CORTLANDT MANOR (10/20/2017) (readMedia)-- Maj. Todd Balog, an Afghanistan War veteran and Saratoga Springs resident, will take command of the New York Army National Guard's 369th Special Troops Battalion on Sunday, Oct. 22. He replaces Lt. Col. Seth Morgulus, who has led the battalion since 2013.
The 369th Special Troops Battalion is part of the 369th Sustainment Brigade which has elements across New York City and the Hudson Valley.
Members of the press are invited to attend the ceremony.
WHO: Maj. Todd Balog, the incoming commander; Lt. Col. Seth Morgulas, the outgoing commander, and the men and women of the 369th Special Troops Battalion.
WHAT: Traditional change-of-command ceremony in which Lt. Col. Morgulas will hand the battalion flag, commonly called the colors, to Maj. Balog to mark the transition from one commander to another.
WHEN: 1 p.m. Sunday, October 22, 2017
WHERE: Camp Smith Training Site Parade Field, 100 Camp Smith Drive, Cortlandt Manor, N.Y. 10567
Interviews with the incoming and outgoing commanders about the missions of the battalion and its role in supporting troops in combat. Visual opportunities will include the passing of the battalion colors and imagery of the troops in massed formation.
For access to this military facility, reporters must contact Capt. Jean Marie Kratzer, public affairs officer, at 518-496-7150.
The Change of Command:
The Change of Command Ceremony dates back to the days in which a military unit's flag marked its position in the line of battle. The colors were always near the commander, so troops knew where to rally on the battlefield. Today the transfer of the colors marks a change in the unit and givens the soldiers their first opportunity to see and hear their new leader.
The change of command ceremony recognizes the accomplishments of the outgoing commander and the Soldiers who served under him. In addition, the ceremony identifies the new commander to the Soldiers, so they can follow him on the field of battle.
Maj. Todd Balog:
Maj. Todd Balog, a Saratoga Springs resident, currently serves full time in the New York Army National Guard as part of the Joint Staff in the New York National Guard Headquarters. He is currently the Force Development Officer, for the Joint Training & Exercises Division.
Balog received his commission as a second lieutenant in the United States Army from the Michigan State University Army ROTC program in August 2001. Following the Armor Officer Basic Course. Balog served with the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment and a Protocol Officer in Fort Irwin, California.
Balog joined the New York Army National Guard in September 2007 where he has served as an Operations Officer in the 42d Infantry Division G3, Aide-de-Camp to the Division Commander, Company Commander of Headquarters Company and Division Secretary of the General Staff.
In 2012, Balog deployed to Afghanistan for a combat tour with the Headquarters Company, 427th Brigade Support Battalion as a Base Closure Team Leader in Regional Command East.
In February 2013, upon return from Afghanistan, Balog served as the 42d Infantry Division Headquarters Battalion Executive Officer in Troy and then was assigned to the Joint Staff in the New York National Guard Headquarters in Latham.
Balog is a graduate of the Armor Officer Basic Course, Scout Leader Course, Adjutant General Captains Career Course and Command & General Staff Officers Courses. Balog holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice from Michigan State University.
Balog's awards and decorations include; Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Serve Medal, NATO Medal, Combat Action Badge, Army Parachutist Badge and US Cavalry Spur Holder.
Lt. Col. Seth Morgulas:
Lt. Col. Seth Morgulas, a Scarsdale resident, and a veteran of the War in Iraq, is a full-time Guard officer, currently serving as the operations officer for the National Guard's 53rd Troop Command at Camp Smith Training Site near Peekskill.
Morgulas was commissioned as an Armor officer in 1993 after graduating from the Reserve Officer Training Corps Program at Johns Hopkins University as a Distinguished Military Graduate.
His past assignments include tank platoon leader in Korea, platoon leader and company executive officer and Force Modernization Officer in the 2nd Armored Division and 4th Infantry Division at Fort Hood, Texas.
In the New York Army National Guard he has served as battalion maintenance officer, personnel and operations officer and an executive officer for the 1st Battalion 69th Infantry at the Lexington Avenue Armory, and the operations officer for the 369th Sustainment Brigade.
Along with his degree from Johns Hopkins University, Morgulas holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Chicago Law School. He is a graduate of Horace Mann High School in the Bronx and was raised in Scarsdale.
He is a graduate of the Armor Basic and Advanced Courses, the Combined Arms and Services Staff School and the US Army Command and General Staff College.
His awards and decorations include; the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Medal, and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korea Defense Service Medal, and the Iraq Campaign Medal.
He has also been awarded the Combat Action Badge and Army Parachutist Badge and the Meritorious Unit Commendation. He is also a recipient of the Order of Saint Barbara and the Order of Saint Maurice which recognize excellent in the Field Artillery and Infantry branches of the Army, respectively.
Morgulas and his wife Margreta have two sons, Max and Samuel.
369th Brigade Troops Battalion:
The 369th Sustainment Brigade which the battalion falls under, known as the Harlem Hellfighters, traces its history back to the all-black 369th Infantry Regiment which distinguished itself in World War I. The unit earned more French Croix de Guerre medals for heroism than any other unit in the American Army.
In October 2016, the battalion deployed to Kuwait under the 1ST Theater Sustainment Command in support of Operation Inherent Resolve and Operation Spartan Shield. The 369th Sustainment Brigade assumed the mission from the 17th Sustainment Brigade.