The 1st Aviation Brigade was activated under provisional status in April, 1965, and comprised the existing 13th, 14th, 52nd, and 145th Aviation Battalions reporting to it. Doubling in size within four months, it was renamed the 12th Aviation Group before eventually forming the basis of the 1st Aviation Brigade—the Golden Hawks—in March, 1966.

During the Vietnam War, the 1st Aviation Brigade was in charge of nearly half of the Army's helicopter assets and all of  its fixed-wing aircraft. It carried more than 6.5 million troops in over 4 million sorties in 1969 alone. The Golden Hawks were pioneers in the development and perfection of helicopter warfare, and after the brigade's withdrawal from the Republic of South Vietnam it was sent to Fort Rucker, Alabama to pass on its hard-won tactics and knowledge by becoming a training brigade.

Today, the 1st Aviation Brigade trains officers, warrant officers, and soldiers across a breadth of military occupations. The Brigade HQ and most of its subordinate units are stationed at the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence, Fort Novosel (formerly named Fort Rucker) in Alabama.

The blue and golden orange in the CSIB are the colors of Army Aviation, while the gold of the hawk-in-flight and the red of the sword handle are colors of the Republic of Vietnam. Left- and right-handed unit crests, featuring a golden hawk preparing to strike, represent the impact that Army Aviation, exemplified by the personnel of the 1st Aviation Brigade, has had on modern ground warfare.

Related Items
1st Aviation Brigade Patch (SSI)
1st Aviation Brigade Unit Crest (DUI)


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