NEWS | June 11, 2021

63rd Theater Aviation Brigade Change of Command

By Staff Sgt. Ryan Wilhoit, 133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

Col. Gary D. Lewis relinquished the 63rd Theater Aviation Brigade command to Col. Michael D. Armstrong during a change of command ceremony at the Army Aviation Support Facility on Boone National Guard Center, Frankfort, Ky., June 5, 2021.

In a ceremony attended by friends, family, and the supporting units, both incoming and outgoing commanders shared highlights brought on by the occasion.

The reviewing officer, Brig. Gen. Robert Larkin, Assistant Adjutant General, remarked with a clear overview of Lewis’s accomplishments as 63rd TAB commander. Larkin also welcomed Armstrong, sharing with the audience that the 63rd TAB is transitioning into capable hands.

“With Col. Lewis at the stick, Kentucky’s aviation is number one in the national guard to the point other units come to us to see what right looks like,” said Larkin.

During his outgoing speech, Lewis reflected fondly on his time as brigade commander.

“Every day was an adventure,” said Lewis as he prepared to depart the 63rd TAB with his family.

Lewis received his commission as a second lieutenant from Eastern Kentucky ROTC Program in 1995. His first assignment was as a platoon leader with Echo Company, 135th Aviation. He later served as commander of Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 114th Aviation, commander of Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 376th Aviation, 63rd TAB S4, 63rd TAB S3, and the 751st Troop Command battalion commander. Lewis is currently serving as the full-time Counterdrug Coordinator. In 2005-06, Lewis deployed to Kuwait with the 63rd TAB as the S4, operating at Udari Army Airfield.

After the ceremony, Lewis’ Friends and family shared how proud they are of Lewis’ accomplishments, not only as a leader but as a husband, father, and friend.

“I have fought the good fight. I have finished my course. Wings of Thunder,” Lewis said.

Armstrong has 26 years of military service and has served in numerous command and staff positions at the company, battalion, and brigade, including the company commander, battalion commander (751st TC), brigade S3, and deputy commander of the 244th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade. Additionally, Armstrong is a senior Army aviator with 1500 hours in the OH58, UH60, and UH72 with 500 hours of combat time. His past deployments include Operation Iraqi Freedom (Balad, Iraq), Operation Enduring Freedom (Kosovo), and most recently, Operation Inherent Resolve/Operation Spartan Shield (Kuwait, Iraq, Syria).
As Armstrong gave his incoming remarks, he thanked the many people on the staff who continuously supported 63rd TAB’s Soldiers.

“I’d like to thank Brig. Gen. Larkin and Brig. Gen. Lamberton for the opportunity to take command of the 63rd TAB,” Armstrong said.