Niskayuna resident Larry Schaefer is promoted to colonel in New York Air National Guard

Iraq War Veteran leads the New York Air National Guard's Staff Judge Advocate

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LATHAM, N.Y. (05/06/2018) Larry Schaefer, a Niskayuna resident, was promoted to colonel in the New York Air National Guard during a promotion ceremony at the National Guard headquarters in Latham, N.Y. on May 5, 2018.

Schaefer has more than 25 years of military service and has been a member of the New York Air National Guard since 1998, serving as the Staff Judge Advocate for both the 105th Airlift Wing in Newburgh and the 109th Airlift Wing in Scotia.

He received a direct commission in 1992 and was first assigned as an Assistant Staff Judge Advocate for the active Air Force 436th Airlift Wing at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.

He deployed to Iraq and served as counsel with the Coalitional Provisional Authority and deployed again in 2005 in support of Hurricane Katrina relief efforts in New Orleans.

In 2007, he returned to the Middle East and served as the Deputy Staff Judge Advocate for the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar.

The presiding officer for the promotion ceremony was Major General Timothy Labarge, the New York Air National Guard Chief of Staff.

"We don't pick people for promotion," Labarge said to the attendees. "We develop leaders."

"The promotion is incidental to the leadership development we make in the Air Force," he said. "Your job now," Labarge said to Schaefer, "is to be worthy of all of those who had a part in your development."

"I am humble, I am grateful, I am a bit surprised, but most of all I am thankful for this opportunity," Schaefer said to assembled members of his former air wings.

"26 years ago I made the most uninformed decision of my life, to join the Air Force," Schaefer said. "I had no idea what I was getting into. Looking back, it was one of the best decisions I ever made."

Schaefer grew up in Saugerties, N.Y. and graduated from the University at Albany and then Syracuse University College of Law.

He is a graduate of the Squadron Officer School, Air Command and Staff College and Air War College.

His awards include the Meritorious Service Medal Air Force Commendation Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Himanitarian Service Medal and the Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon.

In civilian life, he is a partner with the firm Lippes, Mathias, Wexler and Friedman where he focuses on Labor and Employment issues.

He and his partner Angela Rosetti have two daughters, Anna and Melissa.