Niskayuna resident takes charge of New York Army National Guard 42nd Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade

New York Army National Guard Col. Jason Lefton accepts the flag of the 42nd Combat Aviation Brigade from Major General Thomas Spencer, the commander of the 42nd Infantry Division, Saturday

New York Army National Guard Col. Jason Lefton accepts the flag of the 42nd Combat Aviation Brigade from Major General Thomas Spencer, the commander of the 42nd Infantry Division, Saturday

LATHAM — 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 Brigade during a change of command ceremony held on Nov. 6 at the New York National Guard headquarters in Latham.

Lefton replaces Army National Guard Col. Michael Charnley, who is retiring after 30 years of military service. Lefton 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 and served as the executive officer of the brigade. He was also the 3rd Battalion, 142nd Assault Helicopter Regiment Battalion Commander from Sept. 2017 to Oct. 2020.

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

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.

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 Nov. 2000 and became a UH-60 pilot in the 3rd Battalion, 142nd Assault Helicopter Regiment in Jan. 2001.

During his time as a Battalion Commander for the 3rd Battalion, 142nd Assault Helicopter Regiment, Lefton led 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.

Categories: Fulton Montgomery Schoharie, News, Saratoga County, Schenectady County

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