Then Col. Douglas Gabram and Command Sgt. Maj. Glen Vela posing in front of a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter while deployed in Iraq. Photo provided courtesy of Vela.
Then Col. Douglas Gabram and Command Sgt. Maj. Glen Vela displaying crossed sabers during their Iraq deployment. Photo provided courtesy of Vela.

Story by: 1st Lt. Hayley Haka, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade Public Affairs Officer


FORT HOOD, Texas – Lt. Gen. Douglas Gabram, commanding general of U.S. Army Installation Management Command, returned to the place he calls home to celebrate with the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade (1ACB).

In honor of the 1st Cavalry Division’s 100th birthday, Gabram visited Fort Hood on Sept. 22 to attend 1ACB’s alumni social gathering sponsored by the Army Aviation Association of America. Lt. Gen. Gabram was the “Air Cav” commander from 2008 to 2010. He also served 1st Cav. Div. as the chief of staff and deputy commander.

“Central Texas is home for my family,” Gabram said, looking out at the rows of the impressive aircraft of 1ACB. “We spent 16 years collectively at Fort Hood and loved every one.”

Though it has been 11 years since Gabram commanded 1ACB, he is still proud of the legacy he left on the “Air Cav.” That legacy is most easily seen on every helicopter 1ACB flies. While under Gabram’s leadership, each helicopter in the formation was adorned with a bright yellow 1CD patch.

“When you have a helicopter providing close air support or coming in to pick you up, and you can see that patch on it, you know you’re in good hands,” said Gabram, on his motivation to bring back the tradition.

His love for 1ACB was evident in the time he spent advising its senior leaders in a professional development session held prior to the social gathering at Fort Hood’s Gen. Richard Cavazos Mission Training Complex.

“1st Cav is all about its people. The Soldiers I led in my time here are what made Fort Hood so special to me and my family,” said Gabram. “Taking care of my Soldiers and their families is what still means the most to me when I look back on my time here.”

During the alumni social, Gabram reconnected with retired Command Sgt. Maj. Glen Vela. The command duo led the “Air Cav” during a combat rotation to Iraq in 2009. The bond they formed during that time is clearly still present more than a decade later.

For more information about the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, please contact Capt. Taylor Criswell, Brigade Public Affairs Officer, at [email protected].

Lt. Gen. Gabram and retired Command Sgt. Maj. Vela reminiscing  during the “Air Cav” alumni social on Sept. 22. (U.S. Army photo by 1st Lt. Hayley Haka)
Lt. Gen Gabram gives leadership professional development talk to “Air Cav” senior leaders. (U.S. Army photo by 1st Lt. Hayley Haka)