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    1-13th Aviation conducts AIT graduation in partner city

    AIT Graduation Geneva

    Photo By Kelly Morris | The 1st Battalion, 13th Aviation Regiment conducts an Advanced Individual Training...... read more read more



    Story by Kelly Morris    

    U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence

    FORT NOVOSEL, Ala.--The 1st Battalion, 13th Aviation Regiment conducted an Advanced Individual Training graduation ceremony in its partner city of Geneva, Ala., April 5, 2024.

    Family members, battalion leaders and drill sergeants, city officials, and high school seniors cheered as approximately 20 Soldiers from the 15P — Aviation Operations Specialist and 15Q — Air Traffic Control Operator military occupational specialties walked across the stage in the Geneva High School auditorium, marking an important milestone in their Army careers.

    Command Sgt. Maj. Michael P. McAvoy, 1-13th Aviation Regiment, welcomed attendees.

    "Good afternoon, Panthers! I'd like to introduce you to our 1-13th Aviation regimental family. We produce the future of Army aviation," McAvoy said.

    The intent of holding the ceremony in the local community was to build partnerships, so the community better understands what the battalion does on a regular basis in the AIT population, It also benefits the Soldiers, he explained.

    “Bringing the Soldiers out here gives them a sense of community,” McAvoy said. “A lot of them came from small communities. And we wanted to make sure the students are aware that we’re part of their communities, we’re always here.”

    The long-anticipated moment followed seven weeks of intensive training for the 15P Soldiers, and 16 weeks for the 15Q course. The AIT graduates will go on to serve at various installations, including supporting the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence training mission at Fort Novosel.

    After McAvoy's formal remarks, the Soldiers received their Aviation wings and Aviation branch insignia, and family members came forward to formally pin their Soldiers. The graduates also recited the Soldier’s Creed.

    “Aviation is the only branch that awards a badge at the end of AIT. We hold those Soldiers to a little higher standard. And it comes with a monetary value at the end of their careers,” McAvoy said.

    Whether they stay in the Army for four years or 20, “they’re going to leave the Army with the certifications that set them up for the rest of their lives,” McAvoy added.

    Cities surrounding Fort Novosel are each partnered with a unit on post, and the touchpoints throughout the year typically center around volunteerism, and also include invitations for tours and events on the installation.

    Soldiers from 1-13th Aviation completed 3,300 volunteer hours in its partner city of Geneva in the past year, McAvoy explained.

    “You can trace us all the way back to the 1980s — we had 1-13th Soldiers marching in parades in Geneva. So this relationship has been going for forever, and will continue to go on when we’re gone,” he said.

    McAvoy said the battalion views their partner city as part of their family.

    “How we demonstrate you’re part of our family is we bring the most significant day in a Soldier’s life--today, and we put that in front of you so you can see it, you can be part of it, you can congratulate these Soldiers and tell them what they’ve done is amazing,” he said.

    The battalion volunteers in the Geneva community for veterans' property cleanups, at the community center, marches in their parades, and volunteers at their games.

    The battalion also conducted a “Wake-Up Geneva” morning run back in October; members of the Geneva police, some high school students and others participated in a run alongside the Fort Novosel Soldiers.

    Geneva city leaders spent a day at Fort Novosel learning more about the unit’s mission in December 2023, observing specialty training, a firefighting demonstration, a military police and working dog demonstration, and attending the unit’s first-ever Specialist 5 Fujii Award presentation. The Geneva city mayor, police chief, council members, representatives of the Chamber of Commerce, Disabled American Veterans group, the Board of Education, and the city clerk were all treated to a full day of touring and hands-on activities focused primarily on their community partner, the 1-13th.

    Geneva Mayor David B. Hayes said it was emotional to have met the Soldiers at Fort Novosel, and watched the process, and then to see them walk across a familiar stage in Geneva on their special day.

    “I graduated high school on that stage, and to see this happen on the same stage in the same auditorium, it just really gets me. I think it’s so cool,” Hayes said.

    “We feel a part of it, we feel like they’re ours,” Hayes said. “The partnership is great. We couldn’t ask for anybody better to take care of us.”



    Date Taken: 04.09.2024
    Date Posted: 04.10.2024 07:05
    Story ID: 468118
    Location: GENEVA, ALABAMA, US

    Web Views: 42
    Downloads: 0