Binghamton National Guard Battalion Changes Hands
Lt Col. Jeffery Cipolla, a North Tonawanda resident, takes command from Lt. Col. Carlton Cleveland, the commander of the battalion since 2005.
Lt. Col. Jeffery Cipolla, an Iraq War veteran and Bronze Star recipient, assumes command of the New York Army National Guard’s 204th Engineer Battalion Saturday, Nov. 8 during a formal Change of Command Ceremony.
1:30 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 8.
New York State Armory, 85 West End Ave Binghamton, NYThe Change of Command Ceremony dates back to the days in which a military unit’s flag marked its position in the line of battle. The colors were always near the commander, so troops knew where to rally on the battlefield. Today the transfer of the colors marks a change in the unit and givens the soldiers their first opportunity to see and hear their new leader. Lt. Col. Jeffery Cipolla: Lt. Col. Jeffery Cipolla is a Buffalo native who entered the New York Army National Guard in 1983 and served as an enlisted Soldier before obtaining his commission in 1986 through the Officer Candidate School program. He has served as a platoon leader, a company commander, an engineer staff officer and plans officer with the 42nd Infantry Division , a brigade engineer and assistant division engineer for the 42nd Infantry Division. He served for 18 months on active duty from May 2004 to December 2005 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and was based in Tikrit, Iraq where he served as deputy commander of the Regional Reconstruction Operations Center from November 2004 to December 2005. While in Iraq he was responsible for base security, as well as working with host nations military forces and non- governmental organizations and agencies assisting in construction and reconstruction of vital national infrastructure to include: oil export and distribution pipelines, power transmission network, public health, and rail networks throughout north central Iraq. He earned the Bronze Star for his service in Iraq. His most recent assignment was Operations Officer for the 153rd Troop Command in Buffalo His other awards include the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Combat Action Badge, the National Defense Service Medal, the Humanitarian Services Medal , the New York State Defense of Liberty Medal for service after the September 11 attacks, and the New York State Aid to Civil Authorities medal. Lt. Col. Cipolla resides in Tonawanda with his wife Susan and three children where he is in training to become an elementary teacher through the Troops to Teacher program. Lt. Col Carlton Cleveland: Lt. Col. Carlton Cleveland, the outgoing commander of the 204th Engineer Battalion was commissioned in 1990 and is a full-time Active Guard and Reserve Officer. He has served as an engineer company commander, the a New York Army National Guard recruiting officer, and infantry battalion operations officer. He was assigned as commander of the 204th Engineers in 2005 and has commanded the battalion through many aid to civil authorities mission ranging from snowstorms to floods. He is slated to become the operations officer for the New York Army National Guard’s 53rd Troop Command. He resides in Oneonta with his wife Michelle and two daughters. The 204th Engineer Battalion: The New York Army National Guard’s 204th Engineer Battalion is the only engineer battalion in New York State and plays a key role in the National Guard’s response to floods, tornados, snowstorms and hurricanes. The unit was organized in 1967 from a number of Southern Tier Guard units, which gives the battalion a lineage dating back to the Civil War. In 2006 the battalion was re-organized to ensure that New York did not lose an engineer capability as the Army National Guard downsized. The battalion has elements of the 827th Engineer Company in Walton, Delaware County; and Horseheads, Chemung County; while its 1156th Engineer Company is in Peekskill, Westchester County; and Kingston, Ulster County. The battalion’s 152nd Engineer Company is located in Buffalo and is especially trained in search and extraction of victims from downed buildings, and is part of the New York National Guard force designed to help civilian authorities in the event of a terrorist attack. Battalion headquarters and support units are in Binghamton. The Battalion is assigned to the 153rd Troop Command in Buffalo. Elements of the battalion have been activated in support of the Global War on Terror, serving in both Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom) and Iraq (Operation Iraqi Freedom). The battalion has been activated numerous times for state service including response to the 2006 Southern Tier floods, and the February 2007 snow storms in Oswego, NY. Army Engineers specialize in building fortifications, and roads, and structures when necessary and removing enemy defensive obstacles. In Iraq and Afghanistan Engineers play a key role the in reconstruction of those countries.
Page Last Modified: Jul 01, 2013