National Guard officer Col. Gary Yaple, who hails from Baldwinsville, has been selected to serve as the chief of staff of the 42nd Infantry Division, based in Troy.
Yaple, who has served in the New York Army National Guard since 1985, is currently the deputy commander of the Syracuse-based 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team. The unit was deployed to Afghanistan in 2005 to train the Afghan National Army and Police.
Yaple will replace Col. Carl Pfeiffer, who is retiring from the National Guard, in May.
The 42nd Infantry Division, dubbed the "Rainbow Division" by General Douglas MacArthur in World War I, commands the 27th BCT, along with National Guard brigades in Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and New Jersey. The division earned it's nickname because it was composed of National Guard units from 26 states and stretched across the United States "like a rainbow" according to MacArthur, who was it's first chief of staff and eventually a commander of the division.
In 2005 the 42nd Infantry Division deployed to Iraq and commanded 23,000 Active, Reserve and National Guard Soldiers. This was the first time a National Guard division had been to war since the Korean War.
As Chief of Staff, Yaple will be a full-time National Guard officer responsible for the day-to-day running of the division's headquarters.
He was selected for the job by a Command Selection Board of New York Army National Guard General Officers.