Army Aviation Hall of Fame 2010 Induction - Fort Worth, TX

CSM (Ret.) Clifton P. O’Brien’s 26-year career in both conventional and Special Operations Forces (SOF) units envelops all facets of notable military and civilian accomplishments.

His life's work has been dedicated to the development, readiness and well-being of Army Aviation soldiers and their families.


Entering the Army in 1973 as an infantryman, he reenlisted for aviation and reported for training as a UH-1 repairman at Fort Rucker.


Following initial aviation assignments with the 101st Aviation Group and the FBI’s hostage recovery team at Davidson Army Airfield, he was reassigned to Germany where he had the unique challenge of activating and starting a Black Hawk company from the ground up.


Then, in 1985, he began an 11 year relationship with the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne)(SOAR), serving initially as a flight platoon sergeant in Company C, mentoring and training his Company Commander, then Major Doug Brown, and subsequently as First Sergeant for Companies B and F.


As the B Company First Sergeant, he provided the guidance and direction essential to see successful completion of two major real word operations; Prime Chance and Just Cause.

He then served as 1st Battalion CSM, and ultimately as the Regimental CSM, a position he held until retirement.


Upon retirement, he continued serving the 160th in the Combat Mission Simulator and in the Regiment’s Physical Rehabilitation facility, helping combat wounded Night Stalkers and those injured in training to recover.


To this day, CSM (Ret.) O’Brien touches every SOF Aviation Soldier that enters the door at Fort Campbell, KY instilling them with his hallmark traits of teamwork, values, and discipline.