Army Aviation Hall of Fame 2007 Induction - Atlanta, GA
Retired CW5 Stephen T. Knowles II completed flight school in 1970 and was assigned as an UH-1C pilot, armament officer and fire team leader with the 48th Assault Helicopter Company in the Republic of Vietnam, where he participated in the famous incursion into Laos in Operation LAM SON 719.
At Fort Hood, Texas, as the standardization instructor pilot (SIP) with Troop A, 7th Sqdn., 17th Cav. Regt. of the 6th Cav. Brigade, Knowles was instrumental in the development of Joint Air Attack Team doctrine.
During a break in service, Knowles worked as a TH-55A primary flight instructor with Doss Aviation at Fort Rucker while pursuing his Bachelor of Applied Science Degree in Operations Management from Troy State University, graduating Cum Laude.
He rejoined the Army serving as a SIP with the 1st Bn., 14th Avn. Regt. and then with the Directorate of Evaluation and Standardization at the U.S. Army Aviation Center, and deployed to combat as an SIP during Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
A great warfighter who always led from the front, Knowles was selected as the first Chief Warrant Officer of the Aviation Branch in 2003, taking the guidon and moving the branch warrant officers into the 21st Century.
He established the charter for the CWOAB, which delineated the duties and responsibilities for both the CWOAB and for the CWO of the Army Aviation Center.
As the CWOAB, he worked to revise and improve the Aviation Warrant Officer Intermediate and Advanced courses and provided numerous briefings and presentations on WO issues, policies and programs to senior leaders in the Pre-command and Division Commander's courses, and to senior Army officials.
A master Army aviator, Knowles accrued over 5,550 flight hours with 846 combat flight hours during his cumulative 28-year career.
Among his numerous military awards and decorations are the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, three Meritorious Service Medals, 28 Air Medals including two for Valor, the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Gold Star, and the Broken Wing Award.