Col. Sean Flynn assumes command of New York National Guard 27th Infantry Brigade


(From left) Col. Robert Charlesworth, Maj. Gen. Thomas Spencer and Col. Sean Flynn of the New York Army National Guard stand in line as the official party during the 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team change of command ceremony at Fort Drum, New York on July 17. Flynn assumed command of the light infantry brigade, which includes more than 4,000 Soldiers across New York, Masachusetts, and Rhode Island. (Army National Guard Photo by Maj. Avery Schneider)

FORT DRUM, N.Y. (WWTI) — The 27th Infantry Brigade of the New York National Guard has a new commander.

Albany Resident and Iraq and Afghanistan War Veteran Colonel Sean Flynn took command of the Brigade Combat Team over the weekend. Col. Flynn took charge of the team during a change of command ceremony at the Fort Drum installation in New York.

During the ceremony, the 27th Brigade’s colors were transferred to Flynn, which signified the change in authority. Historically, the colors of an Army unit indicated the location of the commander on the battlefield.

“Your service at home and abroad over these past 20 years have been decisive in preventing both individual loss here, as well as another massive attack on our homeland,” stated Flynn. “And though the campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan are ending, the natural and manmade threats against our families, against our peace and prosperity and, sadly, against all of humanity have no end.”

He added, “thank you for sacrificing your time at home. Thank you for sacrificing at your place of business and your livelihood, to stand ready between the unthinkable dangers of this world and those that we love.”

Flynn first joined the New York Army National Guard in 2000. His key assignments include Platoon Leader and Company Commander in the historic 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry Regiment – the “Fighting 69th” – in New York, Executive Officer of the 2nd Battalion, 108th Infantry Regiment in Utica, Battalion Commander of the Fighting 69th, Brigade Executive Officer of the 27th IBCT in Syracuse, and Division G-3 and Chief of Staff of the 42nd Infantry Division in Troy.

His major deployments include Operation Spartan Shield in 2020, Operation Enduring Freedom in 2012, Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2004, Operation Noble Eagle in 2001, and Operation World Trade Center in 2001.

According to the Guard, Flynn took over from Colonel Robert Charlesworth, who lead the brigade since 2019. He is now retiring after over 28 years of service in the United States Army and Army National guard.

Charlesworth saw the brigade through a successful warfighter exercise at the start of his role, led thousands of Soldiers activated in support of New York’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and oversaw the deployment of troops to the 59th president inauguration.

“Under the command of Col. Charlesworth, the brigade accomplished tremendous tasks at both the tactical and strategic level, all while supporting COVID operations across the state,” said 42nd Infantry Division Commander Maj. Gen. Thomas Spencer.

The 27th IBCT is headquartered in Syracuse and is a light infantry brigade of more than 4,000 Soldiers, composed of three infantry battalions, a cavalry squadron, an artillery battalion, a brigade engineer battalion and a support battalion. Elements of the brigade are located across New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.

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