FORT DRUM, NY (05/23/2017) (readMedia)-- Webster resident Joseph Biehler, a veteran of the Iraq and Afghan wars, and Finance Senior Manager for Rochester's Harris Corporation, is now the New York Army National Guard's newest general officer.
Biehler, who joined the Army National Guard as an infantry officer in 1987, was promoted to brigadier general (one-star) during a ceremony at Fort Drum on Sunday, May 21.
Biehler has been the commander of the New York Army National Guard's 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team for the past four years. The brigade is headquartered in Syracuse and has units across the state.
He will now serve as the assistant division commander for maneuver of the 42nd Infantry Division, which is based in Troy.
"This is a tremendous honor," Biehler said following his promotion. "Being a Soldier is such an honor, and I still very much enjoy wearing this uniform."
Biehler's promotion came following a ceremony in which he turned over command of the 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team to Col. Christopher Cronin, a Victor resident. Cronin, also a veteran of the Afghan War, previously served as commander of the 2nd Battalion, 108th Infantry.
Biehler is now one of six general officers in the New York Army National Guard. Three of those generals are assigned to the 42nd Infantry Division: a division commander and assistant division commanders for maneuver and logistics.
The 42nd Infantry Division is a headquarters element which can command up to five maneuver brigades in a combat zone. The division currently has oversight for training for Army National Guard brigades in Vermont, New Jersey, Massachusetts, New Hampshire as well as New York.
In his remarks Biehler thanked his wife Sonya for her support over the years ,as well as his mother and father and his brothers for their support.
"They are the ones that encouraged me to become a Soldier and an officer," Biehler said.
He also thanked Major General Anthony German, the Adjutant General of New York, and Brig. Gen. Raymond Shields, the assistant adjutant general for the New York Army National Guard, for their confidence in him.
Biehler was commissioned as an infantry officer in May 1987 and has held positions as a rifle platoon leader, mortar platoon leader, support platoon leader, company commander, battalion supply, operations and executive officer, division liaison officer, and battalion commander before leading the 27th Brigade.
Prior to his command of the 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, he was commander of the 2nd Battalion, 108th Infantry. He was the battalion's operations officer during its deployment to Iraq in 2004 and commanded the battalion during its deployment to Afghanistan in 2012 as Task Force Iron.
Biehler is a graduate of the Infantry Officer Basic Course, Infantry Officer Advanced Course, Combined Arms Staff Service School, Intermediate Level Education, Infantry Pre-Command Course, Army War College, Airborne School, Air Assault School, and Ranger School.
Biehler was born in Rochester, New York and graduated from McQuaid Jesuit High School in 1983. He has earned Bachelor's of Science degrees in both Accounting and Management from St. John Fisher College in 1987.
Biehler's awards include the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal National Defense Service Medal, Army Achievement Medal, and Global War on Terrorism, Basic Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge, Ranger Tab, and the Combat Infantryman Badge.
He and his wife Sonya live in Webster, N.Y. with their twin sons Thomas and Andrew.