Latham National Guard brigade gets new commander on Saturday, July 20

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Lt. Col. MIchael Charnley

LATHAM, NY (07/19/2019) (readMedia)-- Lt. Col. Michael Charnley, a Churchville, Monroe County resident, who has served in Panama, Bosnia, and Kuwait, will take command of the New York Army National Guard's 42nd Combat Aviation Brigade during a traditional ceremony at the Army flight facility in Latham on Saturday morning, July 20.

Charnley will replace Col. Jack James who has commanded the brigade since 2014. James is moving into the position of commander of the New York Army National Guard's 53rd Troop Command, one of its two general officer commands. James will be promoted following the change of command ceremony

Members of the press are invited to cover the event.

WHO: Lt. Col. Michael Charnley, the incoming commander; Col. Jack James, the outgoing commander; Major General Steven Ferrari, the commanding general of the 42nd Infantry Division, the brigade's higher headquarters; and brigade Soldiers.

WHAT: A traditional change-of-command ceremony in which the colors, or flag, of the unit is transferred from the outgoing commander to the incoming commander by the presiding officer. The transfer of the colors indicates the transfer of authority. Traditionally the colors of the unit accompanied the commander on the battlefield and indicated his position in the line. The transfer of the unit colors indicated to Soldiers who they should follow in battle.

WHEN: 11 a.m. Saturday, July 20, 2019

WHERE: Army Aviation Support Facility, 330 Old Niskayuna Road, Latham, N.Y.

Members of the press must contact Capt. Philip McGrath, 518-786-4373, for access to this secure military facility.

Coverage Opportunities:

Reporters can interview both the incoming and outgoing commanders. There will be opportunities for still and video imagery of the ceremony and troops in formation.


Lt. Col. Michael Charnley

Lt. Col. Michael Charnley entered the United State Army in 1991 and attended Warrant Officer Flight training, graduating from flight school in 1992. During his active service he served as a Warrant Officer in various assignments in Korea and Fort Campbell, KY before being selected to attend Officer Candidate School (OCS) at Fort Benning in 1998.

Upon commissioning, Charnley served as a company Executive Officer and Platoon Leader in 1-10 Aviation (Attack). In 1999 he was deployed to Bosnia as part of the 10th Mountain Division Brigade Task Force in support of Operation Joint Forge.

In 2001, he transferred to the New York National Guard and was assigned as the Battalion Intelligence Officer for the 1-142 Aviation Battalion (Attack) Charnley was later assigned to the 249th Medical Company (Air Ambulance) as a Platoon Leader.

He deployed in support of Operation Nobel Eagle, the post Sept. 11, 2001 security mission in the United States, and Hurricane Katrina. Charnley was then selected as the 249th Commander in which he deployed to the Republic of Panama in support of a New Horizons mission.

In 2010 Charnley was assigned as the Brigade Aviation Officer for the 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team. While assigned there he deployed to Kuwait in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and served as the Garrison Commander of Camp Arifjan. Upon his return from Kuwait he was assigned as the 42d Infantry Division (ID) Division Airspace Management Officer.

In 2014 Charnley was selected as the Battalion Commander of the 642d Aviation Support Battalion (ASB).

After completing that command he was selected to attend the resident United States Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, PA, graduating in 2017. Returning from Carlisle, Charnley was again assigned to the 42d ID as a Liaison Officer, followed by assignments as the Executive Officer for the 42d Combat Aviation Brigade (CAB) and the Operations Deputy in the Army Forces Command Aviation directorate.

Charnley is a Master Army Aviator, and is both Airborne and Air Assault qualified. He is a graduate of the Aviation Officer Basic Course, Medical Services Captains Career Course, Combined Arms & Service Staff School, Advanced Operations Warfighting Course, and the US Army War College. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Politics and Master's in Strategic Studies.

He is qualified in the AH-1F, OH-58D, UH-1V, and UH-60.

Charnley is a full-time National Guard officer.

Charnley is married to the former Karen deLancey. They are the proud parents of their four children, Nicholas, Matthew, Kathleen, and Joseph and live in Churchville, N.Y.

Col. Jack James

Col. Jack James graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1992. He attended the Aviation Officer Basic Course and flight school at Fort Rucker, Ala. where he qualified in the AH-1 Cobra attack helicopter.

During active duty service, James served in key leadership and operational assignments including: Executive Officer, Co. C, 2nd Aviation Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, Camp Stanley, Korea; Attack Helicopter Platoon Leader, and Battalion S4, 1st Bn., (Attack), 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Infantry Division, Wheeler AAF, Hawaii; Attack Helicopter Troop Commander, and Squadron Assistant S3, 4th Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, Ft. Carson, CO.

James deployed to Haiti for Operation Uphold Democracy in 1995 and to Bosnia-Herzegovina as Commander of R Troop of 4th Squadron 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment in 2000.

In 2002, James joined the New York Army National Guard. He served as operations and intelligence officer for the 642nd Aviation Support Battalion; the Executive Officer of the 3rd Bn., 142nd Aviation Regiment; and Brigade operations officer for the 42d Combat Aviation Brigade.

James served as Operations Officer for New York's aviation response to Hurricane Katrina in September 2005, coordinating an aviation task force that grew to 28 aircraft and 500 Soldiers from four states, providing hurricane relief the Gulf Coast region.

In 2011 James assumed command of the 642d Aviation Support Battalion, Rochester, New York. He led his battalion onto State Active Duty in response to Hurricane Sandy in November 2012, and in 2013 mobilized and deployed to Kuwait in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The battalion provided aviation maintenance and sustainment to the 42d Combat Aviation Brigade through August 2014.

James holds a Master of Business Administration degree from New York University.

He is a Distinguished Graduate of the Army War College, Class of 2015, and several other military schools, including the Air War College, Command & General Staff College, Aviation Officer Advanced Course, Combined Arms & Services Staff School, and the Electronic Warfare/Aircraft Survivability Course.

He is a Pilot-in-Command in the UH-60 Blackhawk and is rated in the AH-64 Apache, AH-1 Cobra, and UH-1 Huey helicopters, and several fixed wing aircraft.

James' awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, two Armed Forces Expeditionary Service Medals, and the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Korea Defense Service Medal, two Humanitarian Service Medals, three Overseas Service Ribbons, and the NATO Medal. He also holds the Master Army Aviator Badge, Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge, and other federal and state awards.

James is married to the former Lesia Koropey and has three children: Katherine, Juliana, and Nicholas. In his civilian career, he is a Corporate Vice President at the New York Life Insurance Company.