Lt. Col. James Freehart Takes Command of Binghamton Engineer Battalion


Lt. Col. James Freehart, a veteran of Afghanistan, took command of the New York Army National Guard’s 204th Engineer Battalion during a traditional Change-of-Command Ceremony on Sunday at the New York State Armory in Binghamton.
The change of command ceremony recognizes the accomplishments of the outgoing commander, Major Andrew Hutz, and the Soldiers who served under him.
The ceremony also recognizes the new commander of the Battalion.
Leutenant Colonel Freehart served in Afghanistan as a member of the Training Advisory Group, training the Afghan National Army in 2008.
In 1983 he was part of Operation Urgent Fury, the United States invasion of the Caribbean Island of Granada.
Freehart enlisted in the United States Army in 1981 as a helicopter repair technician and served on active duty with the 82nd Airborne Division and in Korea before leaving the Active Army in 1987.
He enlisted in the New York Army National Guard after leaving active duty and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in Infantry in 1989 after completing the Officer Candidate School of the Empire State Military Academy.
He has served as a rifle platoon leader, anti-armor platoon leader, infantry company executive officer, support platoon leader and headquarters company commander.
He has served as a staff officer at the State Area Command and Joint Forces Headquarters for New York during his career as well.
As operations officer for the 204th Engineers, Freehart responded to flooding in the Southern Tier in 2006
The 204th Engineer Battalion is the only Engineer Battalion in the New York Army National Guard and plays a key role in the New York National Guard’s plans in responding to emergencies at the direction of the governor.

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