AUBURN, N.Y. (06/06/2019) (readMedia)-- New York Army National Guard Lt. Col. Monique Foster, a Pennfield resident, Iraq War veteran, and former Coast Guard officer, will take command of Auburn's 102nd Military Police Battalion during a change of command ceremony on Saturday, June 8.
She will replace Lt. Col. Matthew Schaffer, a Marlboro resident and New York State Police investigator, who will be assigned as Provost Marshall of the 42nd Infantry Division in Troy, N.Y.
Members of the media are invited to cover the event at the Seward Elementary School.
WHO: Lt. Col. Monique Foster, the incoming commander of the 102nd Military Police Battalion; Lt. Col. Matthew Schaffer, the outgoing commander of the 102nd Military Police Battalion; and Col. Michael Fowler the commander of the 153rd Troop Command.
WHAT: A Traditional Change-of-command ceremony in which the flag, or colors, of the 102nd Military Police Battalion will be transferred from the outgoing commander – Lt. Col. Matthew Schaffer-to Col. Fowler, the higher level commander, who in turn hands the colors to the incoming commander, Lt. Col. Monique Foster.
On the battlefield, the unit's colors marked the location of the commanding officer. The ceremony of passing the colors allowed soldiers to know who they should be following in battle.
WHEN: 1 p.m. Saturday June 8, 2019
WHERE: Seward Elementary School Gymnasium, 52 Metcalf Dr. Auburn, N.Y.
Reporters will be able to interview the incoming and outgoing commanders and obtain still and video images of the change of command ceremony and troops in formation.
Contact Capt. Timothy Gannon at 315-802-2107 for more information.
Lt. Col. Monique Foster
Lt. Col. Monique Foster began her military career as an Ensign in the Coast Guard after graduating from the US Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut with a Bachelor's Degree in Chemistry. She served as Ship's Navigator and Operations Officer servicing Aids to Navigation in the Great Lakes and completed a deployment to the Caribbean conducting Drug Interdiction Patrols.
Foster was selected for command as the first female to be stationed on LORAN Station Attu Island, Alaska a 12-month isolated duty tour. She completed her Coast Guard service as a Marine Inspector in Seattle, Washington.
After leaving the Coast Guard, Foster served as a deputy sheriff in Portland, Oregon. She moved to her hometown of Rochester in 2002 and in 2003 she joined the New York Army National Guard as a military police platoon leader in the 105th Military Police Company in Buffalo.
She deployed to Iraq in 2006 as the executive officer of the 240th Military Police Company, an element of the Puerto Rico National Guard. The unit conducted partnership training with the Iraqi forces.
In 2008 she took command of the 222nd Military Police Company. She has also served as logistics officer for the 27th Brigade Combat Team Rear Detachment during the brigade's deployment to Afghanistan.
Foster has served as plans officer for the 42nd Division, and as the operations and executive officer for the 104th Military Police Battalion. She has also served as the 42nd Division Provost Officer, and executive officer for the Adjutant General of New York.
She is currently serving full-time as the State Equal Employment Manager and Sexual Assault Response Manager for the New York National Guard.
Foster works in corporate security in her civilian career.
Fosters awards include the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, the Coast Guard Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, the Coast Guard Unit Commendation, Army Meritorious Unit Citation, Coast Guard Sea Service Ribbon, and the German Armed Forces Badge for Military Proficiency.
Foster lives in Penfield and has two daughters; Mai Lynn, 24, who is a graduate of SUNY Brockport and has started on her Master's Degree in Psychology, and Mika, 20, who is completing her Bachelor's of Science degree from Roberts Wesleyan College in Forensic Psychology.
Lt. Col. Matthew Schaffer
Lt. Col. Matthew Schaffer was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant from Norwich University in 2003 and served in the 101st Air Assault Division. He deployed to Iraq in 2003 as a platoon leader in the 501st Signal Battalion and in the fall of 2005 he deployed to Iraq again, as a member of the 526th Brigade Support Battalion.
In January of 2006 he was re-assigned to Charlie Company, 2/101 Brigade Special Troops Battalion of the 502d Infantry Regiment as a Platoon Leader. While deployed, LTC Schaffer assumed the position of Executive Officer for Charlie Company, 2/101 Brigade Special Troops Battalion.
During that deployment Schaffer served as executive officer for C Company of the 2nd Brigade, 101st Air Assault Division Special Troops Battalion.
Schaffer left active duty in June 2007 and joined the New York Army National Guard's 104th Military Police Battalion. He commanded the battalion's Headquarters Detachment from 2010 to 2013. He has also served as the battalion operations officer and executive office before becoming assistant provost marshal of the 42nd Infantry Division.
His awards include the Bronze Star Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terror Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terror Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Air Assault Badge, Basic Parachutist Badge, German Armed Forces Badge- Silver, the Army Superior Unit Award, and the 2013 New York Army National Guard Franklin D. Roosevelt Field Grade Officer Leadership Award.
Schaffer lives in Marlboro, NY and is the father of five daughters; Morgan, Abigail, Emily, Kate, and Rebecca. He is employed by the New York State Police, holds the permanent rank of Sergeant and currently serves as an Investigator assigned to the Violent Gang Narcotic Enforcement Team.
102nd Military Police Battalion
The 102nd Military Police Battalion traces its history back to the organization of the 16th Battalion of the New York National Guard in 1898 and organized from companies in Utica, Malone, Watertown, and Ogdensburg.
The battalion's predecessors served in World War I in Europe, in World War II in the Pacific as part of the 27th Infantry Division.
The unit served as an anti-aircraft and armored cavalry unit before becoming a Military Police unit in 1959.