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    NY Army National Guard Col. James Freehart, a Troy resident, retires after 38 years of Army service

    Colonel retires after 38 years of Army Service

    Photo By Maj. Jean Kratzer | New York Army National Guard Major General Ray Shields, the Adjutant General of New...... read more read more



    Story by Eric Durr 

    New York National Guard

    Latham, NY (09/19/2019) — New York Army National Guard Colonel James Freehart, a Troy resident and veteran of the Afghan War and the invasion of Grenada in 1983, has retired after a 38 year career in the Active Army and the New York Army National Guard.

    Freehart was recognized during a retirement ceremony held at New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs headquarters on Wednesday, Sept. 18.

    Freehart, who commanded the New York Army National Guard's 204th Engineer Battalion and 153rd Troop Command, also served in Afghanistan in 2008 with the 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, was praised for his many years of service by Major General Ray Shields, the Adjutant General of New York.

    "You did a great job for all of us and the people of the state," Shields said. "You've had a tremendous career and there is not much more to say," Shields added.

    In his remarks, Freehart, who last served as the director of information services for the New York National Guard, thanked his wife and family for their support, and the Soldiers he's worked with over the years.

    "Almost 39 years is a long time, but I enjoyed the journey and I would do it all over again," Freehart said.

    Freehart, a Troy native, enlisted in the Army in 1981 as a UH-1 helicopter repairman. He was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division in 1982 and participated in Operation Urgent Fury, the invasion of the island of Grenada in October 1983.

    He served in Korea from 1985 to 1986 and joined the New York Army National Guard in 1987 as a member of the 42nd Aviation Battalion.

    He attended Officer Candidate School and was commissioned as an infantry officer in June 1989 and was assigned to the 1st Battalion 105th Infantry. He served as the battalion anti-armor platoon leader, a company executive officer, support platoon leader and headquarters company commander.

    He has worked full time at New York National Guard headquarters serving as an environmental analyst and environmental branch chief before finally becoming the information technology director.

    While serving as commander of the 204th Engineer Battalion, led the battalion's response to Hurricane Lee and Irene in 2011 and Superstorm Sandy in 2012. As the only engineer battalion in the New York National Guard, Freehart's command was at the center of response and recovery efforts.

    In 2014 he took command of the 153rd Troop Command, a brigade-sized element with military police battalions and the 204th Engineers. He has served as the information technology director, or G-6 in military speak, since 2016.

    Freehart is a graduate of the Army Command and General Staff College and the Army War College. He holds an associate's degree from Hudson Valley Community College and a bachelor's degree in Environmental Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

    His military awards include numerous awards of the Meritorious Service Medal, The Army Achievement and Commendation Medals, the National Defense Service Medal, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, the NATO Medal, the Noncommissioned Officers Professional Development Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon, the Army Reserve Overseas Training Ribbon, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Aviation Badge, and the Senior Parachutists Badge.

    Freehart was award the Legion of Merit and the New York State Conspicuous Service Medal during his retirement ceremony.

    Freehart and his wife Lisa have a son, Jacob; and a daughter, Cydney.



    Date Taken: 09.18.2019
    Date Posted: 09.19.2019 15:09
    Story ID: 342469
    Location: LATHAM, NY, US 

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