Iraq veteran takes command of 501st Ordnance Battalion on Saturday, Oct. 21 in Glenville

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Major Hank Padley

GLENVILLE, NY (10/20/2017) (readMedia)-- New York National Guard Major Hank Padley, an Armonk resident and veteran of the Iraq War, will take command of the 501st Ordnance Battalion, on Saturday, Oct. 21 at the Glenville Armed Forces Reserve Center here.

Padley replaces Lt. Col. Jason Souza, who has commanded the unit since 2015, is moving onto a new assignment. Members of the press are invited to cover the event.

WHO: Major Hank Padley, the incoming commander; Lt. Col. Jason Souza, the outgoing commander; and the Soldiers of the 501st Ordnance Battalion (Explosive Ordnance Disposal)

WHAT: A formal change of command ceremony during which the colors of the 501st Ordnance Battalion will be transferred from Souza to Padley, signifying the formal transition of authority for the men and women of the battalion. The "colors" or flag of a military unit traditionally went with the commander on the battle field and this ceremony allowed the Soldiers to see their new commander.

WHEN: 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, October 21, 2017

WHERE: Glenville Armed Forces Reserve Center, 251 Rudy Chase Drive, Glenville, N.Y.

Coverage Opportunities

Reporters will be able to interview the incoming and outgoing commanders. Video and still photo opportunities include the change of command ceremony and troops in formation.

Members of the media wishing to cover this event must contact Command Sgt. Major Kevin Conklin at 518-703-3095 for access to this secure military facility.


Major Hank Padley

Padley joined the New Jersey Army National Guard in 1989 and served as a paratrooper assigned to the 150th Infantry Detachment (Long Range Surveillance) and served in that unit until joining the New York Army National Guard's 1st Battalion, 108th Infantry in 1994.

In 1996 Padley was commissioned as a second lieutenant through the Army ROTC program at Canisius College and entered the Active Army as a Chemical Officer in the 82nd Airborne Division. In 2000 he rejoined the New York Army National Guard's 1st Battalion 105th Infantry.

Padley has served in a number of positions to include chemical platoon Leader, support platoon leader, military police platoon leader, infantry company executive officer, infantry company commander, and in staff officer positions at the division, and brigade level. He has been serving as the rear detachment commander –a full time position- -for the 369th Sustainment Brigade while that unit was deployed to Kuwait in 2016/2017.

Padley deployed to Iraq in 2004/2005 as a platoon leader in the 442nd Military Police Company.

He has also been involved in New York Army National Guard operations conducted in response the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, Operation Noble Eagle-the National Guard airport security mission following the Sept. 11 attacks, Hurricane Irene and Superstorm Sandy.

Padley holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemistry from Montclair State University and a Master's Degree in bioanalytical chemistry from the University of Buffalo.

He is a graduate of the Army's Airborne and Air Assault courses, Command and General Staff College and the Support Operations Officer Course.

His awards include the Navy and Marine Corps Presidential Unit Award, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Army Parachutist Badge, the Air Assault Badge and the Combat Action Badge.

He and his wife Meg live in Armonk, N.Y. with their son Aidan and daughter Maeve.

Lt. Col. Jason Souza

Lt. Col. Jason Souza enlisted in the Army Reserve in November 1993. He received his officer's commission as a 2nd Lt. in 1998 from Marion Military Institute and served as a Tank Platoon Leader for Company D, 1st Battalion, 101st Cavalry in Newburgh New York.

In June 2000 Souza went on active duty where he served in a variety of leadership and staff positions with explosives ordnance disposal, including command time as an EOD Company Commander and division chief of the Improvised Explosive Device Division and Air Ordnance Division.

Returning to reserve status in 2010 Souza joined the Alabama National Guard as the Group Assistant Operations officer. Souza moved to the New York Army National Guard in 2011 where he served in the 501st EOD Battalion as the Battalion Operations Officer and the 53rd Troop Command as the Assistant Operations Officer.

Souza has served multiple tours in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

His military and civilian educations include the Army Command and General Staff College, and the Advanced Access and Disablement Course. He currently has a bachelor's degree from Oswego State University and a Master's from Park University.

His awards and decorations include the Master Explosive Ordnance Disposal Badge, Combat Action Badge, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf, Army Commendation with three oak leaf clusters and the Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster.

Souza is the Director of Army Programs for the contracting firm PAE in his civilian career. He is from Fredericksburg, Virginia, and is married to Beth Souza. The couple have two children.

501st Explosive Ordnance Disposal Battalion:

Based at the Glenville Armed Forces Reserve Center the 501st EOD battalion is a headquarters unit which is able to take control of two to five Explosive Ordnance Disposal companies in a combat zone. The 501st is the higher headquarters for the New York Army National Guard's 1108th EOD Company, also based at the Glenvile Armed Forces Reserve Center, along with EOD companies in Greenville, North Carolina, Camp Edward, Massachusetts, Camp Dawson, West Virginia, and Camp Grayling, Michigan.

The 501st Ordnance Battalion deployed to Iraq in the fall of 2010, serving there for nine months. During the battalion's deployment in Iraq the unit was responsible for counter-IED operations in nine provinces of southern Iraq, a region of about 81,000-square miles. This includes the main north-south highway known to the Military as MSR (Main Supply Route) Tampa, which is the road that U.S. military supplies and Soldiers entered and left Iraq over.

The 501st traces its roots back to the New York National Guard's historic 105th Infantry Regiment , known as the "Appleknockers," because historically the Soldiers of the regiment worked in the apple orchards of the Hudson Valley as civilians. The regiment fought in World War I and World War II before converting to an EOD battalion in 2005.

The 501st also serves as the higher headquarters for the New York Army National Guard's 1427th Transportation Company and 466th Area Medical Company.