Former North Country student named new Fort Drum garrison commander

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Col. James J. Zacchino Jr. passes the unit colors to Command Sgt. Maj. Roberto Munoz, Fort Drum garrison senior enlisted adviser, during the Fort Drum garrison change of command ceremony July 23 outside of LeRay Mansion. Zacchino assumed command of the garrison from outgoing commander, Col. Jeffery Lucas. (Photo by Mike Strasser, Fort Drum Garrison Public Affairs)

FORT DRUM, N.Y. (WWTI) — On Friday, Fort Drum named a new garrison commander.

During a change of command ceremony held by the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, Colonel James J. Zacchino Jr., assumed command of the Fort Drum garrison from outgoing commander Colonel Jeffery Lucas. The ceremony took place on July 23 outside LeRay Mansion on post.

Zacchino also has been noted as “no stranger to the North Country.” Previously, when his father served at Fort Drum in the 1980s, Zacchino attended Thousand Islands High School located in Clayton, New York.

Additionally, according to the 10th Mountain Division, Zacchino previously served at Fort Drum as chief of the logistics training and advising team and deputy brigade support operations officer for the 10th Mountain Sustainment Brigade, and he deployed to Camp Taji, Iraq. He also served as support operations officer and executive officer of the 548th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, and he deployed to Bagram, Afghanistan.

“Maria (wife), James (son) and I are very excited to be back in the North Country and part of the Fort Drum team,” Zacchino said. “We have fond memories of our previous time here and of the many friends made on and off the installation.”

During the ceremony on July 23, Zacchino also thanked Colonel Lucas for welcoming him back to the area, and supporting a smooth transition.

“Your inspiring leadership and dedicated approach in leading the garrison are impressive,” he said. “To the U.S. Army Garrison-Fort Drum team, your remarkable reputation as the Army’s best installation is proudly manifested in taking care of this amazing community while enabling the readiness of the mightiest division in our Army.”

Lucas was also highlighted for his accomplishments while serving as garrison commander. During his tenure he helped support a $21 million funding project to update the railhead complex on post, as well as, approved the merger of Army Community Service support services into the Directorate of Human Resources and created a new Soldier and Family Readiness Division.

Lucas thanked his command team and workforce during the ceremony.

“It has been a privilege to serve with each and every one of you, and thank you for your unwavering support,” Lucas said.

Col. Jeffrey P. Lucas served as garrison commander at Fort Drum since July 26, 2019

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