United States Army Aviation School
The United States Army Aviation School is located at 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...

, Alabama
Alabama is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Mississippi to the west. Alabama ranks 30th in total land area and ranks second in the size of its inland...


In 1912 the facility was located in College Park
College Park, Maryland
College Park is a city in Prince George's County, Maryland, USA. The population was 30,413 at the 2010 census. It is best known as the home of the University of Maryland, College Park, and since 1994 the city has also been home to the "Archives II" facility of the U.S...

, Maryland.
  • Organic Army Aviation first entered into combat in November 1942 on the coast of North Africa. During World War II, L-4 Grasshoppers and a few larger L-5 Sentinel
    L-5 Sentinel
    The Stinson L-5 Sentinel was a World War II era liaison aircraft used by all branches of the U.S. military and by the British Royal Air Force. Along with the Stinson L-1 Vigilant, the L-5 was the only other American liaison aircraft of WWII that was purpose-built for military use and had no...

    s were used to adjust artillery fire, gather intelligence, support naval bombardment, direct bombing missions, and perform other functions. Most training of both pilots and mechanics was conducted by the Department of Air Training within the Field Artillery School at Henry Post Army Airfield
    Henry Post Army Airfield
    Henry Post Army Airfield is a military use airport located at Fort Sill in Comanche County, Oklahoma, United States. This military airport is owned by United States Army. It is the oldest continually operating airfield in the U.S. Army inventory...

    , Okla., although the Army Air Forces conducted some primary training of organic Army Aviation personnel. 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...

     provided new challenges and opportunities for Army Aviation. Organic Army Aviation had acquired its first helicopters, thirteen H-13 Sioux
    H-13 Sioux
    The H-13 Sioux was a two-bladed, single engine, light helicopter built by Bell Helicopter. Westland Aircraft manufactured the Sioux under license for the British military as the Sioux AH.1 and HT.2.-Development:...

    , in 1947, shortly before the U.S. Air Force became independent of the Army. In Korea, the Army employed the O-1 Bird Dog and other improved fixed wing planes, but also helicopters. The Army used its H-13s primarily for medical evacuation, command and control, and transport of lightweight and valuable cargo. Because of the rugged terrain of the Korean peninsula, the value of helicopters came to be recognized by all the services; the demand for both helicopters and trained aviators consistently exceeded the supply. In 1951 the Army began organizing five helicopter transport companies and training warrant officer pilots. There was, however, an ongoing rivalry between the Army and the Air Force concerning responsibility and resources for the aerial support of ground forces. Because of this rivalry, and also because of the shortage of helicopters, only two Army transport companies were supplied with H-19 Chickasaw
    H-19 Chickasaw
    For other uses of "H19" see H19 .The Sikorsky H-19 Chickasaw, was a multi-purpose helicopter used by the United States Army and United States Air Force. It was also license-built by Westland Aircraft as the Westland Whirlwind in the United Kingdom...

     helicopters in time to participate in the Korean War. Transport helicopters nevertheless proved themselves by moving cargo and personnel during the final months of the war and then by participating in prisoner exchanges and other functions after the cessation of hostilities. During the Korean War, the Department of Air Training at Post Field expanded, and in early 1953, it became the Army Aviation School. As a result of the expansion of both aviation and artillery training, Post Field became overcrowded, and the Army decided to move the Army Aviation School to a different post. When no satisfactory permanent Army post was found, a temporary post, Camp Rucker, Ala., was chosen.

The Army Aviation School began moving to Alabama in August 1954 and the first class began at Rucker in October.


It is where officers not only learn to fly their specific Army aircraft, but also to employ aviation assets to assist United States forces. Students usually spend 15–18 months in aviation school, learning a wide range of subjects, and finally graduating with their "wings" or Aviator's Badge. When second lieutenants arrive at Fort Rucker after graduating from their commissioning source (USMA, ROTC or OCS) they secure housing, they attend the two month Basic Officer Leadership Course (BOLC B) at Fort Rucker. Upon completion, they join the rest of their classmates, usually junior Warrant Officers, many of whom have previous enlisted experience. Before starting academics, students must complete Dunker training and Army SERE
SERE is a military acronym for Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape, a program that provides military personnel, Department of Defense civilians and private military contractors with training in evading capture, survival skills and the military code of conduct...

 (Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape) school. They move on to Junior Officer Professional Development, a short course covering Army basics, from soldier support to instruction on military law. This course is followed by BOLC B, the first half of what was previous called Aviation Branch
United States Army Aviation Branch
The Aviation Branch of the United States Army is the administrative organization within the Army responsible for doctrine, manning and configuration for all aviation units....

 Officer Basic Course. Classes during this three week course are more specific to the aviation branch, including the aircraft maintenance process, general aviation doctrine, and US and foreign vehicle and aircraft identification. After BOLC B, students transition to Initial Entry Rotary Wing Aeromedical Training, or "aeromed" at the US Army School of Aviation Medicine. Here, they learn how flight affects physiology, toxicology, gravitational forces and other subjects pertaining to flight and the human body. The information taught in these classes remains testable information throughout flight school, and is asked frequently by instructor pilots (IPs).

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,...

  • United States Army Aviation Center of Excellence
    United States Army Aviation Center of Excellence
    -Mission: "The U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence trains military, civilian, and international personnel in and leadership skills, integrates aviation warfighting doctrine and requirements determination across the DOTMLPF, manages available resources, and sustains our commitment to the...

  • Milton Crenchaw
    Milton Crenchaw
    Milton Pitts Crenchaw is the father of black aviation in Arkansas. He was the first Arkansan to be successfully trained by the federal government as a civilian licensed pilot...

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