Last night I had dinner with the new brigade commander, Col. John Kovac. It was not planned, we just happened to be the last two people in the chow hall. So we got our trays of chicken and dumplings and biscuits and talked about being old soldiers. We both joined the Army shortly after high school. I joined in 1972, he joined in 1979. We both spent three years in Germany. He arrived in 1979 just as I was leaving active duty and going home. Both of us remembered our time in Germany as some of the best years we spent in the Army.
Col. Kovac started his career as a crewman on the CH-47 Chinook helicopter. The Chinook went on active service in 1962, when I was nine years old and the colonel was two. He was commissioned later and has flown most helicopters in the Army inventory in the years since. Before taking command of the brigade, he commanded 1-104th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion which deployed to Afghanistan in 2012.