Patrick Murphy is from a small town, Clifton Park, but his duties go far beyond the 50.2 square mile portion of Saratoga County where he lives with his wife Cherie. Murphy is a Brig. Gen. and 32-year veteran of the Army National Guard and was named the 52nd Adjutant General of the New York National Guard by Gov. David Paterson on Wednesday, Feb.3.
Gen. Murphy will replace Maj. Gen. Joseph Taluto when his retirement becomes effective Sunday, Feb. 14. Gen. Murphy will now be responsible for making sure more than 16,000 members of the New York Army and Air National Guard are prepared to deploy in combat zones and to respond to State emergencies. He will also oversee 2,500 members of the New York Naval Militia and 700 members of the New York Guard.
In an interview with the Spotlight, Gen. Murphy said he is honored by Gov. Paterson's appointment but that he's just a small part of something much bigger.
It's really not about the leadership and [honor], it is about all those folks that do all the hard work within this organization, we have some great people, and they just have a new leader now. I'm proud to be able to lead them, said Gen. Murphy.
He said he felt it important to emphasize that the current Adjutant General did a "phenomenal job" running the organization and making necessary improvements, like strength management. Gen. Murphy said it's important to have a full force that can perform in overseas missions in addition to domestic missions, and under Gen. Taluto, there is more than 100 percent strength in the Army and Air National Guard. The challenge for him, said Gen. Murphy, will be to maintain what's been built.
"Another area [Gen. Taluto] really built up was the idea of taking care of families in this time of persistent conflict overseas. We have deployed a lot of our service members and when they come back they may have some needs we had not identified previously. We currently prepare soldiers and families ahead of deployment to understand what their entitlements are and what's available to them," said Gen. Murphy. "Then we put together a program that helps support that post deployment period."