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    NY National Guard's 42nd Combat Aviation gets a new commander

    New Commander for 42nd Combat Aviation Brigade

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Trevor Cullen | New York Army National Guard Col. Jason Lefton accepts the flag of the 42nd Combat...... read more read more



    Story by 1st Lt. Lauren Warner 

    New York National Guard

    LATHAM, N.Y.- New York Army National Guard Colonel Jason Lefton, a veteran of the Iraq War and a Niskayuna resident, took command of the 42nd Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigaded during a change of command ceremony held on November 6, 2021 at the New York National Guard headquarters in Latham, N.Y.

    Lefton, a resident of Niskayuna, has been serving as the State Army Aviation Officer since 2020 and will continue to serve in that position while also commanding the aviation brigade.

    He has deployed to Bosnia, Herzegovina, Kuwait, and Iraq.
    Lefton replaces Army National Guard Col. Michael Charnley, who is retiring after 30 years of service in the military. Charnley took command of the brigade in July of 2019.

    “I am honored, grateful, humbled, and excited to command the 42d Combat Aviation Brigade. Thank you for your trust and confidence,” Lefton said, “I understand the gravity of this great honor and will do my absolute best.”

    “We must lead and take care of each other. We must remain brave in the face of inherent danger and train for the missions we know will come,” Lefton said.
    Lefton is not new to the brigade, as he has served as the executive officer of the brigade and was the 3rd Battalion, 142nd Assault Helicopter Regiment Battalion Commander from September of 2017 to October of 2020.

    “Jason Lefton comes well qualified to lead our brigade having served the aviation enterprise here in New York for twenty years,” Charnley said, “your attributes and experience will serve our formation well during your command time.”

    “I wish you well as you assume command of our great organization and lead it into the future,” Charnley said.

    During the ceremony, the flag, or colors, of the 42nd Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade was transferred from Charnley to Lefton by Major General Thomas Spencer. The transferring of the colors symbolizes the transfer of authority for the Soldier in the brigade.

    Maj. Gen. Spencer praised Lefton and Charnley’s for fantastic careers in the military, specifically in the aviation world. He commended Charnley for his 30 years of service and thanked his family for their dedication to the military.

    The brigades Command Sergeant Major Arnold Reyes, who was also present and part of the ceremony, stated “Colonel Charnley will surely be missed. He was truly a leader who focused on the mission and cared about the welfare of his Soldiers, which made my role easier.”
    Reyes commended Charnley for his service and wished him well on his retirement.

    Reyes said he was eager to work with Col. Lefton, as the 42nd Combat Aviation Brigade welcomes the new commander.

    “We share the same vision and look forward to continuing the momentum to make this the best aviation unit,” Reyes said, “His enthusiasm coming out of the gate is a reflection that making this goal happen is not in impossible.”

    Lefton has served in numerous leadership and staff positions in his 25-year career as an officer in the Army National Guard since earning his commission from the Marion Military Institute in 1996.
    He joined Army Aviation in November of 2000 and became a UH-60 pilot in the 3rd Battalion, 142nd Assault Helicopter Regiment in January of 2001.

    During his career, Lefton deployed to Bosnia and Herzegovina in support of the Stabilization Force 12 as a Liaison Officer for Multinational Division Southeast and the Task Force Battle Captain and deployed as a staff officer to Iraq.

    Lefton has served as a company commander, Battalion Executive Officer, Brigade Executive Officer, and Battalion Commander. During his time as a Battalion Commander for the 3rd Battalion, 142nd Assault Helicopter Regiment, Lefton lead the Battalion to Puerto Rico in response to Hurricane Irma and Maria.

    He holds a Masters in Strategic Studies from the United States Army War College and a Master of Business Administration from the University Of Phoenix. He completed his bachelor’s degree in Rhetoric and Communications at the State University of New York.

    He has civilian work experience as a fully registered representative in the financial services industry. He holds a Commercial Helicopter Pilot license and Single Engine Airplane license.

    Colonel Lefton’s awards include the two Bronze Star Medals, three Meritorious Service Medals, the Army Commendation Medal, three Army Achievement Medals, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal , the Global Warn on Terrorism Service Medal Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Overseas Service Ribbon, and the NATO Medal for service in the former Yugoslavia, the Combat Action Badge, Master Army Aviator Badge, and Air Assault Wings,



    Date Taken: 11.07.2021
    Date Posted: 11.08.2021 10:00
    Story ID: 408868
    Location: LATHA, , NY, US
    Hometown: NISKAYUNA, NY, US

    Web Views: 251
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