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Roby attends Change of Command ceremony at Fort Rucker

Brandon Moseley

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Monday, Congresswoman Martha Roby (R-Montgomery) attended the Change of Command ceremony at Fort Rucker. Major General David J. Francis is the new Commanding General of USAACE and Fort Rucker.

Gen. Francis takes over from Major General William Gayler.

“This morning, Margaret, George, and I attended the Change of Command ceremony at Fort Rucker,” Congresswoman Roby said. “It was wonderful to be on-post again to visit with some of our district’s military leaders.”

“I would like to congratulate Major General William Gayler on a job well done at Fort Rucker,” Rep. Roby said. “I have enjoyed working with him over the years, and I wish him the best in his future endeavors. Congratulations are also in order for Major General David Francis who today was promoted. I look forward to working alongside him to advocate for Fort Rucker. It was an exciting morning in the Wiregrass!”

Gen. Francis accepted the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence colors from Lt. Gen. Michael D. Lundy, U.S. Army Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth commanding general in a ceremony at Howze Field as he assumed command of USAACE and Fort Rucker.

Gen. Francis is a native of Pennsylvania and received his commission from Gannon University, Erie, Pennsylvania.

According to the Fort Rucker website, Francis has a Bachelor of Arts in History from Gannon University, a master’s of Business Administration from Touro University and a master’s degree in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College. He is a graduate of the Aviation Officer Basic Course, the Initial Entry Rotary Wing course, the Jumpmaster Course, the Aviation Officer Advanced Course, the United States Army Command and General Staff College and the U.S. Army War College.

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“After graduation from AVOBC and flight school, he served as an Assault Helicopter Platoon Leader and Infantry Liaison Officer in the 2nd Battalion (Assault), 2nd Infantry Division, Camp Stanley, Korea from 1990 to 1991. He then completed the Aviation Officer Advanced Course and proceeded to Fort Bragg, North Carolina. From 1992 to 1996, he served as an Assault Helicopter Platoon Leader, Battalion Flight Operations Officer, Battalion Adjutant and Assault Helicopter Company Commander in 2nd Battalion (Assault), 82nd Aviation Brigade, Fort Bragg. After company command, he moved to the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, California. From 1996 to 1998, he served as an Assault Helicopter Company Trainer and S3 Trainer. From 1998 to 2001, he served as a Small Group Instructor, Aviation Captain’s Career Course and Battalion S3, 1-145th Aviation Regiment, Fort Rucker. From 2002 to 2004, he served as a Battalion Executive Officer, 2nd Battalion (Assault), 25th Aviation Regiment, Wheeler Army Airfield, Hawaii, and Task Force S3, Task Force Diamondhead, Kandahar, Afghanistan. Francis assumed duties as the Joint Task Force Wings (25th Aviation Brigade) S3 in October 2004 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. From June 2005 to 2007, he served as the Chief of Joint Task Force Certification, J7, United States Pacific Command at Camp Smith, Hawaii. From December 2007 to October 2010, Francis commanded 2nd Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment (Task Force Diamond Head) and completed a combat deployment in support of OIF 09-11. From October 2010 until June 2011, he served as the Chief of Staff, 25th Infantry Division Rear at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.”

“Francis attended the U.S. Army War College from July 2011 to June 2012. He commanded the 10th Combat Aviation Brigade from July 2012 to May 2014 and deployed the brigade to Regional Command East, Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He then served as the Deputy Commander for the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence at Fort Rucker from May 2014 to June 2016. From June 2016 to June 2017 he served as the Deputy Commanding General (Support), 2nd Infantry Division (Combined), Eighth Army, Republic of Korea. Francis was the Commanding General of the U.S. Army Combat Readiness Center/Director of Army Safety at Fort Rucker from June 2017 to June 2018. He most recently served as the Director, Army Aviation, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-3/5/7 in Washington, DC.”

Francis has a number of military awards and decorations including: the Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster, Bronze Star Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters, the Air Medal with Numeral 2, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, the Meritorious Unit Citation with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Army Superior Unit Award, the Joint Meritorious Unit Award, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary and Service Medals, the Korean Defense Service Medal, the Humanitarian Service Medal and the Armed Forces Service Medal. He has also earned the Combat Action Badge, the Master Army Aviator Badge, the Parachutist Badge and the Air Assault Badge.

Fort Rucker opened in 1942.

Martha Roby represents the Second Congressional District.

(Original information from the Fort Rucker web site was used in this report.)

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