Halevy, who calls Jeffersonton, Va., home, is the
Headquarters Company, 12th Combat Aviation Brigade, project manager, and he's
preparing to redeploy from his tour in Iraq.
"My primary role is the management of the ongoing construction projects and
facilities management for the continued morale and welfare of the troops," he
For such an accomplished career brimming with accolades and achievements, it is
remarkable that the headwaters of Halevy's military career are rooted in chance.
"I had a full scholarship to play baseball," Halevy said. "I was in the post
office one day and saw the [recruiting] poster for Army Aviation. ... It said you
just need a high school education and a desire to fly. I went from basic
training to flight school as a warrant officer candidate."
He since has established himself as a beacon of knowledge and respect within the
Army. Throughout his 36 years of military service, he has been a member of Army
Reserve and National Guard units in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Florida,
holding positions ranging from a civilian emergency medical services pilot and
aviation safety officer to his current position as a U.S. Army Forces Command
aviation resource management survey inspector.
Halevy came to Iraq several months before the brigade arrived, but was asked to
stay onboard to assist and offer his experience to the staff.
"I was in the process of redeploying with the 28th CAB, as their [transition of
authority] to the 12th came a few months early - and my conversations with the
safety and standards staff of the 12th made me feel I could stay and lend
assistance to a [smaller] staffed organization," he explained.
"I had only joined the 28th five months prior to assist with several safety
issues,” he added, “having been requested by the mostly Guard unit, and I was
expecting to stay much longer."
Halevy continues his custom of offering quality workmanship and an unending
cheerful attitude in his current position, planning and supervising various
construction projects intended to improve quality of life and facilitate greater
capability for all aspects of the task force's mission.
These projects include simple things such as modifying or improving the tactical
operations center's office space, initiating repairs on the aircraft maintenance
shells, building a new chapel, and more.
He is about to finish his time in Iraq but, true to his work ethic, he has a few
things he would like to be able to stick around for if he can.
"I would like to see the chapel through completion and throw the first pitch on
the ball field,” he said. “A day off would be nice, but I don't think I will be
able to work it in."
Previously, as the Army airfield safety manager for the 28th CAB, Halevy brought
a wealth of experience to his role as an advisor to the brigade commander.
A veteran of the Vietnam War, Halevy also is a distinguished helicopter pilot,
both militarily and commercially, flying more than 6,270 accident-free hours.
Still, despite his vast experience and notable success as an aviator, Halevy's
focus has centered on safety.
"I did it. I don't miss it," Halevy said of his days as a pilot. "I've moved on,
and I [have focused] on safety. I came here to help."
Despite differences between the two aviation brigades, Halevy said, he admires
what each brought to the mission.
"I knew many of the 28th CAB personnel, having worked at [the National Guard
Bureau] for four and a half years, and then with the [aviation resource
management] team doing their evaluations for six years," Halevy said.
"I thought the 28th did a commendable job of bringing together units from eleven
states and then building their infrastructure, of which I'm still overseeing the
developing," he said. "However, the 12th CAB's command and HHC present a greater
synergy, having been working together much longer prior to their deployment.
"With my career spanning many years,” he continued, “I have been part of many
units, and I have learned an organization is only as good as its performers and
the leaders they support. The 12th has the best I've seen, and now I am one of
Halevy recalled where his career started and how things could have been back
when he was flying over and through jungle canopies in Vietnam.
"I dedicate my continued service to Sgt. Gary Lee Westphal, who died 13 June
1971, while serving as my scout crew chief/gunner when he was hit by an enemy
machine gun at close range while we were searching for a reported [North
Vietnamese army] position north of Quang Tri, Vietnam," Halevy said. "He kept me
alive through months of hostile fire with D Troop, 3rd Squadron, 5th Cavalry,
5th Infantry Division."
Halevy has focused all of that potential into his drive to do the best work he
can at any task, and he does it all with one of the best attitudes a person can
have who has done so much, soldiers here say.
Halevy, who will turn 61 this year, has no plans on slowing down after
retirement. While he is looking forward to spending additional time with his
wife, children, and grandchildren in the rolling hills of Virginia's Piedmont
region, he also plans to devote time to his own hobbies.
"I just don't want to get sedentary after I retire," he said with a chuckle.
(This article includes
portions of a previous unpublished article by Army Sgt. Brandon T. Metroka of
the 28th Combat Aviation Brigade.)