COL Woodard B. (Buddy) Hopkins III graduated from Westminster College, Fulton, Missouri and received his commission as an Aviation Second Lieutenant in 1991. Following the Officer Basic and Initial Rotary Wing Training, he was assigned to Fort Polk, Louisiana, where he served in the 3d Battalion, 5th Aviation Regiment, 5th Infantry Division. Since then, he has served in a variety of command and staff positions to include: Brigade S4, 82d Aviation Brigade; Commander, Troop E, 1st Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment; Commander, Aviation Intermediate Maintenance Company, 82d Airborne Division; Executive Officer, 603d Aviation Support Battalion; Executive Officer to the Director of Army Aviation, Deputy Chief of Staff G-3/5/7, Headquarters, Department of the Army; Commander, 603d Aviation Support Battalion; Legislative Liaison, Army Congressional Liaison; and as Branch Chief in the Strategy, Plans and Policy Directorate (J-5), United States Central Command. Most recently, he served as the Commander of the 1st Aviation Brigade at Fort Rucker, Alabama, COL Hopkins’ operational assignments include a tour to Bosnia in 1998 where he served as a Liaison Officer for the Operational Reserve to the Multi-National Division (South West); a tour in Iraq in 2005 as a Battalion Executive Officer; and two tours in Afghanistan, first as a Company Commander in 2003 and later as a Battalion Commander in 2010. His awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with five Oak Leaf Clusters, the Air Medal, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster and “V” Device, the Army Achievement Medal, and several service and campaign ribbons. He has also earned the Senior Army Aviation Badge, the Senior Parachutist Badge, the Air Assault Badge, and the Army Staff Identification Badge.