United States Army Aviation Branch
United States Army Aviation Branch Plaque
|Active||1983 – present|
|Garrison/HQ||Fort Rucker, Alabama|
|Motto||Above the Best|
|Colors||Ultramarine Blue, Golden orange|
|Anniversaries||12 April 1983|
|Commanding General||Major General Anthony G. Crutchfield|
|Deputy Commanding General||Colonel
Jessie O. Farrington
|Command Sergeant Major||Command Sergeant Major
James H. Thomson Jr.
|Aviation Branch Insignia|
|Utility helicopter||UH-60, UH-72|
|Reconnaissance||MQ-1C, RQ-5, RQ-7, RQ-11|
|Transport||C-12, C-20, C-23, C-26, C-37|
The Aviation Branch of the United States Army is the administrative organization within the Army responsible for doctrine, manning and configuration for all aviation units.
After the United States Army Air Corps grew into the Army Air Forces and split into the new service, the United States Air Force, the Army was left with its sole fixed-wing aviation units flying L-2 observation planes for artillery units. The Army would develop a new concept of aviation using the helicopter, that would show promise during the Korean War and would truly revolutionize warfare during the Vietnam War.
After the creation of the Army Air Forces, the Army Ground Forces retained the use of light aircraft for artillery forward observation and reconnaissance in June 1942. When the United States Air Force was established as a separate service in 1947, the Army developed its light planes and rotary wing aircraft to support its ground operations. The Korean War and Vietnam War proved the growing capabilities of these aviation assets to perform a variety of missions not covered by the Air Force. In recognition of the demonstrated increasing importance of aviation in Army doctrine and operations, Aviation became a separate branch on 12 April 1983.
The mission of Army Aviation is to find, fix, and destroy the enemy through fire and maneuver; and to provide combat, combat support and combat service support in coordinated operations as an integral member of the combined arms team. On the modern battlefield, Army Aviation, unlike the other members of the combined arms team, has the organic flexibility, versatility, and assets to fulfill a variety of maneuver, CS, CSS, roles and functions. These cover the spectrum of combined arms operations. Aviation can accomplish each of these roles—within the limits of finite assets and capabilities—during offensive or defensive operations and also for joint, combined, contingency, or special operations.
Originally aircraft and pilots were assigned directly to artillery or other units requiring light aircraft. In 1957 the Army decided to create individual company sized units in the numbered divisions. These companies were soon expanded to battalion size during the Vietnam war and further expanded in the late 1980s to regimental-sized support elements under a brigade headquarters. (Combat Aviation Brigade)
- Branch Insignia:
- A silver propeller in a vertical position between two gold wings in a horizontal position, 1 1/8 inches in width. The wings are modified and differ from designs currently used on Army and Air Force aviator badges. The insignia draws upon the original insignia for historical and symbolic purposes, but was deliberately modified to signify a new chapter in Army aviation history.
- Branch Plaque:
- The plaque design has the branch insignia in proper colors (gold wings with silver propeller). The letters are golden orange and the rim is gold. The background is ultramarine blue.
- Regimental Insignia:
- Personnel assigned to the Aviation branch affiliate with a specific regiment and wear the insignia of the affiliated regiment.
- Regimental Coat of Arms:
- There is no standard aviation regimental flag to represent all of the aviation regiments. Each regiment of aviation has its own coat of arms which appears on the breast of a displayed eagle. The background of all the aviation regimental flags is ultramarine blue.
- Branch Colors:
- Ultramarine blue piped with Golden Orange.
- Ultramarine Blue – 65010 cloth; 67118 yarn; Reflex blue PMS.
- Golden Orange – 65003 cloth; 67109 yarn; PMS 1375.
- Ultramarine blue piped with Golden Orange.
- 12 April 1983.
See also 
- Coats of arms of U.S. Army Aviation Regiments
- List of United States Army aircraft battalions
- Fort Rucker
- United States Army Aviation School
- United States Army Aviation and Missile Command
- Army aviation
- Pace-Finletter MOU 1952
- "Aviation". The Institute of Heraldry. Headquarters, Department of the Army. Accessed 28 April 2008.
- Fort Rucker, Alabama – United States Army Aviation Warfighting Center, home of the Army's Aviation Branch
- U.S. Army Aviation Museum