Camp Smith Training Site, New York — New York Army National Guard Lt. Col. Eric Emmerling, a Springville, N.Y. resident and Iraq War veteran, took command of the New York National Guard's only artillery battalion during an October 20 ceremony at Camp Smith Training Site in the Hudson Valley.
Emmerling, who is a New York State Police investigator in civilian life, took over from Lt. Col. Jeffery Roth, who had led the 1st Battalion, 258th Artillery Regiment, since 2021.
The 1st Battalion, 258th Field Artillery, traces its history back to an artillery company founded in New York City in 1784.
In 1789 that company escorted George Washington to his inauguration as first president of the United States. Today, the battalion's crest is emblazoned with the Washington family crest, and the battalion is nicknamed "the Washington Greys" because of that event.
The unit has served in the Civil War, World Wars I and II and the Iraq War.
Today, the unit provides fire support for the New York Army National Guard's 27th Infantry Brigade and is equipped with M-777 155-millimeter howitzers and M-117 105-millimeter howitzers. The battalion has elements in Queens, the Bronx, and New Windsor in the Hudson Valley.
Emmerling, who is also a veteran of the Army peacekeeping mission in Bosnia in 1999, was commissioned as an active Army officer in 1998 and served in the 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) and the 1st Infantry Division. He served in a variety of field artillery positions, to include battery executive officer, target acquisition detachment commander, and battalion personnel and logistics officer and fire direction officer.
He served on active duty until 2005.
In 2015 Emmerling joined the New York Army National Guard. Since then, he has served as a battery commander in the 1st Battalion, 258th Field Artillery, a fire support officer for the 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, the operations officer for the 1st Battalion, 258th Field Artillery, and fire support officer for the 42nd Infantry Division.
Emerling's military awards include the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Armed Force Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the NATO Medal, and the Army Parachutist and Air Assault badges.
He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from St. Bonaventure University and is a graduate of the Army's Command and General Staff College.
In civilian life, Emmerling is assigned to Troop A of the New York State Police and is a member of the State Police Crisis Negotiation Unit.
He and his wife Judith have three children, Marie who is 20; Philip who is 16; and Helen who is 13.
The headquarters battery and support elements are located at the Jamaica Armory in Queens.