New York's Fighting 69th Infantry gets new commander in Sunday, October 22 ceremony

Media Advisory

NEW YORK, NEW YORK (10/20/2023) (readMedia)-- New York City's "Fighting 69th" infantry regiment gets a new commander during a Sunday, October 22, ceremony at the unit's Lexington Avenue Armory home.

Lt. Col. Adam Bojarski will replace Lt. Col. Shawn Tabankin, as the leader of the New York Army National Guard's 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry Regiment.

The 69th Infantry traditionally leads the St. Patrick's Day Parade each year and its Soldiers have fought in the Civil War, World Wars I and II, and in Iraq and Afghanistan. The 69th is the subject of the Irish folk song "The Fighting 69th" and a 1940 war movie by the same name.

Reporters are invited to cover the change of command ceremony.

WHO: Lt. Col. Adam Bojarski, the incoming commander; Lt. Col. Shawn Tabankin, the outgoing commander, Col. Bradley Frank, commander of the 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team and the presiding officer of the ceremony; and the Soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry.

WHAT: A traditional change-of-command ceremony during which Tabankin will transfer the unit's flag-or colors-to Frank, who will than pass them to Bojarski. This ceremony indicates the transfer of authority for the battalion's 600 Soldiers from one leader to another. Traditionally the colors mark the commanders place on the battlefield, and the ceremony allowed the units Soldiers to see and hear from their leader.

WHEN: 10 a.m., Sunday, October 22, 2023

WHERE: The historic Lexington Avenue Armory, 68 Lexington Avenue, Manhattan

Media who wish to cover the ceremony must call Major Avery Schneider at 917-443-1864 or by emailing for access to this secure military facility.

Coverage Opportunities:

Press can capture still, and video coverage of the ceremony and interview leaders involved and soldiers as well.



Lt. Col. Adam Bojarski received his commission through the United States Military Academy and served as an infantry officer in the Active Army before joining the New York Army National Guard.

While on active duty he served as a platoon leader, company executive officer, battalion staff officer and an infantry company commander.

During this period, he served in Iraq for 15 months with the 10th Mountain Division.

After completing his active duty military obligation, Bojarski joined the New York Army National Guard's 2nd Battalion 108th Infantry Regiment, where he served as logistics officer and a company commander.

He served in the 10th Mountain Division Main Command Post-Operational Detachment, a New York National Guard unit whose members augment the 10th Mountain Division headquarters, as well as in the 2nd Squadron, 101st Cavalry in key staff positions.

In 2017 he deployed to Ukraine as part of a New York Army National Guard team overseeing the work of the Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine. He was responsible for coordinating the work of British, Canadian. Polish, Lithuanian, and American personnel who were training Ukrainian soldiers at the International Peacekeeping and Security Center in Yavoriv, Ukraine.

When the New York National Guard mobilized Soldiers to assist in the state response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Bojarski was part of that effort. He was also among the New York National Guard Soldiers mobilized after the events of January 6, 2021, at the Capitol to help provide security.

Following the invasions of Ukraine in 2022, Bojarski, deployed as an individual to Wiesbaden, Germany where he served on the staff of the 18th Airborne Corps and worked on the staff of the Security Assistance Group- Ukraine.

In these positions he was responsible for coordinating and resourcing training for Ukrainian military personnel from 16 nations at 40 locations across Europe.

Bojarski is a graduate of the Army Command and General Staff College. Along with his degree from West Point, he holds a Master of Business Administration from the State University of New York and has been accepted into the United States Army War College.

His awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, the Combat Infantryman Badge, and the Parachutist Badge.

In civilian life, Bojarski is senior manager of business development for SRC, Inc, in North Syracuse, New York.

He is a board member of the Association of the US Army – Northern New York/Fort Drum Chapter and sits on the New York 22nd Congressional District United State Military Academy at West Point Nomination Board.

Bojarski currently resides in Camillus, Onondaga County, with his three children Alexander (12), Anna (10), and Adeline (10).


Lt. Col. Shawn Tabankin, a resident of Clifton Park, Saratoga County, is a veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Tabankin enlisted in the United States Army in 1997 and served in the 82nd Airborne Division before receiving his commission as an infantry officer in 2002 through the Army Reserve Officers Training Corps, joining the New York Army National Guard in order to attend New York Law School.

In 2003, Tabankin took a voluntary leave of absence from law school in order to deploy to Iraq as a platoon leader with Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 108th Infantry.

Tabankin completed law school, began practice as an attorney and continued his service as a National Guard officer.

Tabankin became a full time active duty member of the New York Army National Guard upon return in 2012, where he served as Force Integration Officer and then, in 2015, the battalion operations officer for the 2-108th Infantry.

In 2017, Tabankin transferred to the 42nd Infantry Division where he deployed to Kuwait as the Chief of Plans for Task Force Spartan.

Tabankin is a graduate of the Infantry Officer Basic Course, Maneuver Captain's Career Course, Intermediate Level Education, and the Advanced Operations Course.

His awards include the Bronze Star Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Purple Heart, the Iraq Campaign Medal with two Bronze Service Stars, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with 1 Bronze Service Star, Valorous Unit Award, Meritorious Unit Award with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Combat Infantryman's Badge, the Parachutist Badge, and Air Assault Badge.

He is a resident of Clifton Park, Saratoga County.

His follow on assignment is at New York National Guard Joint Force Headquarters.


The 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry, has a distinguished history that includes service in the Civil War, World War I, World War II and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Reportedly, the regiment was given the name "that fighting 69th Regiment" by Confederate General Robert E. Lee at the Battle of Fredericksburg in 1863.

During World War I the regiment served as part of the 42nd Infantry Division in France. The units chaplain, Father ( Major) Francis Duffy is commemorated with a statue in Times Square.

In World War II the Soldiers of the 69th invaded Makin Atoll in 1943 and fought on the Islands of Saipan and Okinawa in the campaign in the Pacific against Japan.

In 2004-05 the battalion was mobilized and then deployed to Baghdad, Iraq where it was given the mission of security Route Irish, the road from the Baghdad Airport to the center of the city. At one time this was considered the most dangerous road in Iraq.

Members of the 69th also deployed to Afghanistan in 2008.

Closer to home, members of the battalion were part of the response to Superstorm Sandy and have participated in numerous state weather emergencies as well as the state's COVID-19 in 2020 to 2022.

The battalion served as a security force at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti in 2022-2023.