New York National Guard Cavalry Squadron Welcomes New Leadership

Media Advisory for unit change of command ceremony

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NY Army National Guard Lt. Col. David Dunkle in Afghanistan, 2008. Courtesy photo.

BUFFALO, NY (03/25/2010)(readMedia)-- Soldiers from the New York Army National Guard's 2nd Squadron, 101st Cavalry welcome their new commander during a unit ceremony this weekend.

WHO: Lieutenant Colonel David Dunkle relinquishes command to Major Henry Pettit with more than 100 troopers of the squadron in attendance.

WHAT: Change of Command ceremony for the 2nd Squadron, 101st Cavalry (Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Target Acquisition).

WHERE: New York State Armory, 27 Masten Avenue, Buffalo, N.Y. 14204

WHEN: 4 p.m., Saturday, March 27, 2010


News media will be able to interview the troopers and leaders of the 2-101 Cavalry as part of the change of command ceremony. Visuals include the passing of the unit colors from the current to new squadron commander.

Major Henry Pettit

New York Army National Guard Maj. Henry Pettit is a graduate of City University and Regent College. He enlisted in the New York Army National Guard and served nearly eight years prior to attending Officer Candidate School in June of 1993 to receive his officer's commission.

Pettit served initially as a scout platoon and anti-tank platoon leader with the 1st Battalion, 105th Infantry before entering the Active Guard and Reserve Program in 1996. He has held a number of staff and leadership positions in his 16 years of commissioned service, including battalion personnel officer, logistics officer and rifle company commander with the 105th Infantry, Officer Strength Manager, Area Officer in Charge and Executive Officer of the New York Army National Guard Recruiting and Retention Command, Deputy Personnel Officer with the 42nd Infantry Division Headquarters and Executive Officer of the 106th Regional Training Institute.

Pettit is a graduate of the Infantry Officer Basic and Advanced Course, the Combined Arms and Services Staff School, the Pathfinder Course and the Command and General Staff Common Core and Pre-Command Courses.

His awards include the Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Army Commendation Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Army Achievement Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Armed Forces Service Medal, Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal with Silver oak leaf cluster, National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Device, Armed Forces Reserve Medal and the Army Service Ribbon.

Lieutenant Colonel David Dunkle

New York Army National Guard Lt. Col. David Dunkle was born and raised in Buffalo, N.Y. and is a graduate of Canisius College with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Finance.

Commissioned in December 1987, Dunkle held various leadership and staff operational assignments throughout his career to include Platoon Leader, Company Executive Officer and Company Commander with the 1-127th Armor Battalion, Plans Officer in the 3rd Armored Brigade, 42nd Infantry Division, 1-127 Armor Battalion Aviation Planning Officer, Operations Officer for the 3rd Armored Brigade, 1-127 Armor Battalion Executive Officer, 42ID Assistant Chief of Operations and the 2-101 Cavalry Squadron Executive officer.

Dunkle assumed Command of the 2nd Squadron, 101st Cavalry on June 1, 2006.

Dunkle is a graduate of the Armor Officer Basic Course, Armor Officer Advance Course, Command and Staff Service School, and the Command and General Staff College and the Infantry Officer Pre-Command Course.

Dunkle deployed in 2008 as the Security Force Battalion Commander in support of Combined Joint Task Force Phoenix in Afghanistan. Dunkle previously deployed in 2004 as part of the 42nd Infantry Division Headquarters and Task Force Liberty in Tikrit, Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom.

His awards include the Bronze Star (2nd Award), Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Device, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Afghan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal and the Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Medal and the NATO Medal with ISAF device.

Dunkle is currently employed as a Supervisor by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) and lives in Lancaster, N.Y. with his wife Susan and two sons, Ian and Colin.

The 2nd Squadron, 101st Cavalry (Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Target Acquisition -RSTA)

Lieutenant Colonel David Dunkle assumed command of the reconnaissance squadron on June 1, 2006. The squadron and the 1-69th Infantry Battalion's scout platoon deployed six months later, in January 2007 to the US/Mexican border in support of Operation Jump Start, the homeland security augmentation to the US Customs and Border Enforcement Agency. During that time we manned checkpoints in Ojo, Sasabe and Nogalas in Arizona.

The squadron received its new mission to prepare for deployment in the spring of 2007 as the security force battalion for the 27th Infantry Brigade's pending deployment to Afghanistan as Combined Joint Task Force Phoenix. During premobilization training, the squadron received more than 500 new Soldiers attached from the 1-69th Infantry and 2-108th Infantry Battalions, along with other units throughout the state.

The 2-101 Cavalry Squadron mobilized in January 2008 and conducted predeployment training at Fort Bragg, N.C. and arrived in Afghanistan in March, 2008.

During the squadron's deployment, the cavalry troopers conducted security operations and mentored Afghan National Army and National Police forces throughout Afghanistan. The unit experienced seven troopers killed in action during the deployment and one additional Soldier who died during his recovery at Fort Bragg.

The squadron re-deployed from Afghanistan in late December 2008 and demobilized from Fort Bragg in January 2009.

Following reintegration events and reorganization back to the traditional reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition squadron in the spring of 2009, the unit conducted their first cavalry spur ride in August 2009, awarding 15 troopers their coveted cavalry spurs for demonstrated excellence in their reconnaissance mission.

The 2-101 Cavalry most recently conducted weapons qualification at Fort Pickett, Va. to set the conditions for more complex collective troop area and route reconnaissance training this summer during annual training, the organization's primary mission.

For access to the secure military facility, contact Maj. David Powell, squadron executive officer at (716) 888-5668 or (518) 813-1110.