Retired GEN Bryan D. "Doug" Brown pioneered Army special operations aviation from its inception to present day. He began his long association with what would become the famed "Night Stalkers" in June 1978, serving with the 158th Avn. Bn. at Fort Campbell, Ky., then known as Task Force 158 - a "plank holder" for the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) (SOAR). He was there from the beginning, participating in the planning and rehearsals for Operation Credible Sport (aka Honey Badger), the second rescue attempt for American hostages held in Iran. He was the primary visionary during its infancy and evolution; having commanded special operations aviation in combat at the company, battalion and regimental levels.
Enlisting as an Infantry private in 1967, GEN Brown went on to complete Special Forces training - becoming a qualified "Green Beret" - and serving on an operational detachment with the 7th Special Forces Group. He obtained a Field Artillery officer commission from the Officer Candidate School in 1970 and earned his pilot's wings from the rotary wing aviator course in 1971, later re-branching to newly established Aviation branch in 1983.
During his distinguished 40-year career, he was involved in combat operations in Vietnam, Grenada, Kuwait and Iraq, and many other classified operations. He has commanded the 160th SOAR; the Joint Special Operations Command, and the U.S. Army Special Operations Command. The first member of the Aviation branch to be promoted to the rank of four-star general, his leadership and contributions to Army aviation and to special operations aviation are infinite in number and incredible in variety; to include the evolution of the UH-60 Direct Action Penetrator aircraft and the "Silver Bullet" package. In his final assignment as commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command, he was the lead combatant commander for synchronizing the Global War on Terrorism, with responsibility for organizing, training and equipping all of our nation's special operations forces.
General Doug Brown retired in September 2007, but throughout his career he has the driving force that molded special operations aviation into what is unarguably the most capable aviation fighting force in the world today.