Major Michael Fowler, a veteran of the Iraq War, takes command of the New York Army National Guard's 102nd Military Police Battalion at the New York State Armory in Auburn on Sunday Sept. 8.
WHO: Major Michael Fowler, the incoming commander, Lt. Col. Arthur Zegers, the outgoing commander, Col. James Pabis, the commander of the 153rd Troop Command, and the men and women of the 102nd Military Police Battalion.
WHAT: A traditional military change-of-command ceremony in which the colors, or flag, of the battalion is transferred from Zegers to Fowler by Pabis, signifying the change of responsibility and authority for the battalion from one commander to another. Traditionally the unit's color's marked the location of the commander on the battlefield and the ceremony allowed the Soldiers to know who their commander was.
WHEN: 10 a.m., Sunday, Sept. 8, 2012
WHERE: New York State Armory, 174 South Street, Auburn, NY 13021
Members of the media seeking access to this secure military facility must contact Capt. Justin M. Pelletier at 315-255-8935
Reporters will have the opportunity to interview both the incoming and outgoing commanders. Video and photographic opportunities include Soldiers in formation in the aircraft hanger as well as the ceremony in which the unit colors are transferred.
Major Michael Fowler
Major Michael Fowler joined the New York Army National Guard in 1990 after receiving a commission through the ROTC Program at the State University of New York Brockport, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice.
Fowler has served as a platoon leader, company executive officer, company commander, and Inspector General for the 53rd Troop Command, during his career. He participated in the National Guard's response to the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center shortly after returning from a peacekeeping deployment in Bosnia.
He commanded the New York Army National Guard's 105th Military Police Company in Bosnia during a peacekeeping deployment in 1999/2000 and led the company again in Iraq in 2003/2004.
Fowler most recently served as the operations officer for the 102nd Military Police Battalion.
.Fowler is a graduate of the Military Police Basic and Advanced Officers Courses, the Inspector General School, the Combined Arms Exercise course, and the Army's Intermediate Level Education program.
Fowler's awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Bronze Star, the Army Commendation Medal with V for Valor, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Humanitarian Service Medal, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal the NATO Medal, the New York State Conspicuous Service Medal and the New York State Defense of Liberty Medal, for service in response to the 9/11 attacks.
Fowler was born and raised in Brockport, the son of Fred and Marcia Fowler who know live in Sodus Point. He and his wife Dara are the parents of one daughter, Ashley.
In civilian life he is a 19-year veteran of the Monroe County Sheriff's Office and is currently a Road Patrol Captain in charge of the department's Zone B Substation in Henrietta.
.Lt. Col. Arthur Zegers
Lieutenant Colonel Arthur Zegers IV enlisted in the US Army in 1982. After completing three years of service, he attended SUNY Morrisville and Ithaca College, graduating 1987 and 1989 respectively. He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the New York Army National Guard through the Officer Candidate School program in 1991 and was assigned to Company A, 204th Engineer Battalion as a Platoon Leader in Walton.
He has served as a company executive officer and, with a follow on assignment as Company Commander in 1998, as the commander of Company B 204th Engineer Battalion and as the 204th Engineer Battalion personnel officer.
During his time with the 204th Engineers Zegers participated in over 15 State Active Duty Missions ranging from the Northern Ice Storm to 9/11. In 2005, Zegers participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom serving on the 4th Iraqi Army Military Transition Team .Upon completion of the deployment, he was assigned to the 501st Ordnance Battalion serving as the Operations Officer, with a follow on assignment to the 153rd Troop Command as the Operations Officer.
Following this assignment, Zegers was selected to command the 102nd Military Police Battalion located in Auburn in 2010.
Zegers' awards and decorations include, the Army Commendation Medal with 4 Oak Leaf Clusters, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Humanitarian Service Medal, the Armed Forces Reserve Medal w/ M Device, the Army Service Ribbon, and the Army Reserve Component Overseas Training Ribbon.
Zegers' Military and Civilian Education include the Engineer Officer Basic Course, Engineer Officer Advanced Course, Military Police Officer Transition Course, Command Services and Support School, and the Army Command and General Staff College (ILE) . Zegers holds an Associate's degree in Administration Management from SUNY Morrisville and a Bachelor's degree in Business Management from Ithaca College.
Zegers is married to Amy Terwilliger, and they have three children, Arthur, Morgan, and Taylor. He is a full-time employee of the National Guard's United States Property and Fiscal Office in Latham.
His next military assignment will be as Director of Internal Review for that office.
102nd Military Police Battalion
The 102nd Military Police Battalion was activated on October 18, 2009, and the Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment was established at the Auburn Readiness Center. Since its formation, the battalion has supported four successful deployments of subordinate units. These deployments include the mobilizations of the 206th Military Police Company to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2010-2011; the 105th Military Police Company to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2011; the 107th Military Police Company to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2011-2012; and the 222nd Military Police Company to Qatar in 2013.
The 102nd Military Police Battalion also successfully executed several domestic missions. From 2008 to 2010, the battalion led the Command and Control element of the Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear & High Yield Explosives (CBRNE) Enhanced Response Force Package, also known as CERFP, a unit trained in responding to incidents involving Weapons of Mass Destruction. In 2011, the 102nd Military Police Battalion served as the Initial Response Force for Task Force Irene, which responded to the effects of Hurricane Irene across New York State. The Battalion helped evacuate residents of impacted areas, conducted mounted patrols to discourage looting, provided traffic control for recovery efforts, and participated in the cleanup of the town of Margaretville as part of the Governor's "Labor for your Neighbor" volunteer program.
In 2012, the 102nd Military Police Battalion again served as the Initial Response Force for Hurricane Response. The 102nd Military Police led Task Force Sandy, which responded to immediate humanitarian needs of Nassau County, Long Island.
The Battalion rescued 308 civilians from floods and fires, assisted civilian police with maintaining order and stability, provided support to Red Cross shelter operations and the State Board of Elections in powering polling stations for the 2012 Presidential Elections.