After four years as an active duty, enlisted infantryman, Colonel Chris Albus was commissioned a Second Lieutenant of Aviation upon graduation from the University of Massachusetts in 1992. His first assignment following flight school and UH60 Blackhawk Helicopter Course was as a Platoon Leader, Assistant Operations Officer, and battalion personnel officer in the 7th Battalion, 1st Aviation Regiment, located at Katterbach, Germany. While in Germany, he also deployed as a detachment commander to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) in support of Operation Able Sentry. In 1996, following the Aviation Officer Advanced Course at Fort Rucker, Alabama, he was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 82nd Aviation Brigade at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He served as an Assistant Operations Officer and commanded a fifteen-ship Blackhawk company. Colonel Albus was subsequently assigned to Fort Polk, Louisiana, where he served in the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) as an aviation observer controller. In this assignment, he trained, advised, and mentored combat aviation forces. In 2001, he was assigned to the Army’s Personnel Command (PERSCOM) in Alexandria, Virginia. Here he served as an assignment officer, serving the assignment needs for the Army’s aviation captains and majors.
Following graduation from Fort Leavenworth’s Command and General Staff College in 2004, Colonel Albus moved to Fort Campbell, Kentucky where he served as the Executive Officer (XO) in the 5th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment. He was subsequently assigned as the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade XO and Operations Officer during a deployment to Tikrit, Iraq, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Upon return from Iraq, Colonel Albus was assigned as the Secretary of the General Staff (SGS) for the 101st Airborne Division. Colonel Albus deployed to Afghanistan as the Deputy Chief of Staff for the Combined Joint Task Force –101, based at Bagram.
After attending the UH60 “Mike-Model” Blackhawk upgrade course at Fort Rucker, Colonel Albus assumed command of the 4th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment and “Task Force Wings,” a multi-functional aviation task force consisting of a variety of Army rotary wing aircraft, support personnel, and a pathfinder infantry company. Task Force Wings deployed to Regional Command South Afghanistan, where Colonel Albus commanded and operated out of a forward operating base in the Zabul Province. Following command, he was assigned as the Human Resources Command (HRC) Aviation Branch Chief at Fort Knox, Kentucky, where he was responsible for the assignments of all active and reserve aviation officers and warrant officers. He was then assigned to Fort Hood, Texas, where he served as Director of the Aviation Test Directorate, United States Army Operational Test Command, where he planned and tested a full complement of manned and unmanned aircraft as well as aviation support equipment. Most recently, Colonel Albus commanded the 166 Aviation Brigade at Fort Hood. Part of the Army’s “First” Army, the 166 is responsible for training, advising, assisting, and validating reserve component aviation forces for deployment.
Colonel Albus’ awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, Air Medal, 2 x Bronze Star Medals, 6 x Meritorious Service Medals, 3 x Army Commendation Medals, the Joint Service Achievement Medal, the Combat Action Badge, the Master Aviator’s Badge, the Air Assault Badge, the Expert Infantryman’s Badge, the Senior Parachutist Badge, and the Ranger Tab. He is also a proud recipient of the Order of Saint Michael (Silver Award).
Colonel Albus is married to the former Christine Braithwaite of Cambridge, Massachusetts. They have three children: Matt, 19; Jonny, 17; and Catie, 15, and live in Harker Heights, Texas.