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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

12th Aviation Branch at Rucker has a new senior NCO

Command Sgt. Maj. Tod L. Glidewell became the 12th Aviation Branch senior NCO at Fort Rucker on Wednesday.

During a ceremony at the U.S. Army Aviation Museum, Glidewell assumed responsibility from Command Sgt. Maj. Donald R. Sanders.

Glidewell served as the U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center command sergeant major before his new position. Sanders, who served as the senior enlisted officer at the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence (USAACE) since January 2007, will retire later this spring after about 30 years of Army service.

During his remarks, Glidewell said aviation success cannot define success for the Army.

“Before we pat ourselves on the back, we must remember that our ground brothers are truly the ones (who) assign our measure of success because they are truly why we exist,” he said. “Soldiers like these are why I serve.”

USAACE and Fort Rucker Commander Maj. Gen. James O. Barclay III said they were sad to see Sanders go, but were ready to work with Glidewell.

“He’s the right man for this time, for our Branch and for Fort Rucker,” he said. “We know that we continue to be faced with challenges and difficulties, but Tod, we know you’re the man who can meet those responsibilities.”

Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Robert Felder said Glidewell’s duties he performed in his last position will have an impact on USAACE. Felder, who worked with Glidewell in Iraq in 2006, said USAACE will benefit from Glidewell’s personality and leadership.

“I feel the skill sets that he has acquired as the Army’s top safety NCO have given him the experience to make better assessments on programs, Soldiers and systems,” Felder said. “His standards of excellence and integrity will only enhance what the Branch command sergeants major before him began.”

Felder added that Glidewell’s familiarity with the installation will be an asset in his new post.

During the ceremony, Sanders said he will miss serving in the Army.

“Thirty years ago, I made the decision to join the Army, and (in) doing so, I began a calling and a career that would prove better than I expected,” Sanders said. “The Army demanded and insisted more of me than I would have ever asked of myself.”

Felder said Sanders made two big impacts on USAACE while he served as the command sergeant major. One of those was on getting Fort Rucker’s Noncommissioned Officer Education System (NCOES) “fired up.”

Since 1983, the Aviation Branch has a distinguished history of selecting the best leaders for each period of transition. Wednesday’s change of responsibility marks the conclusion of one significant NCO career and offers another accomplished senior NCO opportunities for further growth and success.


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I grew up in the military. Mom was an Air Force nurse for a few years, dad was a navigator on B-52s, among other things. One grandfather served in World War II, uncle is retired Navy, other grandfather and great-uncle served in Korea and a cousin is currently serving in the Marine Corps. Currently, I'm the military reporter for the Great Falls Tribune in Montana. Previously, 

As a military kids, we moved all over. As an adult, I've traveled all over and moved for work. But now, I'm putting down roots in Montana with my boyfriend. We just bought a house and are slowly but surely making it our home. We have more land that we know what to do with at the moment. Now we're getting a garden started, tearing down walls and having loads of fun at what we call the Homestead.

In a part life, I did PR for the guy who built the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the National Mall, social media for the National Museum of Health and Medicine, before that, edited two military technology magazines for a publishing group in the DC area and before that, I was the military reporter (among other things) at the Montgomery Advertiser, covering Maxwell Air Force Base, the Alabama National Guard, veterans and anything else military related in the area. And in between all of that, I leave town, preferably the country, whenever possible. It all started when I spent a semester in New Zealand.

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