civilians, and symbolizing the beginning of a new chapter in Army history, was speechless about achieving this milestone during the momentous event.
"I don't really have the words to describe how I feel about being selected to be the air mission commander for the renaming flyover," Bryan said. "And to make the flyover even more special, it was the 3,000th flight hour of my career."
The flight hours Army Blackhawk pilots can achieve during the course of a military career can vary depending on the types of operations they support. Reaching 3,000 flight hours is a milestone reflecting many years of service and dedication.
"When I first started flying, 3,000 hours was the golden milestone," said Bryan. "And I don't know exactly how many pilots have achieved this milestone – there are quite a few – but knowing some of the pilots and knowing the caliber of those pilots makes me feel honored to join that club."
Bryan started his flight career in 2008 after graduating from the Warrant Officer Flight Training Program in Fort Novosel (formerly Fort Rucker), Alabama, and has been flying for nearly 15 years.
Bryan enlisted in the Army in 2002 and started his career at Fort Benning with 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment at Kelly Hill as a 12B combat engineer. He plans to retire next year.
"It just feels full circle because I started my career at Fort Benning and will end my career at Fort Moore."
When Bryan took off from the flight line on the morning of the ceremony, he flew out of Fort Benning and landed in Fort Moore after the redesignation. Upon landing, he was greeted by his family — his spouse and three sons — who had attended the ceremony at the stadium and drove to the airfield to greet him.
When asked what he did to celebrate the achievement, Bryan said, "I'm a pretty low-key guy, so just having my family there is the biggest celebration I can ask for."