News: Lt. Col. James Freehart, a Troy resident, named to command National Guard's 153rd Troop Command
LATHAM, N.Y. - New York Army National Guard Lt. Col. James Freehart, a Troy resident and a veteran of the Afghan War, has been selected to command the Buffalo-based 153rd Troop Command.
Freehart 's previous assignment was as commander of the 204th Engineer Battalion, which is headquartered in Binghamton and has elements in the Hudson Valley, Horseheads, and Walton.
Freehart took command of the 204th Engineer Battalion in 2011. Under his command the unit responded to Tropical Storms Irene and Lee and Superstorm Sandy, as well as summer flooding in the Mohawk Valley in 2013. The battalion has also deployed Soldiers to Germany and Afghanistan while under this command.
He replaces Saratoga Springs resident Col. James Pabis as 153rd Troop Command commander. Pabis will become the deputy commander of the 53rd Troop Command, a New York Army National Guard general officer command responsible for about 4,300 Soldiers.
The 153rd Troop Command is based at the historic Connecticut Street Armory in Buffalo and is the higher headquarters for the 102nd Military Police Battalion, the 204th Engineer Battalion and the 501st Explosive Ordnance Disposal Battalion.
"Lt. Col. Jim Freehart is a proven officer who has distinguished himself while leading his battalion through two major state disaster response missions," said Maj. Gen. Patrick Murphy, the adjutant general of New York. "He is the right person for this demanding job."
Freehart entered the Army as an enlisted Soldier in 1981, serving as a helicopter mechanic in the 82nd Airborne Division. While assigned to the 82nd he participated in Operation Urgent Fury, the invasion of Grenada in 1983.
While on active duty he served in Korea and in the United States with the 82nd Airborne once again before joining the New York Army National Guard in 1987.
While serving in the 42nd Aviation Battalion in Latham he attended the Empire State Military Academy and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in infantry in 1989. He served in a variety of positions with the 1st Battalion, 105th Infantry, including commander of Headquarters Company of the 1st Battalion, 105th Infantry.
He served in the State Area Headquarters and joined the 204th Engineer battalion as operations officer in 2005. In 2007 he was assigned to the 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team and served in Afghanistan in 2008 as a training adviser to the Afghan Army.
In his civilian life, Freehart is employed as a federal technician in the Division of Military and Naval Affairs facilities engineering office in charge of environmental compliance.
His awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon, Army Reserve Component Medal, Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, Air Crew members Badge, and the Senior Parachutist Badge.
Freehart has an Associate's degree from Hudson Valley Community College and a Bachelors' degree in Environmental Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. He resides in Troy, with his wife, Lisa, daughter Cydney and son, Jacob.