42nd Infantry Division changes command at Empire State Plaze
1 / 5 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army Lt. Col. Michael Murphy, Chief of Staff of the New York Army National Guard's 42nd Infantry Division, leads division Soldiers and staff during the division change of command ceremony at the Empire State Plaza in Albany on May 6, 2017. Brig.... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
42nd Infantry Division changes command at Empire State Plaza
2 / 5 Show Caption + Hide Caption – With the New York State Capitol in the background, key leaders of the New York Army National Guard and the 42nd Infantry Division pose following change of command ceremonies at the Empire State Plaza in Albany, N.Y. on May 6, 2017. They are, from lef... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
42nd Infanty Division Changes Command
3 / 5 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Brig. Gen. Steven Ferrari takes command of the 42nd Infantry Division of the New York Army National Guard, during a formal change of command ceremony at the Empire State Plaza in Albany, N.Y. on May 6, 2017. Ferrari takes over command of the division... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
42nd Infantry Division Changes Command
4 / 5 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Steven Ferrari presents a gift to Maj. Gen. Harry Miller, the former commander of the 42nd Infantry Division on his successful command tour. Soldiers of the New York Army National Guard's 42nd Infantry Division conducted a divisi... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
42nd Infantry Division Changes Command
5 / 5 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army Soldiers of the New York Army National Guard's 42nd Infantry Division World War One Color Guard support the division change of command ceremony at the Empire State Plaza in Albany on May 6, 2017. Brig. Gen. Steven Ferrari assumed command of... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

ALBANY, N.Y. - New York Army National Guard Brig. Gen. Steven Ferrari, a

veteran of the Iraq War, took command of the 42nd Infantry Division during a change of command ceremony held at the Empire State Plaza here May 6, 2017.

Ferrari, resident of Winslow Township, New Jersey, had been serving as

Assistant Division Commander for the combat division headquarters since

2011.

"You are the right leader for this organization," said Brig. Gen. Raymond

Shields, commander of the New York Army National Guard, after the transfer of colors. "Your depth of experience and caring leadership style make you supremely qualified to lead the division to new heights of Soldier and unit readiness. I wish you the very best."

"What an honor to assume command of the famous 42nd Infantry Division," Ferrari told the audience. "I pledge my dedication and commitment to ensure that the continued success of this historic division that turns 100 years old on August 13, 2017."

The 42nd Infantry Division was organized out of National Guard units from 26 states as the United States frantically generated an Army to fight in World War I. The division's first chief of staff, then Col. Douglas MacArthur,

said the division would stretch across the United States "like a rainbow"

and the nickname stuck.

The 42nd Division, which included a New York National Guard infantry regiment and first organized outside of New York City at Camp Mills, Long

Island, is also conducting its own centennial commemorations in 2017-2019.

The change of command ceremony featured the colors of the battalions and brigades which fall under the 42nd Infantry Division for training purposes.

Representatives of the New York, Vermont and New Jersey. National Guard's, along with previous division commanders attended the event.

Ferrari replaces Army National Guard Maj. Gen. Harry Miller who has moved into a full-time active duty assignment with the Army National Guard. Miller took command of the division in April 2013.

"Thank you for all you have done for the 42nd Infantry Division and the New York Army National Guard," Shields told Miller in the ceremony.

The 42nd Infantry Division Headquarters is based in Troy, N.Y. but has

training responsibility over National Guard brigades throughout the

northeast including units in New York, New Jersey, Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

The 42nd Division has had a high tempo over the past four years, and Ferrari noted Miller's "dedicated and superb leadership during his tenure as the 42nd Infantry Division commander led to some impressive and truly

outstanding accomplishments. You leave this organization with your unique

stamp and improved readiness across the board," Ferrari said.

Ferrari joined the New Jersey Army National Guard in January 1981 and was commissioned through Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Georgia in March 1982. He served as an Active Duty, full-time, Guardsman from June 1986 to August 2011.

Ferrari served as commander of the New Jersey Army National Guard's 50th Infantry Brigade Combat Team during Operation Iraqi Freedom (2008-2009) as a Security Force Brigade with duties in Camp Cropper, Camp Bucca, Balad, Ashraf and Baghdad.

He has held numerous field artillery staff assignments and leadership

positions at the battery and battalion level before assignments to the New

Jersey Army National Guard Joint Force Headquarters as Director of Military Support, Strategic Planner and Chief of Staff.

The ceremony was held on the steps of the New York State Museum that

recently opened its latest exhibit, "A Spirit of Sacrifice: New York State

in the First World War" which includes artifacts telling the story of the

42nd Infantry Division in the war.

In World War II, the "Rainbow Division" landed in France and fought across

Germany, taking several major cities, liberating the Dachau Concentration

Camp, and occupying Vienna.

Following World War II, the division became part of the New York National

Guard. Division Soldiers responded to numerous natural disasters, including the North Country ice storm of 1998, the World Trade Center attacked on Sept. 11, 2001, Hurricanes Irene and Lee in 2011 and Superstorm Sandy in 2012.

In 2005, the 42nd Infantry Division became the first National Guard division headquarters to go to war since 1952 when the headquarters led 23,000 Soldiers in North Central Iraq.