SARANAC LAKE - The New York Army National Guard Soldiers of B Company 2nd Battalion 108th Infantry, based at the Saranac Lake Armory, have a new battalion commander.
Lt. Col. Joseph Biehler, an Iraq War veteran and Bronze Star Medal winner, took command of the New York Army National Guard's 2nd Battalion 108th Infantry Dec. 6 during a formal Change-of-Command Ceremony at the battalion's headquarters in Utica.
The Change of Command Ceremony dates back to the days in which a military unit's flag marked its position in the line of battle. The colors were always near the commander, so troops knew where to rally on the battlefield. Today the transfer of the colors marks a change in the unit and gives the soldiers their first opportunity to see and hear their new leader.
Lt. Col. Biehler, who lives in Webster, Monroe County, with his wife Sonya and children Thomas and Andrew, was commissioned as an Infantry officer in May of 1987 and joined the New York Army National Guard. He has served as a rifle platoon leader, mortar platoon leaders, company commander, battalion supply officer, battalion operations officer, and battalion executive officer before assuming his new job.
He deployed to Iraq in 2004 as the operations officer of the battalion he will now lead. His awards include the Bronze Star, Iraq Campaign Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, the Ranger Tab Airborne Wings, Air Assault Wings and Combat Infantryman's Badge.
He holds BS Degrees in Accounting and Management and is a Finance Senior Manager for Harris Corporation.