Guardlife - Volume 30, Number 2

Table of Contents

 Guardlife Staff
 TAG's Message
 CSM's Message
 177th Supports OEF
 Combat Veteran to Head NJANG
 'Faithful and Brave' Arrive
 1-114th Deploys to Arrabian Penninsula
 253rd TC Back from Iraq
 Mobilization Page
 News Guard Families Can Use
 Salute the Troops
 NJNG Newsmakers
 Jersey Air Guardsman Wins Services Award
 Photos from Iraq
 Finance Battalion Update
 Family Appreciation Day
 Short Rounds
 NJ Places 17th in NG Marathon
 Army and Air Enlisted Promotions
 In Memoriam

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Combat Veteran to Head NJANGCombat Veteran to Head NJANG

Story and photo by Tech. Sgt. Mark Olsen, 177FW/PA

In a ceremony attended by more than 1,500 dignitaries, family members, guests and Guardsmen from the 177th Fighter Wing and the 108th Air Refueling Wing Brig. Gen. Eugene Chojnacki assumed command of the New Jersey Air National Guard from Maj. Gen. Clark W. Martin Apr. 17.

Brig. Gen. Glenn K. Rieth, The Adjutant General of New Jersey, appointed General Chojnacki to command the more than 2,400 members of the New Jersey Air National Guard.

Brig. Gen. Chojnacki, a decorated Vietnam Veteran, served as a special operations pilot. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Air Force after graduating from Officer Training School, Lackland Air Force Base (AFB), Texas, in 1968. In 1971, General Chojnacki attended helicopter transition training at Sheppard AFB, Texas and was assigned to the 20th Special Operations Squadron, Cam Rahn Bay, Republic of Vietnam, as an UH-1N pilot. During his combat tour, he flew 120 missions over Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. In 1977, he accepted a commission with the New Jersey Air National Guard as the executive support officer for the 177th Fighter Interceptor Group. In August, 2002, he was appointed the vice commander of the New Jersey Air National Guard and subsequently promoted to brigadier general. General Chojnacki is rated as a pilot with more than 2,000 hours. His major awards include the Distinguished Flying Cross with One Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Medal with One Silver Oak Leaf Cluster, Vietnam Service Medal with One Bronze Star Device, and the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Device.

In his remarks, Brig. Gen. Chojnacki spoke about the new roles facing the New Jersey Air National Guard.  

“We have seen the Air National Guard move from it’s cold war posture... into being an integral and utilized part of our nation’s military capability in day-to-day operations, in our war against terror and in the protection of the homeland.  It is the hard work, the dedication, and the patriotism of each individual Guardsman that has made our past so successful - and our future so bright.”

As Commander, New Jersey Air National Guard, General Chojnacki will be promoted to the rank of Major General pending federal recognition.