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Army Cessna L-19 from a small grass strip near the Rhine River (Howze, 1996). Although this flying didn’t officially constitute flight training, Howze did develop a level of proficiency that he would build upon later in his career. In 1955 Howze reported back to

the Pentagon, this time as Chief of the Army Aviation Division. Lieutenant General Jim Gavin per- sonally selected Howze for this job due to his keen understanding of battlefield mobility (Howze, 1996). Within a year his title changed and he became the first Director of Army Aviation. Howze filled both of these assignments before he was actually a designated Army aviator. However, he did earn his wings on September 30, 1955. Brigadier General Carl Hutton, who was Howze’s West Point classmate and also the commander of the Army Aviation Center at Fort Rucker AL, pinned the wings on. This made Howze only the third Army general officer to be designated as an Army aviator and the first to earn his wings while holding the rank of general officer (Williams, 2005).


belief in the importance of battle- field mobility and his previous expe- rience in the Army’s transition from horses to tanks made him uniquely suited to lead the charge for the expansion of Army aviation. Howze quickly began promoting an increased role for organic Army avi- ation in all of the combat and sup- port branches. He took combat problems being used at the Army’s Command and General Staff College and developed a presenta- tion which inserted an aviation ele- ment into the fighting force to show how effective aviation units could be. This presentation was given throughout the Pentagon to drum up support for the increase in an organic aviation component. During Howze’s tenure the terms sky cavalry, air mobility, air assault and armed helicopters became com-


mon. Subsequently, a new way to conduct battlefield operations slow- ly caught on. Another important step implemented by Howze was to increase acceptance of aviation within the ranks of senior Army officers. To do this several select classes of high performing colonels and lieutenant colonels were sent to flight training. By 1959 there were eleven Army general officers who were also designated Army aviators. Howze became the Division Commander of the 82nd Airborne Division in 1958, followed by an assignment as the Chief of the U.S. Army Advisory Group in South Korea.

After being promoted to Lieutenant General in 1961, Howze commanded the XVIII Airborne


Corps at Fort Bragg, N.C. While at Fort Bragg, Howze was the chosen to lead an invasion by U.S. forces into Cuba in response to the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. Ultimately this inva- sion never happened. Also in 1962, then Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara directed the Army to “take a bold new look at land warfare mobility…in an atmosphere divorced from traditional viewpoints and past policies…with recommen- dations to be protected from veto or dilution by conservative staff review…and to seriously consider fresh, new concepts, and give unorthodox ideas a hearing (Howze, 1996).” The outcome of this direc- tive by the Secretary of Defense was officially known as the Army Tactical

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