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    Infantry to Aviation: PA Guard officer graduates from Aviation School

    Infantry to Aviation: PA Guard officer graduates from Aviation School

    Photo By Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Keeler | Oanh Pham pins Capt. Andrew Vu’s flight wings onto his dress uniform during the...... read more read more

    FORT INDIANTOWN GAP, Pa. - Capt. Andrew Vu, logistics officer for 2nd battalion, 104th General Support Aviation Battalion, 28th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade, graduated from Initial Entry Rotary Wing course at Fort Rucker, Alabama on November 4, 2021.

    “I joined the military originally because I wanted to fly an AH-64 Apache,” said Vu, a Lawrence Township, N.J. native. “I was a freshman in college, and I wanted to get a head start learning about the community and acquiring skillsets by joining the Pennsylvania National Guard.”

    Vu considered choosing UH-60 Black Hawk mechanic advanced individual training, but the course would be longer than he had available in a normal college summer, he said. So, he chose to go to Infantry One Station Unit Training after Basic Combat Training. Vu enjoyed being a part of the Infantry so much that he stayed Infantry when he commissioned after Officer Candidate School.

    “Becoming a pilot had been the original reason that I wanted to join the military, but I did not know that it was still an option until I talked to an Officer Strength Manager,” he said. “He told me that I had a high chance of getting picked up for flight school as long as I can pass the Selection Instrument for Flight Training and flight physical.”

    For more than 14 years, Vu had been an infantry officer, a company commander for Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 109th Infantry Regiment, and recently he was the officer in charge for a COVID-19 mission two months prior to the start of flight school. Vu’s prior experience provided him a great foundation when he started class, he said.

    “Being prior Infantry, I was used to having aviation assets assisting us in various ways," he said. "I felt like being a prior ground force commander made it a bit easier for me to pick up the lessons and techniques taught at Fort Rucker with having that extra lens to look through over other officers and warrants."

    Vu credits the instructors at Fort Rucker for their experience and leadership with educating and training him and his class.

    “Fort Rucker were the most professional instructors I have encountered in the U.S. Army,” he said. "Most were either still in the U.S. Army, Department of the Army Civilians, or retired aviators, so they all had relevant experiences to pass onto the next generation of U.S. Army Aviators.”

    Vu graduated with three other officer honor graduates and four other warrant honor graduates in his class. Vu said he was proud to graduate so high in his class as part of the Pennsylvania National Guard.

    “It felt great to excel in my coursework while down there," he said. "More importantly, I am very proud to represent Pennsylvania and the National Guard at a rigorous school and to show everyone that the Soldiers of the National Guard train just as hard as the active duty.”

    After graduating from the 32-week class, Vu looked forward to returning to his family that supported him through the entire process.

    “They were super supportive and were maybe more excited than me for the change. They remembered that being a pilot was the original reason for joining so they were happy I was able to see it through,” he said.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 11.15.2021
    Date Posted: 11.15.2021 08:39
    Story ID: 409252
    Location: FORT RUCKER, AL, US 
    Hometown: LAWRENCE, NJ, US

    Web Views: 136
    Downloads: 0

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