Press Release Index
CONTACT: Colonel Richard Goldenberg, 518-786-4581
FOR RELEASE: Thursday, Jul 06, 2023

Two Capital Region National Guard Soldiers mark career milestones in Friday ceremonies

Two Capitol Region New York Army National Guard Soldiers will mark career milestones during ceremonies held at New York National Guard headquarters in Latham on Friday, July 7.

Related Media

Col. Sean Flynn speaks with Soldiers and families during a deployment farewell ceremony in Manhattan for members of the 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry, June 14, 2022.

LATHAM, NY (07/06/2023) (readMedia)-- Two Capitol Region New York Army National Guard Soldiers will mark career milestones during ceremonies held at New York National Guard headquarters in Latham on Friday, July 7.

In the morning, Army National Guard Colonel Sean Flynn, an Albany resident, will be promoted to one-star brigadier general.

In the afternoon, Army National Guard Command Sergeant Major David Piwowarski, of Clifton Park, will mark his retirement after more than 41 years of military service.

The press is invited to cover one or both of these ceremonies.

WHO: Col. Sean Flynn and Command Sgt. Maj. David Piwowarski, along with their incoming counterparts and Maj. Gen. Ray Shields, the adjutant general of New York.

WHAT: A morning promotion ceremony for New York's newest general officer, Sean Flynn, and the afternoon retirement of the New York Army National Guard's most senior enlisted Soldier, Command Sgt. Maj. David Piwowarski.

Flynn will be turning over command of the New York Army National Guard's 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, and then be promoted to his new rank beginning at 10 a.m.

Piwowarski will pass on the responsibility as the senior enlisted leader for the 10,800-member New York Army National Guard and then formally retire during a 1 p.m. event.

WHEN: The change of command and promotion ceremony for Col. Flynn will be held Friday, July 7 at 10 a.m. and the retirement of Command Sgt. Maj. Piwowarski will be at 1 p.m. Each ceremony is expected to last about an hour.

WHERE: New York National Guard headquarters, 330 Old Niskayuna Road, Latham N.Y.

Media Opportunity:

Video and still imagery of the change of command, promotion, change of responsibility and retirement of Colonel Sean Flynn and/or Command Sgt. Maj. David Piwowarski.

News media should contact the New York National Guard Public Affairs Office at 786-4581 for access to the secure military facility.

BACKGROUND

Col. Sean Flynn Change of Command and Promotion ceremony (10 a.m.)

Colonel Sean Flynn will relinquish command of the 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team in a ceremony that will physically pass the flag (colors) of the brigade to the incoming commander, Colonel Brad Frank of West Valley, N.Y.

Flynn will be assigned to the U.S. Army European Command as the Deputy United States Military Representative to the NATO Military Committee.

The Adjutant General for the State of New York, Maj. Gen. Ray Shields, will preside over the ceremony, which will include a promotion for Flynn to the one-star rank of brigadier general.

The 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team is headquartered in Syracuse and is a light infantry brigade of more than 4,000 Soldiers, composed of three infantry battalions, a cavalry squadron, an artillery battalion, a brigade engineer battalion and a support battalion. Elements of the brigade are located across New York from Long Island to Jamestown.

One battalion, the 1st Battalion, 182nd Infantry, is part of the Massachusetts Army National Guard.

The 27th Brigade traces its history back to the 27th Division of World War I. Originally known as the 6th Division, the unit was composed of New York National Guard units and was renamed for service in France in 1917.

Colonel Sean Flynn

Colonel Sean M. Flynn leaves the 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team with more than 27 years of commissioned service. His past assignments include leadership and senior staff positions throughout the New York Army National Guard. His major operational deployments include Operation Spartan Shield in 2020, Operation Enduring Freedom in 2012, Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2004-05, Operation Noble Eagle from 2001-02, and Operation World Trade Center in 2001.

Flynn joined the New York Army National Guard in 2000, where his key assignments include Platoon Leader and Company Commander in the 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry Regiment, based in New York City; Battalion Executive Officer of the 2nd Battalion, 108th Infantry Regiment, Utica, New York; Battalion Commander of the 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry Regiment; Brigade Executive Officer of the 27th Brigade Combat Team in Syracuse, New York, and Division Operations Officer (G-3) and Chief of Staff of the 42nd Infantry Division, Troy, New York.

Prior to joining the New York Army Guard, Flynn served in the U.S. Air Force from 1994 to 2000, including active duty assignments as a Public Affairs Officer for the 81st Training Wing in Biloxi, Mississippi and the 354th Fighter Wing in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Flynn earned his commission in 1994 through the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps. He holds a Master's in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College and a Bachelor's of Arts in Journalism from the University of Maryland at College Park. He is a graduate of the Infantry Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, and the Department of Defense's Joint Public Affairs Officers Course.

Colonel Flynn has been employed full time with the New York Army National Guard since 2007. Concurrent with his command, Flynn serves as the Director of Plans, Training and Operations (G-3) for the New York Army National Guard. Prior to joining the Guard full time, he worked in New York City as a financial communications and public relations consultant from 1997 to 2006.

His awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Meritorious Service Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Force Commendation Medal, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal, National Defense Medal with one Bronze Star, Iraq Campaign Medal with one Campaign Star, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with One Campaign Star, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with "M" Aperture and Silver Hourglass, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon with "3" device, Army Reserve Components Overseas Training Ribbon, Air Force Training Ribbon, the NATO Medal, and the Combat Infantryman's Badge.

Flynn is the author of The Fighting 69th: From Ground Zero to Baghdad (Viking 2008), a narrative non-fiction account about the evolution of the National Guard from a strategic reserve to an operational force in the wake of the attacks of September 11, 2001.

