Churchville resident promoted to Colonel in the NY Army National Guard

By on October 14, 2019
Col. Michael Charnley (center), a Churchville resident and commander of the 42nd Combat Aviation Brigade, is congratulated by Maj. Gen. Raymond Shields, the Adjutant General of New York, as his wife Karen looks on, following his promotion to Colonel during a ceremony at the Division of Military and Naval Affairs, on October 2. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Ryan Campbell)

Col. Michael Charnley (center), a Churchville resident and commander of the 42nd Combat Aviation Brigade, is congratulated by Maj. Gen. Raymond Shields, the Adjutant General of New York, as his wife Karen looks on, following his promotion to Colonel during a ceremony at the Division of Military and Naval Affairs, on October 2. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Ryan Campbell)

Michael Charnley, a Churchville resident who served in Panama, Bosnia, and Kuwait, was promoted to Colonel in the New York Army National Guard during an October 2 ceremony at New York National Guard headquarters in Latham.

Charnley, who took command of the Guard’s 42nd Combat Aviation Brigade on July 20, was one of three lieutenant colonels promoted to full colonel by Major General Ray Shields, the Adjutant General of New York, during the ceremony.

Promoting three officers to the rank of colonel at the same time is “a rare opportunity” Shields said.

Of the more than 10,000 men and women in the New York Army National Guard only 32 have the rank of colonel. The three officers promoted on October 2 “are entering a very select group of senior leaders,” Shields said. “It is just a tremendous accomplishment,” he added.

Also promoted with Charnley were Col. Patrick Clare, a Clifton Park resident who serves as the Deputy Director of the United States Property and Finance Office at National Guard headquarters; and Colonel Sean Flynn, a Delmar resident who serves as the Chief of Staff of the 42nd Infantry Division. Each of these three men have distinguished themselves in deployments to combat zones and in domestic response missions here in New York, Shield’s said.

Charnley entered the Army in 1991 and attended Warrant Officer Flight training, graduating from flight school in 1992. During his active service, he served as a warrant officer in various assignments in Korea and Fort Campbell, Kentucky, before attending Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning in 1998.

Upon commissioning, Charnley continued his active service at Fort Drum with the 1st Battalion, 10th Attack Aviation Regiment. He deployed to Bosnia as part of the 10th Mountain Division Brigade Task Force in support of Operation Joint Forge in 1999.

He transferred to the New York National Guard in 2001 and served in various command and staff positions at company, battalion and brigade level. He deployed homeland security support during Operation Nobel Eagle after September 11, 2001, provided aviation support during the National Guard response to the Southeast States following Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and deployed to the Republic of Panama in support of a New Horizons training mission.

In 2010 Charnley deployed to Kuwait in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and served as the Garrison Commander of Camp Arifjan. Charnley is a Master Army Aviator, and is both Airborne and Air Assault qualified.

He is a graduate of the Aviation Officer Basic Course, Medical Services Captains Career Course, Combined Arms & Service Staff School, Advanced Operations Warfighting Course, and the U.S. Army War College.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Politics and Master’s in Strategic Studies. He is qualified in the AH-1F, OH-58D, UH-1V, and UH-60.

Charnley and his wife Karen have four children: Nicholas, Matthew, Kathleen, and Joseph.

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