Lt. Col. Al Ricci, a Ballston Lake Resident Slated to Take Command of the 42nd Combat Aviation Brigade

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Lt. Col. Al Ricci graduating from the Army War College earlier in 2012.

LATHAM, NY (09/12/2012)(readMedia)-- New York Army National Guard Lt. Col. Albert J. Ricci Sr., Ballston Lake resident, has been selected to lead the 42nd Combat Aviation Brigade, the air component of the 42nd Infantry Division.

Ricci, a full-time member of the New York Army National Guard is a veteran of two Iraq War deployments as well as deployments to Honduras and responses to New York State emergencies.

He will assume command of the Brigade October 20. The 42nd Combat Aviation Brigade includes the 3rd Battalion 142nd Aviation in Latham and Ronkonkoma and the 642nd Aviation Support Battalion in Rochester and Olean, as well as smaller units in 10 other states.

Ricci began his Army careers in 1985 when he attended Aviation Officer Basic Course at Fort Rucker, Alabama after earning his commission through ROTC. He graduated flight school and proceeded to obtain an UH-60 Blackhawk qualification.

His first assignment was platoon leader H Company 227th Aviation Regiment, 3rd Armor Division in Hanau, West Germany. Other positions held while stationed at Hanau were; Battalion Assistant S3, and Battalion Flight Operations Officer, 227th Aviation Regt. After attending the Aviation Advance Course at Fort Rucker his next assignment was Battalion S1 for 123rd Aviation Regt, 7th Infantry Division (Light) at Fort Ord, California. In 1991 he was selected as Commander of A Company 123rd Aviation Regt, 7th ID (Light) where he led operations during the Los Angeles Riots, JRTC Rotation and a Presidential Flight Operation to South America.

He left the Active Army in 1992 and in 1996, Ricci joined the New York Army National Guard. He has held the full-time positions of: Aviation Brigade Executive Officer; Brigade operations and personnel officer, and Commander of Army Aviation Flight Facility#1.

He deployed to Iraq in 2004/05 as the 42nd Combat Aviation Brigade operations officer. In 2008/09 he deployed to Iraq once again as commander of the 3rd 142 Assault Helicopter Battalion. He was one of the thousands of New York National Guard members who were ordered to duty to assist in the New York state response to the Sept. 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center.

Ricci earned Baccalaureate Degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, Florida in Aeronautical Studies. In 2012 he received a Masters Degree in Strategic Studies from the United States Army War College in Carlisle, P.A.

Ricci holds Federal Aviation Administration licenses of Commercial Pilot: Airplane Single-Multi Engine Land, Instrument License and Commercial Helicopter Instrument License.

His awards include the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medals, the Air Medal, Army Commendation Medals, Army Achievement Medal, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medals, the Iraqi Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Army Service Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon, the New York State Defense of Liberty with WTC device and 4 Aid to Civil Authority Medals. Ricci has also earned the Master Army Aviator Badge, the Parachutist Badge and the Air Assault Badge

He and his wife Diane have two daughters -- Kaelin and Briley-- and a son, AJ.