Area's National Guard unit has new commander

Changing of the GuardCol. John Chapman, outgoing commander, 79th Troop Command, right, in photo at the left, relinquishes the colors to Maj. Gen. Joseph C. Carter, the adjutant general, of the Massachusetts National Guard, who then transfers the colors to Lt. Col. Paul Landry, center, the incoming commander of the 79th Troop Command, at the historic Redway Plain in Rehoboth. The ceremony took place last Sunday. (Submitted photo)

REHOBOTH - The Massachusetts Army National Guard's 79th Troop Command has a new commander and a new mission in support of Joint Task Force-Massachusetts and Homeland Security.

Lt. Col. Paul M. Landry assumed command of the 79th Troop Command from Col. John G. Chapman in a ceremony conducted on Redway Plain in Rehoboth. This historical field was part of the Redway Farm in Colonial times and used as a training ground for the Rehoboth Militia. The homestead of Capt. James Redway, commander of the Rehoboth Militia in the mid-1700s was located across the road from Redway Plain.

The 79th Troop Command of the Massachusetts Army National Guard is responsible for planning, enabling and supervising matters of homeland security under direction of the president or the governor.

Maj. Gen. Joseph C. Carter, the adjutant general of the Massachusetts National Guard, presided over the passing of the command's organizational colors between Chapman and Landry.

Carter praised Chapman for his service and leadership.

"His stewardship of the 79th Troop Command has ensured that the incoming commander receives a well trained and highly motivated unit capable of accomplishing any mission," he said.

In officially appointing Landry as the commander of the 79th, Carter ordered of him, "Above all else, may you provide your soldiers a leadership example so that they can continue to exemplify the values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage."

Landry, 45, has been a member of the Massachusetts National Guard for 26 years, and has served in numerous command and staff position within the Guard. He has a variety of experience, serving as a chemical officer, military police officer and public affairs officer.

"In 1636, Massachusetts organized the first militia forces, the birth of the National Guard - the nation's first," stated Landry. "Today on this field used by the militia forces to train in 1700, we continue that legacy of being the nation's first," he said.

In his civilian job Landry is a lieutenant with the Everett Police Department and is currently on military leave serving as the team chief for the pre-mobilization training assistance element preparing mobilizing Massachusetts National Guard soldiers for future deployments in support of overseas contingency operations.

Other dignitaries included Brig. Gen. Thomas J. Sellars, commander, Massachusetts Army National Guard, State Command Sgt. Maj. David Costa, Massachusetts National Guard and Rehoboth Town Selectman Kevin R. McBride who also holds the rank of major general in the Army National Guard and Rehoboth Police Chief Stephen J. Enos.

Landry lives in Sudbury with his wife Susan and children Brooke and Sean.

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