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Opportunities, Make the Most of Them!

By CSM Brian N. Hauke: As I sign off the net and gather my thoughts for my final article as our Aviation Branch Command Sergeant Major, I thought it would be fitting to write about opportunity and making the most of those opportunities given to us.

With my pending retirement rapidly approaching, I find myself reflecting on the last 30 years of “opportunities.”

In 1990, I was a wide-eyed, naïve young man who stepped off the bus at Fort Jackson, South Carolina for basic combat training. Never, and I mean never, would I have thought back then the Army and Army Aviation would afford me so many opportunities over the years. I suspect the experience is similar for everyone who has served, whether it is for 3 years or 30 years.

For most of us, there’s no doubt the plan was to do far less than 31 years. I know it was this young man’s plan, for sure. Then, bam it’s 30+ years later! The Army and our branch gave me purpose and direction as a young man, and it gave me hundreds if not thousands of opportunities. Opportunities that allowed me to build lifelong skills in leadership, pride, professionalism, performance, and priorities, just to name a few. Rest assured I will use these skills for the rest of my life. I’ve been given plenty of opportunities to fail over the course of my career. Additionally, we all must be given opportunity to fail, as this is key to our development. In fact, Henry Ford stated, “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” Leaders, I urge you to give your Soldiers opportunity in training, so they are ready when it counts!

I’d like to publicly thank a few individuals and teams with whom I have served. First, MG William Gayler for giving me the opportunity to serve as the 16th Aviation Branch Command Sergeant Major and MG David Francis for allowing me the opportunity to continue to serve our branch. Both of these leaders are without a doubt the epitome of professional warriors. Thank you for allowing me the freedom of movement to serve all of our Soldiers, families, and their best interests. The Fort Rucker and Aviation Center of Excellence Team you astound me every day in everything you do for our Army, the Fort Rucker community, Army Aviation, and its Soldiers and their Families. MG (Ret.) Jeff Schloesser and the entire Army Aviation Association of America team thank you for allowing our senior NCOs across the branch to have this venue to share on a monthly basis. And, for having our Soldiers and their best interests at the forefront of all AAAA stands for. It is truly reassuring to know that you have our backs!

Many things in the Army are certain. The most certain of all is that the Army is full of opportunities! I will miss the opportunities! Over the years, I’ve had opportunities to serve on some incredible teams. These include the 3rd Squadron, 6th Cavalry; 7th Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment; 498th Air Ambulance Company; the Montgomery Recruiting Company; 2nd Bn., 82nd Avn. Regiment; 601st Avn. Spt. Bn.; 2nd Bn., 3rd Avn. Regt.; 1st Sqdn., 17th Cav. Regt., 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, the Rheinland-Pfalz Garrison, and of course our very own Aviation Center of Excellence.

Lastly, a few years ago, I read an anonymous quote about opportunity that I’d like to share here; “Today is not just another day. It’s a new opportunity, another chance, a new beginning. So, embrace it.” As I sign off the net and move onto my next opportunity, it has been my honor to share the field of battle and serve this great nation with each one of you!

Make the most of your opportunities!
Above the Best

CSM Hauke
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Editor’s Note: We at ARMY AVIATION greatly appreciate the support from CSM Hauke over the years and wish him and his wife, Christi, all the best as they move into a well-deserved retirement!

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