Army Aviation Hall of Fame 2011 Induction - Nashville, TN
Command Sergeant Major Buford Thomas’ over 30 years of service was exemplified by professional competence, tenacity of purpose, and intellectual foresight. His focused approach to mission accomplishment centered on ensuring the enlisted ranks of Army Special Operations Aviation, comprised of 43 different military occupational specialties, were manned and trained to enable the Nation’s fastest deployable aviation task force to meet its no-notice contingency requirements.
While serving as a battalion and Regiment command sergeant major with the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) his training of the battle staff NCOs and subordinate leaders allowed the unit to operate from four separate locations around the world in support of the CENTCOM Commander’s requirements during Operation Enduring Freedom.
He displayed the highest standards of performance, achievement and devotion to duty while setting the course for aviation as part of the Army’s transformation initiative.
Command Sergeant Major Thomas flawlessly led the Aviation Center and Fort Rucker in transforming the aviation Soldier and Noncommissioned Officer training, Unmanned Aerial Systems transition, restructuring the Army’s combat aviation brigades, and spearheading numerous military pay and training initiatives for Soldiers.
He always focused on the warfighter and mission accomplishment and has used his wealth of experience in forming a first-class team to propel the Aviation Branch to new standards of excellence.
A true expert in both conventional Army Aviation and Special Operations Aviation missions, he has numerous deployments as a senior NCO all over the globe.
Throughout his 30 plus year career, he trained, led and mentored countless Soldiers across Army Aviation’s ranks. His outstanding contributions will clearly have lasting effects for many, many years to come.