Press Release Index
CONTACT: Lt. Col. Richard Goldenberg, 518-786-4581
FOR RELEASE: Sunday, May 03, 2009

New Leadership For 42nd Infantry Division

Army National Guard unit welcomes newest commander

TROY, NY (05/03/2009;)-- The Troy-based 42nd Infantry Division welcomed its new commander in a formal military ceremony this Sunday, May 3. Iraq War veteran Brig. Gen. Steven Wickstrom took the responsibility of command of the New York Army National Guard's 42nd Infantry Division in a change of command ceremony in front of divisional troops at Camp Smith, near Peekskill, N.Y. The New York Army National Guard's 42nd Infantry Division Headquarters, based in Troy, N.Y., is one of only eight Army National Guard combat division headquarters in the nation. It was the first National Guard divisional headquarters called to active duty for combat operations in Iraq since the Korean War. The division served as the Multinational Divisional Headquarters for North Central Iraq during the Iraqi Constitutional Referendum vote in 2005. Brigadier General Steven N. Wickstrom is the new commander of the Army National Guard's 42nd Infantry (Rainbow) Division. Wickstrom has served in numerous leadership and staff positions in his 28-year career as an officer in the Army National Guard. He is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and previously served as the Deputy Commanding General of the 42nd Infantry Division. "I am humbled and honored to be selected for this position," Wickstrom said. "The division and its brigades have each deployed, are now deployed, or soon will be deployed to theaters overseas." Wickstrom took command from Brig. Gen. Paul C. Genereux, Jr., the division commander from April 2006 and formerly the division's deputy commander for combat operations during the unit deployment to Iraq in 2005. "The Rainbow Division has performed brilliantly," Genereux said to the assembled troops. "You have established a reputation for excellence. I have had the best commanders, best staff and most dedicated Soldiers in the Army National Guard," he said. "No commander could ask for more." The Army change of command ceremony is steeped in tradition. The incoming commander reviewed a formation of troops with their unit guidons (colors) present. The two general officers, both outgoing commander and incoming commander, then passed the divisional colors, representing the transition of command. Maj. Gen. Joseph J. Taluto, The Adjutant General for New York State, participated in the ceremony as the reviewing officer. He is the former division commander who passed the reigns of leadership to Brig. Gen. Genereux in April 2006. "The men and women that we serve in the Rainbow Division deserve the best leadership we can get," Taluto said. We are very fortunate in New York because at my request, Brig. Gen. Paul Genereux will continue to serve as the Deputy Commander of the New York Army National Guard." All three leaders focused on the importance of training Soldiers and preparing them for their potential service to state and nation. "Steve Wickstrom will lead us for an unforseen future, but one where we know we must be ready," Taluto said. The 42nd Infantry provides leadership, training and resource oversight for the combat readiness and mobilization of eight Army National Guard brigades, including the 26th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade in Massachusetts, the 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team and 42nd Combat Aviation Brigade in New York, the 50th Infantry Brigade Combat Team in New Jersey, 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Mountain) in Vermont, 197th Fires Brigade in New Hampshire and the 369th Sustainment Brigade, also in New York. The 42nd Infantry, known throughout the U.S. Army as the "Rainbow Division," derives its nickname from the unit's first chief of staff, then-Colonel Douglas MacArthur. When the division first organized for deployment to France in World War I, MacArthur remarked on the diversity of National Guard representation from 26 states and the District of Columbia. "The 42nd Infantry stretches across America like a Rainbow," MacArthur said, and the divisional nickname and unique shoulder insignia was born. The Rainbow Division, as a senior military headquarters, has been part of numerous New York State domestic operations. The division led response efforts in the 1998 North Country Ice Storm, the Stillwater tornado recovery efforts in 1998 and the National Guard response to the 2001 World Trade Center terror attacks in New York City. The 42nd Division headquarters deployed to Iraq in 2005 for Operation Iraqi Freedom and also served in Cairo, Egypt in November, 2007 where the heaquarters staff partnered with elements of the Egyptian army as the senior Army Forces headquarters during the joint, multinational Bright Star exercise in support of U.S. Army Central. The Rainbow Division is scheduled to deploy Soldiers from its headquarters element to Australia this summer to support the Army Pacific Command's Talisman Saber training exercise with Australian forces and again to Japan in December of this year for the joint, multinational training exercise Yama Sakura alongside the Japanese Self-Defense Forces. Photo Cutlines: Ceremony: 42nd Division Chief of Staff Col. Carl Pfeiffer presents the colors to the commander of the 42nd Infantry Division during the unit change of command. Color Guard: The 42nd Division Color Guard in their WWI uniforms, a reminder fo the division's origins in World War I.


© NYS DMNA Press Release:New Leadership For 42nd Infantry Division
Page Last Modified: May 03, 2009