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Col. Erskine R. Bentley II was commissioned as a Distinguished Military Graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham ROTC program in 1989. His military education includes the Aviation Officer Basic Course, the Aviation Officer Advanced Course and the Combined Arms Staff School, Command and General Staff College. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and dual master’s degrees in Aviation Operations and Aviation Safety from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University.
Following commissioning, Bentley served in the Alabama National Guard as a comptroller in the 167th Corps Support Command and operations officer, B/1-131st Aviation Regiment prior to reporting to active duty in 1991. Bentley’s first assignment on active duty was as platoon leader, A/1-58th Aviation Regiment (ATS), followed by executive officer, C/1-58th Aviation Regiment (ATS), Fort Campbell, Ky. After completion of the Aviation Officer Advanced Course and Aviation Maintenance Officer Course, he served as the combined AVUM/AVIM platoon leader for B/1-228th Aviation Regiment, Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras. Following his assignment to Honduras, Bentley served as AVIM shops platoon leader, C/25th Aviation Intermediate Maintenance Company, commander, D/2-25th Aviation Regiment, commander, Headquarters and Headquarter Company, 25th Aviation Brigade, and brigade adjutant, 25th Aviation Brigade, Wheeler Army Airfield, Hawaii. Prior to attending the Command and General Staff College, Bentley successfully assessed into the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) and upon completion of CGSC commanded F/1-160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne). Subsequent to F Company, he continued to serve in the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) as executive officer, 2-160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne), Deputy Regimental Operations Officer, and commander, Special Operations Aviation Training Company, Fort Campbell. Following his service in the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne), Bentley commanded the 209th Aviation Support Battalion, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, Wheeler Army Airfield. Most recently he served as the Air Requirements Branch Chief and Ground Requirements Branch Chief, United States Special Operations Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Fla. His most recent assignment was as Director of TRADOC Capability Manager - Lift.
Bentley is a Master Army Aviator and Maintenance Test Pilot rated in the A/MH-6, UH/MH-60 A/L, and UH-1 and holds civilian fixed wing, glider and CFI ratings. Bentley’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal (2nd award), the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Army Commendation Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Army Achievement Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, the Valorous Unit Award, the Meritorious Unit Citation, the National Defense Service Medal (2nd award), the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal (2nd award), Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, The Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon (numeral 4), the Parachutist Badge and the Air Assault Badge.
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