New York City Firefighter and Afghan War veteran takes command of Yonkers NY National Guard unit Sunday

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Major Ian Seagriff

YONKERS (04/07/2017) (readMedia)-- New York Army National Guard Major Ian Seagriff, a New York City Fire Fighter and a veteran of the War in Afghanistan, will take command of the 101st Expeditionary Signal Battalion during a change of command ceremony on Sunday, April 9 at the Police Athletic League Center in Yonkers.

Members of the press are invited to attend.

WHO: Major Ian Seagriff, the incoming commander, Lt. Col. Diane Armbruster, the outgoing commander, and Brig. Gen. Michel Natali, the commander of the 53rd Troop Command who will act as the presiding officer.

WHAT: A traditional change of command ceremony in which the outgoing commander will pass the colors of the battalion to the incoming commander. The ceremony was originally designed so that Soldiers could actually see who their new commander would be and also see that the unit's colors-its flag and the symbol of authority-was being transferred. Armbruster will pass the unit's colors to Natali, who in turn will hand them to Seagriff, symbolizing the transfer of authority for the battalion.

WHEN: 11 a.m., Sunday, April 9, 2017

WHERE: The Yonkers Police Athletic League Center, 127 N. Broadway, Yonkers, NY, 10701.

Members of the media should contact Capt. Dilbert Gustave at 908-229-2496 for access and information.

Cover Opportunity:

Reporters will be able to interview the incoming and outgoing commanders as well as Brig. Gen. Michel Natali. Still and video imagery opportunities include troops in formation and the passing of the colors.


Major Ian Seagriff

Major Ian Seagriff began his military career in 1992 after enlisting in the United States Marine Corps. He served in both the Active and Marine Corps reserves before joining the New York Army National Guard.

Seagriff was commissioned in 2003 through the New York Army National Guard Office r Candidate School Program and has served in National Guard infantry and armor units.

He has served as a platoon leader in the 1st Battalion 101st Cavalry, a company commander in the 1st Battalion 69th Infantry, as the operations officer for the 1st Battalion 69th Infantry and as an operations officer for the 42nd Infantry Division.

Seagriff deployed to Khowst, Afghanistan in 2007 as part of Embedded Training Team supporting the training of the Afghan National Army.

His awards include the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal w/service star, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Afghanistan Service Medal, Armed Forces Service Medal, NATO Medal and several other federal and state military awards.

Seagriff is a graduate of City University of New York with a degree in Economics.

He lives on Staten Island, New York with his wife Tara and their two children, James and Riley. He works full-time as a Fire Fighter with the FDNY.

Lt. Col. Diane Armbruster:

Lt. Col. Diane Armbruster began her military career with the 42nd Infantry Division in 1993 as an enlisted Soldier, serving as a Cable Systems Installer with Company C, 250th Signal Battalion, and part of the New Jersey Army National Guard.

She graduated from the New Jersey Army National Guard Officer Candidate School Program in 1995. Armbruster remained in positions of significant responsibility within the 42nd Infantry Division communications specialties until her assumption of command of the 101st Expeditionary Signal Battalion.

She has served as a signal company commander, operations officer, personnel officer, brigade communications officer and division communications officer.

Armbruster is a veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

She deployed with the 42nd Infantry to Tikrit, Iraq in 2005. She also deployed to Camp Buehring, Kuwait in 2012 as part of the 27th Military Engagement Team.

Her awards include the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Reserve Components Overseas Training Ribbon, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal and several other federal and state military awards.

Armbruster is a graduate of Rutgers University with dual degrees in Journalism and Administration of Justice.

She lives in Bergen County, New Jersey and works full-time as a law enforcement officer with the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office.

She has been selected to attend the U.S. Army War College residence course at Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

101st Expeditionary Signal Battalion

The 101st Expeditionary Signal Battalion provides and manages satellite communications and information systems support to combat forces across a military theater. Their support includes network operations and management of the electromagnetic spectrum. Signal support encompasses designing, installing, maintaining, and managing information networks; to include communications links, computers, and other components of local and wide area networks.

Soldiers belonging to the battalion plan, install, operate, and maintain voice and data communications networks that employ single and multi-channel satellite, tropospheric scatter, terrestrial microwave, switching, messaging, video-teleconferencing, visual information, and other related systems. They also integrate tactical, strategic and sustaining base communications, information processing and management systems into a seamless global information network that supports knowledge dominance for Army, joint and coalition operations.

The unit deployed to Afghanistan in September 2012 and provided communications support to American and coalition forces, returning home to New York in June 2013.

The 101st Signal Battalion has also provided support during New York weather emergencies, most recently on March 14-15 when the governor called out National Guard troops to help in the aftermath of a northeaster storm.