He resides in Albany, N.Y., with his wife Lori Ann and their two children, Hudson and Lucia.

Command Sgt. Maj. David Piwowarski Change of Responsibility (1 p.m.)

The change of responsibility for the New York Army National Guard's state command sergeant major is a simple, yet traditional event rich with symbolism and heritage. Key to the ceremony is the changing of position of responsibility between the outgoing and incoming command sergeants major.

The Adjutant General for the State of New York, Maj. Gen. Ray Shields, will preside over the transfer of responsibility ceremony between Command Sgt. Maj. Edwin Garris, from Buffalo, who will replace Piwowarski, a Clifton Park resident, who retires this summer after 41 years of military service.

As the state command sergeant major, Piwowarski was the top enlisted Soldier in the 10,800 member New York Army National Guard and served as the adjutant general's personal advisor for all enlisted-related issues, particularly those affecting training and quality of life. He travels throughout the state observing training and talking to Soldiers and their families.

Command Sgt. Major David Piwowarski

Command Sergeant Major David Piwowarski was born in Buffalo, New York and entered the Army September 29, 1981. He graduated from Basic Training, Infantry Advanced Individual Training and Airborne School at Fort Moore, Georgia.

Piwowarski served for four years as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Liberty, North Carolina in the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment. While assigned there, he served in airborne operations in Spain, completed the Jungle Warfare Training Course in Panama and then completed the 18th Airborne Corps Reconnaissance Commando Course. He left the division in 1986 as an Infantry Team Leader at the rank of sergeant.

He joined the New York Army National Guard a month later at the Masten Avenue Armory in Buffalo, serving with the 174th Infantry Regiment as a squad leader and platoon sergeant. In 1988 he was the First United States Army & Forces Command Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year for the entire Army National Guard.

In 1992 he served in the 1st Battalion, 108th Infantry Regiment as the Bravo Company First Sergeant, in Tonawanda and then as the command sergeant major of the battalion in Auburn. During this tour, he served as a Task Force command sergeant major supporting Operation Noble Eagle, providing enhanced counter terrorism protection at airbases in eight northeastern states for two years after the events of 9/11.

Piwowarski and his commander, Lieutenant Colonel Leonardo personally folded the 1st Battalion 's colors in 2005 when the battalion was deactivated.

He went on to serve as the squadron senior enlisted leader of the 2nd Squadron, 101st Cavalry Regiment in Buffalo and then the 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team in Syracuse.

His brigade tour included a deployment to Afghanistan with the brigade configured as Combined Joint Task Force Phoenix, Combined Security Transition Command – Afghanistan. The task force worked with Afghan security forces and NATO partners in combat operations, security, and training.

In 2010 he became the New York Army National Guard Training and Operations Sergeant Major at the Joint Force Headquarters in Latham. He then became the 42nd Infantry Division senior enlisted leader in 2013, during which the division prepared for and executed a large and successful Warfighter exercise.

In November 2015, Piwowarski became the NY State senior enlisted leader while serving dual-hatted as the NY Army National Guard Command Sergeant Major.

During his tenure he supervised and participated in many State Active Duty missions including the COVID Pandemic Response, protection of the National and State Capitols, the Asylum Seeker Support Mission and many weather disasters across New York, including the Super Storm Sandy response.

He also served dual-hatted as the New York National Guard Joint Force Headquarters Senior Enlisted Leader, a joint duty position. His duties included overseeing joint events and operations and working with South Africa and Brazil in the State Partnership Program to develop NCO and enlisted training and mentoring opportunities.

Piwowarski served as the Region One Chair of the Command Sergeants Major Advisory Council for many years, working on national issues and policies focused on enlisted Soldiers. He was also a member of the Enlisted Advisory Council, which is focused on joint issues at the National Guard Bureau level.

He led the Best Warrior Competition helping New York to produce eight regional champions, and several competitors at the national level.

Piwowarski is a 2005 graduate of the United States Army Sergeants Major Academy and a 2017 graduate of the National Defense University, Keystone-Command Senior Enlisted Leader Course.

He has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics from the State University of New York College at Buffalo.

Some of Command Sergeant Major Piwowarski's awards and decorations include: the Bronze Star Medal, multiple awards of the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal and the Army Achievement Medal. He has been awarded the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the NATO Medal, French medal, the Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Combat Infantryman Badge and Expert Infantryman Badge.

Some of his state awards include the Medal for Long and Faithful Service, the Pandemic Response Service Ribbon and Humane Service Medal.

Piwowarski has been a traditional Guardsman for most of his career, serving in the civilian finance sector.

Piwowarski and his wife, the former Domenica Pisano of Cheektowaga New York, have been married since September 1996. They have two adult children, Alexa who works in digital and legal affairs at Warner Music Group based in NYC and Bryan who is an Operations Supervisory at the Fort Douglas Reserve Personnel Action Center, Salt Lake City Utah. Bryan is also a platoon sergeant in the 438th Military Police Detachment, US Army Reserves.

Attachments:

Col. Sean Flynn speaks with Soldiers and families during a deployment farewell ceremony in Manhattan for members of the 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry, June 14, 2022.
New York Army National Guard Command Sergeant Major David Piwowarski speaks with junior enlisted Soldiers September 20, 2019 in Latham, N.Y., for a two-day future leaders conference.

© NYS DMNA Press Release:Two Capital Region National Guard Soldiers mark career milestones in Friday ceremonies
URL: https://dmna.ny.gov/pressroom/?id=1693949962
3.236.112.70
Page Last Modified: Sep 05, 2023