A former pilot instructor with more than 5,000 flight hours, Army Chief Warrant Officer 5 David Dale retired from the National Guard in 2017 after 37 years of service including his last five years as the Command Chief Warrant Officer of the Delaware Army National Guard.

The keynote speaker for the Smyrna-Clayton Memorial Day ceremony Monday, May 27 will be Army Chief Warrant Officer 5 (Retired) David Dale.

Dale retired from the Delaware Army National Guard in 2017 after 37 years of service. He was appointed the Command Chief Warrant Officer of the Delaware Army National Guard on Nov. 1, 2012, after serving as the Rotary Wing Standardization Officer for Joint Force Headquarters, Delaware Army National Guard.

Dale, a native of New Castle, now resides in Cecil County, Maryland. He is a graduate of the University of Delaware and the warrant officer senior staff course.

He enlisted in the Delaware Army National Guard in 1980 and was assigned to Company B 150th AV, New Castle, as a flight operations specialist. In 1982, he attended the Army Aviation Initial Entry Rotary Wing Course at Fort Rucker, Alabama. Upon graduation, Dale was appointed a warrant officer 1 in April 1983. From 1983 to 1991, he served in a variety of assignments for the Delaware Army National Guard Aviation Unit.

In 1991, he attended the UH-1 helicopter instructor pilot course at Fort Rucker and performed those duties in Company D 150th AV and Company C 2/126th AV. Then he attended the instrument flight examiner course at Fort Rucker in 1999.

In 2002, Dale entered the Active Guard/Reserve program as a full-time helicopter instructor pilot. On his first day of full-time duty he departed for training as a UH60 Blackhawk pilot. Over the next several months he completed UH60 qualification training and UH60 instructor pilot training in support of Delaware’s transition into the Blackhawk helicopter.

In 2004, he deployed to Iraq as an instructor pilot with Company B 1/150th AV in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom III. When he returned to Delaware in late 2005, he assumed the role of standardization instructor pilot for Company A 3/238 AV.

In 2008 he attended the Army fixed wing qualification course at Fort Rucker. The next year, he deployed as the standardization instructor pilot with Company A 3/238 AV to Bagram Airfield in support of Operation Enduring Freedom X.

During this deployment Dale was promoted to the rank of chief warrant officer 5. Upon his return, he assumed the duties as the Rotary Wing Standardization Officer for Joint Force Headquarters.

He has accumulated over 5,000 flight hours.

Parade and ceremony

The Smyrna-Clayton Memorial Day observance will begin with a parade Monday, May 27 in Smyrna at 10 a.m.

The parade line up starts at 9:15 a.m. at Market Street Plaza near the post office and town hall. The parade route from Market Street will turn right (east) on Commerce Street, turn left (north) on Main Street, cross Glenwood Avenue and end at George C. Wright Jr. Municipal Park near North Smyrna Elementary.

Representatives of groups or organizations interested in participating in the parade should call Grant Nash at (302) 363-4280 or Tom Emerson at (302) 363-1021.

A memorial ceremony will be held after the parade at the Smyrna Clayton Veterans Monument at Wright Municipal Park on North Main Street.

The ceremony will include musical tributes to each branch of the service, presentation of flags for the Veterans Monument, and the keynote speech.

In case of inclement weather, the parade will be cancelled; however, a memorial ceremony will still be held at the Clayton Fire Hall at 10:30 a.m.

Donations requested

The Veterans Monument Committee is requesting military flags or monetary donations to cover maintenance and upkeep for the monument. Donations can be made out to “Smyrna Clayton Veterans Memorial Fund.” Organizations or families wishing to donate are asked to call Tom Emerson at (302) 363-1021 or email at CHC44101@comcast.net so that you can be recognized and present your flag or donation during the ceremony.