Iowa native to lead the NY National Guard

Patrick Murphy is in the news.  No, not Iowa House Speaker Patrick Murphy, a Democrat from Dubuque.  Brigadier General Patrick Murphy — a Dike, Iowa, native who graduated from Iowa State University in 1982.  That Pat Murphy has been named the adjutant general of the New York  National Guard.  Our friends at the Iowa National Guard passed along a news release from the New York State Division of Military & Naval Affairs.  It is copied below, complete with the mis-identification of a company located in Johnston, Iowa.  The folks in New York have apparently never heard of Pioneer Hy-Bred.  (But a funny thing happened in a Google search — when you type the New Yorkers’ mistaken reference to a company called “pioneer high-bed” the #2 link offered is Pioneer Hy-Bred International.)  (UPDATE on 2/11/10:  see information below about the Pioneer High-Bed reference.)

Former Iowa National Guardsman to Lead New York National Guard

Brig. Gen. Patrick Murphy To Take Over Nation’s Eighth Largest National Guard

Murphy.Patrick.DAphotoLATHAM, NY (02/03/2010) (readMedia)– A former Iowa National Guardsman has been named the 52nd Adjutant General of New York by Governor David A. Paterson.

Brig. Gen. Patrick Murphy, currently serving as Assistant Adjutant General and the Director of Joint Staff for New York, will replace Major General Joseph Taluto when Taluto retires on Feb. 14 after 44 years of service.

“Brigadier General Murphy is an outstanding officer who brings with him a wealth of experience integrating the National Guard and active military components into State emergency and security planning, homeland defense, and anti-terrorism activities,” Governor Paterson said. “He has played a critical role in the New York National Guard’s response to flooding in Western New York, providing emergency aid to other states, and refocusing the National Guard’s Joint Task Force Empire Shield into a more capable security force in New York City.”

Murphy, a 32-year veteran of the Army National Guard has been responsible for the New York National Guard’s State emergency and homeland security operations.

“I am honored by Governor Paterson’s decision to select me to replace Major General Taluto,” Murphy said. “I appreciate his confidence in me, and I look forward to working with the men and women of the New York Military Forces to continue to improve our abilities to respond when called upon by the people of New York and our nation.”

As Adjutant General he will be responsible for ensuring that the 16,500 members of the New York Army and Air National Guard are prepared to deploy in combat zones on federal missions and prepared to respond to State emergencies. He will also oversee the 2,500 members of the New York Naval Militia and the 700-member New York Guard, a State-only volunteer force.

To be appointed Adjutant General of New York an officer must be capable of becoming a federally recognized two-star Major General. Murphy was promoted to his one-star rank in February 2008.

Murphy, age 52, joined the Iowa Army National Guard as an enlisted soldier in 1977 and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant of Infantry in 1979.

As a traditional National Guard soldier, serving part-time while pursuing a civilian career as a sales and research agronomist and then a sales manager with Pioneer High-Bed International of Des Moines, Iowa, Murphy held a variety of Army National Guard leadership positions.

He served in Iowa’s 1st Battalion 133rd Infantry as a Rifle Platoon Leader, Weapons Platoon Leader, Company Commander, S-1, S-3, Executive Officer and finally the battalion commander from 1995 to 1998. He also became a helicopter pilot during his service as a company grade officer and served as an aero scout team leader in the 1st Battalion 194th Air Cavalry Squadron from 1983 to 1985.

Murphy served as executive officer of the 2nd Brigade, 34th Infantry Division in 1999 before attending the Army War College at Carlisle Barracks as a full-time student in 1999 and 2000.

After graduation from the war college, Murphy served on active duty as the Antiterrorism/Force Protection Officer of the United States Joint Forces Command in Norfolk, Virginia, responsible for advising the commander on counter terrorism measures and developing and implementing command programs and polities.

He spent two months as chief of planning for Joint Forces Command, overseeing the development of 14 plans that address homeland defense issues and military support to civil authorities before becoming the director of operations for Joint Task Force – Civil Support, based at Fort Monroe, Virginia.

As the task force director of operations Murphy was responsible for coordinating department of defense capabilities to respond to a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosives incident in the United States. He was responsible for coordinating with other federal agencies and response organizations and for overseeing the commands operation center.

Murphy was promoted to Colonel in 2002 and in 2003 in became Chief of Civil Support Plans for United States Northern Command, at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado. At Northern Command, which had just been established to coordinate military activities in Canada, Mexico and the United States, Murphy was responsible for developing and refining plans for supporting civil authorities with military assets in an emergency.

In November 2004, Murphy deployed to Kuwait where he served as Assistant Chief of Staff for National Guard Affairs for the United States Third Army at Camp Arifjan. He was the commander’s principle advisor on National Guard affairs and worked to integrate National Guard units and soldiers into military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. He visited units throughout the combat zones to assist in ironing out administrative and logistical difficulties and over saw a program that allowed National Guard Adjutants General and their senior enlisted soldiers or airmen to visit their units in Afghanistan, Iraq and Kuwait.

After leaving Kuwait in June 2007, Murphy joined the New York Army National Guard where he served as Director of the Joint Staff and Assistant Adjutant General.

He was recruited by Major General Joseph Taluto because of his experience in homeland defense and security. Taluto felt that New York, and especially New York City was a likely terrorist target, and he wanted the New York National Guard to be ready.

Since then Murphy’s role has been to ensure that contingency plans are in place to deploy New York Military Forces assets in support of State and domestic emergencies, oversee the National Guard’s role in State Homeland security efforts, and manage joint Army and Air National Guard functions within the State’s Joint Forces Headquarters. He has been responsible for coordinating with other State agencies, federal organizations and industry.

Murphy’s individual awards include the Bronze Star, three awards of the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Joint Meritorious Unit Award, the Army Superior Unit Award, the Expert Infantryman Badge and the Army Aviation Badge.

He and his wife Cherie live in Clifton Park, Saratoga County. The Adjutant General’s State salary is $120,800 annually.

UPDATE:  Blame that Pioneer High-Bed error on Spellcheck!  See the note I received today (2/11/10) below:

Ms. Henderson:

Caught your blog entry on small-town Iowa boy Brig. Gen. Pat Murphy becoming our next adjutant general.
He’s a great guy and a great leader and everybody here at Joint Forces Headquarters New York is happy he’s going to be the guy replacing another great boss.

Sorry about screwing up the reference to Pioneer Hy-Bred International. I wrote the original press release for the governor’s office and I think I was the victim of a spell check change that I didn’t catch.

But thanks to your comment we went back and fixed it in our release and the governor’s release still on the internet.

Eric Durr
Director of Public Affairs
New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.