LATHAM, NY (08/05/2014)(readMedia)-- New York Army National Guard Col. Richard Green, a Saratoga Springs dentist in civilian life, and a veteran of the Iraq War, has assumed command of the New York Army National Guard's Medical Command, known as MEDCOM.
Green replaced Col. James Coleman, also a veteran of the Iraq War, who has been selected to become New York Army National Guard State Surgeon, the highest ranking Army medical officer in the state.
The formal change of command ceremony took place Sunday, August 3, at the Camp Smith Training Site near Peekskill.
MEDCOM, based at the Watervliet Arsenal, is a small unit, with less than 100 Soldiers, but its members are responsible for monitoring the health and ability to deploy on both state and federal missions for more than 10,000 Soldiers around New York.
Green joined the New York Army National Guard in 1996 as the dental officer for Company C, the medical support company of the 427th Forward Support Battalion. In March 2003 he took command of Company C, which was located in Saratoga Springs.
Following a reorganization of New York Army National Guard units the company became the 466th Area Support Medical Company in headquartered in Queensbury, and deployed to Iraq in 2006-2007 with Green as the commander. The unit operated an Army Field Hospital and three troop medical facilities in south and central Iraq and received a Meritorious Unit Citation for its service.
Green has been serving as deputy MEDCOM commander since October 2013.
Green's awards include the Bronze Star, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Medal, and the Army Achievement Medal.
Green and his wife Elizabeth have two adult children, John and Caroline, and live in Saratoga Springs.
Coleman, a former Active Army flight surgeon, has served in Afghanistan, Iraq and Kosovo, and joined the New York Army National Guard in 2004. His awards include the Bronze Star, National Defense Service Medal, Afghan Campaign Medal, Kosovo Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, the Airborne badge and the Air Assault Badge.
Coleman will replace Col. Joan Sullivan as New York Army National Guard State Surgeon.
Sullivan, an Ithaca resident, responded to the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 with the New York Army National Guard, served in Iraq in 2005 with the 42nd Infantry Division and with the 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team in Afghanistan in 2008. She is retired from the Army National Guard after 37 years of service.