Central New York National Guard leader takes command of Dunkirk unit on Saturday


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1st Lt. George Curran

DUNKIRK, NY (03/31/2017) (readMedia)-- Central New York native 1st Lt. George Curran will take command of the New York Army National Guard's Company A, 642nd Aviation Support Battalion during a ceremony in front of unit Soldiers and family members at the Clarion Hotel in Dunkirk on Saturday, April 1.

WHO: 1st Lt. George Curran, the incoming commander, receives the responsibilities of command from Lt. Col. Todd Bookless, the 642nd Aviation Support Battalion Commander.

WHAT: A traditional military change-of-command ceremony in which the colors, or flag, of the brigade is transferred from Captain Norman to 1st Lt. Curran by the battalion commander, signifying the change of responsibility and authority for the company from one commander to another. Traditionally the unit's color's marked the location of the commander on the battlefield and the ceremony allowed the Soldiers to know who their commander was.

WHEN: 1 p.m., Saturday, April 1, 2017.

WHERE: Clarion Hotel, 30 Lake Shore Dr E, Dunkirk, NY 14048.

Members of the media seeking access to the ceremony should contact Sgt. 1st Class William Shephard, Company A Readiness NCO at (716) 572-2525.

Coverage Opportunities:

Reporters will have the opportunity to interview both the incoming and outgoing commanders as well as Lt. Col. Todd Bookless, the commander of the battalion. Video and photographic opportunities include the passing of the company guidon between the outgoing and incoming commander.


First Lieutenant George B. Curran, Incoming Commander

First Lieutenant George B. Curran is a resident of Syracuse, New York. He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in August 2012 from the New York State Officer Candidate School.

In April 2014 he was honor graduate of the Quartermaster Basic Officer Leadership Course at Fort Lee, Virginia. Curran is also a graduate of the Combined Logistics Captains Career Course and Support Operations Course.

His past assignments include Ammunition officer for Headquarters, 427th Brigade Support Battalion in Syracuse, Executive Officer for Company B, 427th Brigade Support Battalion at Fort Drum, and Material Readiness Officer for Headquarters, 53rd Troop Command at Camp Smith.

His awards and decorations include the Pathfinder Badge, Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, and Global War on Terror Service Medal.

He holds a Bachelors in Business Administration from Hofstra University.

Lieutenant Curran currently works full-time on Active Duty for Operational Support for the New York Army National Guard, serving the 427 Brigade Support Battalion and the National Guard Homeland Response Force.

He and his wife Veronica have two children: a daughter Raquel and son George Jr.

Captain Jennifer M. Norman, Outgoing Commander

Captain Jennifer M. Norman transferred to the New York Army National Guard in January 2014, and assumed command of Company A of the 642nd Aviation Support Battalion on February 6, 2015. She had previously served in the Illinois National Guard for nine years.

She was commissioned as a Quartermaster Officer through Reserve Officer Training Corps at the Illinois State University. Capt. Norman holds a B.S. in Integrated Marketing Communications from Illinois State University and is a 2017 MBA Candidate at Pace University in New York City.

Captain Norman's military education includes the Quartermaster Basic Officer Leadership Course, Contracting Officer Representative in a Contingency Environment, Arabic-Iraqi Rapport, Master Resilience Training, Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, and COMPTIA Project Plus.

Captain Norman's previous assignments include Platoon Leader, 444th Chemical Company Combat Support, Galesburg, Ill.; Camp S-4, 444th Chemical Company Combat Support, Camp Virginia, Kuwait; HHBN S-4, U.S. Army Central, Camp Arifjan, Kuwait; and Executive Officer to the Deputy Chief of Staff, U.S. Army Central, Camp Arifjan, Kuwait.

In February, 2012, Captain Norman was ordered to Active Duty in Support of Operation Enduring Freedom and led all logistical support for Camp Virginia, Kuwait. In 2013, Norman led logistical and administrative support for Soldiers throughout the U.S. Army Central's Area of Responsibility as well as supporting the Command Group and General Staff.

Captain Norman's awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with M device, Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, Illinois State Active Duty Service Ribbon, Illinois Military Long and Honorable Service Medal, and Illinois Military Attendance Ribbon (3rd Award).

Captain Norman resides in Sierra Vista, Ariz. where she is serving as the Business Manager for the Army's new cyber security contract.

642nd Aviation Support Battalion

The 642nd Aviation Support Battalion provides provide aviation maintenance and logistical support to Army helicopter units. The battalion has elements at McArthur Airport in Ronkonkoma on Long Island, as well as at armories in Dunkirk and Olean in addition to the headquarters at the Army National Guard flight facility in Rochester.

Formerly known as the 642nd Division Aviation Support Battalion, Soldiers of the 642nd deployed in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on New York City and served in Iraq as part of the 42nd Infantry Division Aviation Brigade deployment in 2004/05.

The battalion mobilized and departed New York in September of 2013 and provided aviation support for U.S. military forces deployed in Kuwait since December 2013 as part of the 42nd Combat Aviation Brigade task force.

The force included some 44 aircraft and about 1,200 Active Army and Army National Guard aviation troops during their Kuwait deployment.

While deployed to Kuwait with the 42nd Combat Aviation Brigade, Soldiers of the 642nd ASB completed some 186,000 man hours of aviation maintenance work to support 2,700 work orders. These efforts kept 44 Army aircraft flying to support missions across Kuwait, the Gulf of Arabia, Iraq, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

The unit received the Safety Excellence Award streamer recognizing outstanding safety record and risk management practices in the organization.

Fuel and armament personnel dispensed more than 300,000 gallons of aviation fuel for aircraft operations and establishes forward area arming and refuel points for gunnery and training exercises.