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Colonel David J. Francis

Deputy Commander, U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence

Deputy Commander, U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence

Col. David Francis is a native of Pennsylvania and received his commission from Gannon University, Erie, Pa.

Francis has served in a series of command and staff positions. After graduation from Aviation Officer Basic Course and flight school, he served as an assault helicopter platoon leader and infantry liaison officer in the 2d Battalion (Assault), 2d Infantry Division, Camp Stanley, Korea, from 1990-1991. He then completed the Aviation Officer Advanced Course and proceeded to Fort Bragg, N.C. From 1992 to 1996 he served as an assault helicopter platoon leader, battalion flight operations officer, battalion adjutant, and assault helicopter company commander in 2d Battalion (Assault), 82d Aviation Brigade, Fort Bragg.

After company command, Francis moved to the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, Calif. From 1996 to 1998, he served as an assault helicopter company trainer and S3 trainer. From 1998 to 2001, he served as a small group instructor, Aviation Captain’s Career Course, and battalion S3, 1-145th Aviation Regiment, Fort Rucker, Ala.  From 2002 to 2004, he served as a battalion executive officer, 2d Battalion (Assault), 25th Aviation Regiment, Wheeler Army Airfield, Hawaii, and Task Force S3, Task Force Diamondhead, Kandahar, Afghanistan. Francis assumed duties as the Joint Task Force Wings, 25th Aviation Brigade, S3 in October 2004 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. From June 2005 to 2007, he served as the chief of Joint Task Force Certification, J7, United States Pacific Command at Camp Smith, Hawaii. From December 2007 to October 2010, Francis commanded 2d Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, Task Force Diamond Head, and completed a combat deployment in support of OIF 09-11. From October 2010 until June 2011, he served as the chief of staff, 25th Infantry Division Rear at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. Francis attended the U.S. Army War College from July 2011 to June 2012. Francis then commanded the 10th Combat Aviation Brigade from July 2012 to May 2014, and deployed the brigade to Regional Command East, Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Francis holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Gannon University, a Master of Business Administration from Touro University, and a master’s in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College.  He is a graduate of the Aviation Officer Basic Course, the Initial Entry Rotary Wing course, the Jumpmaster Course, the Aviation Officer Advanced Course and the United States Army Command and General Staff College.

His military awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters, the Air Medal with Numeral 2, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, the Meritorious Unit Citations with one Oak Leaf Cluster, the Army Superior Unit Award, the Joint Meritorious Unit Award, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary and Service Medals, the Korean Defense Service Medal, the Humanitarian Service Medal, and the Armed Forces Service Medal. He has also earned the Combat Action Badge, the Master Army Aviator Badge the Parachutist Badge and the Air Assault Badge.

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