Christopher Panzer, Albany resident and Afghan and Iraq veteran, promoted to Colonel in New York Army National Guard

Christopher Panzer, an Albany resident and a veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, has been promoted to Colonel in the New York Army National Guard.

Panzer is a full-time National Guard officer who serves as director of plans, operations, and training for the New York Army National Guard.

He was promoted during a May 16 ceremony at New York National Guard headquarters. Panzer's father, Philip Panzer, a former Marine, had the honor of pinning his son's rank on his uniform.

Panzer enlisted in the Army in 1987. His first duty assignment was with the 1st Battalion, 64th Armor in Germany as an Armored Calvary Scout.

After leaving active duty, Panzer joined the New York Army National Guard, where he was selected for Officer Candidate School and commissioned as a second Lieutenant in June 1991. Upon completion of the Infantry Officers Basic Course, Panzer was assigned to the 105th Infantry Battalion.

Panzer is a graduate of Regents College, the Army Command and General Staff College, and he will receive his master's degree in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College this July.

Panzer has two combat deployments, one to Iraq in 2005 and one to Afghanistan in 2008.

Over the course of his career, Panzer has held many leadership positions such as the bravo company Executive officer with the 105th Infantry, 27th Brigade, the battalion executive officer of the 42nd Infantry Division Special Troops battalion, and the battalion commander of the 42nd Infantry Division Headquarters Battalion.

Panzer's awards include the Bronze Star Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the National Defense service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon, and the NATO Medal.

Panzer was also joined at the ceremony by his uncle, Joseph O'Leary, a retired Brigadier General of the U.S. Army.

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