United States Army Aviation Branch
The Aviation Branch of the United States Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

 is the administrative organization within the Army responsible for doctrine, manning and configuration for all aviation units.

After the United States Army Air Corps
United States Army Air Corps
The United States Army Air Corps was a forerunner of the United States Air Force. Renamed from the Air Service on 2 July 1926, it was part of the United States Army and the predecessor of the United States Army Air Forces , established in 1941...

 grew into the Army Air Forces
United States Army Air Forces
The United States Army Air Forces was the military aviation arm of the United States of America during and immediately after World War II, and the direct predecessor of the United States Air Force....

 and split into the new service, the United States Air Force
United States Air Force
The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of...

, 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
A helicopter is a type of rotorcraft in which lift and thrust are supplied by one or more engine-driven rotors. This allows the helicopter to take off and land vertically, to hover, and to fly forwards, backwards, and laterally...

, that would show promise during the Korean War
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

 and would truly revolutionize warfare during the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...



After the creation of the Army Air Forces, the Army Ground Forces
Army Ground Forces
The Army Ground Forces were one of the three autonomous components of the Army of the United States during World War II, the others being the Army Air Forces and Army Service Forces. Throughout their existence, Army Ground Forces were the largest training organization ever established in the United...

 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
A rotorcraft or rotary wing aircraft is a heavier-than-air flying machine that uses lift generated by wings, called rotor blades, that revolve around a mast. Several rotor blades mounted to a single mast are referred to as a rotor. The International Civil Aviation Organization defines a rotorcraft...

 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
Combat Aviation Brigade
A Combat Aviation Brigade is a multi-functional brigade-sized unit in the United States Army that fields military helicopters, offering a combination of attack helicopters , reconnaissance helicopters , medium-lift helicopters , heavy-lift helicopters , and MEDEVAC capability.- History :Combat...



  • 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.

  • Birthday:
    12 April 1983.

See also

  • Coats of arms of U.S. Army Aviation Regiments
    Coats of arms of U.S. Army Aviation Regiments
    Coats of arms of U.S. Army Aviation Regiments are heraldic emblems associated with aviation regiments in the US Army. By Army regulation, all regiments of the US Army organized under a Table of Organization and Equipment are authorized a coat of arms to be displayed on the organization's standard,...

  • List of United States Army aircraft battalions
  • Fort Rucker
    Fort Rucker
    Fort Rucker is a U.S. Army post located mostly in Dale County, Alabama, United States. It was named for a Civil War officer, Confederate General Edmund Rucker. The post is the primary flight training base for Army Aviation and is home to the United States Army Aviation Center of Excellence and...

  • United States Army Aviation School
    United States Army Aviation School
    The United States Army Aviation School is located at Fort Rucker, Alabama-History:In 1912 the facility was located in College Park, Maryland.* Organic Army Aviation first entered into combat in November 1942 on the coast of North Africa...

  • United States Army Aviation and Missile Command
    United States Army Aviation and Missile Command
    The United States Army Aviation and Missile Command is primarily responsible for life cycle management of army missile, helicopter, unmanned ground vehicle and unmanned aerial vehicle weapon systems. The central part of AMCOM's job involves acquisition and sustainment support for aviation and...

  • Army aviation
    Army aviation
    Army Aviation refers to aviation-related units of a nation's army, often described as an air corps. These units are generally separate from a nation's dedicated air force, and usually comprise helicopters and light support fixed-wing aircraft....

  • Pace-Finletter MOU 1952
    Pace-Finletter MOU 1952
    On 4 November, 1952, a memorandum of understanding was signed between United States Air Force Secretary Thomas K. Finletter and United States Army Secretary Frank Pace that removed the weight restrictions on helicopters that the U.S. Army could use. It also widened the range of tasks the Army's...

External links

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