Senator James Skoufis (D-Orange County) recently honored US Army Veteran Colonel Christopher Holshek as he was inducted into the New York State Senate Veterans’ Hall of Fame. A lifelong Hudson Valley resident, Holshek serves as an international peace and security consultant, Vice President of the Civil Affairs Association, dedicated community servant, and much more.
The Veterans Hall of Fame program was created by the New York Senate to recognize and pay tribute to outstanding veterans from the Empire State who have distinguished themselves in both military and civilian life. Senator Skoufis joined Colonel Holshek and a group of family, friends, and fellow veterans for a special induction ceremony at American Legion Post 1796 in New Windsor.
“The profound impact of Colonel Holshek’s contributions to our communities is nothing short of extraordinary,” said Senator Skoufis. “With a 30-year tenure as a U.S Army Civil Affairs Officer, an unyielding dedication to mobilizing our youth through initiatives like the National Service Ride Project, and facilitation of effective response to the needs of eastern Orange County Communities during the July 2023 flooding disaster, Colonel Holshek’s commitment to his neighbors, fellow veterans, and his country is truly remarkable. I am deeply honored to share this recognition with him in front of friends and servicemembers, and applaud his induction to the Veterans Hall of Fame.”
“This award holds a very important place in my heart because it’s here, where I came from. When you’re able to make an impact on the world, it isn’t half as meaningful as when you’re able to make an impact on your own community,” said Colonel Christopher Holshek.
“You don’t have to wear a uniform to serve your community. All you need is humility and courage, and it’s in all of us. Every person has a role to play as a meaningful contributor.”
The day’s presentation included remarks from former and current 9th District Post Commanders Jerry Oser and Paul Oser.
About Christopher Holshek:
Colonel (Ret.) Christopher Holshek is an international peace and security consultant and civil-military director at Narrative Strategies. In his 30 years as a U.S. Army Civil Affairs officer, his assignments included: command of the first Civil Affairs battalion deployed to Iraq; Chief of Civil-Military Coordination for the UN Mission in Liberia; and European Command Military Representative at the U.S. Agency for International Development. He continues to serve as vice president of the Civil Affairs Association. He has been a senior civil-military advisor for the NATO “Resilient Civilians in Hybrid and Population-Centric Warfare” and Grey Zone projects. For his services then and since, the U.S. Army Special Operations Command inducted him as a Distinguished Member of the Civil Affairs Regiment in 2017.
Col. (Ret.) Holshek has also harnessed his extraordinary experiences worldwide as a writer. In addition to his contributions to U.S. Army, Joint, NATO, and UN civil-military policy and doctrine, he has published in Foreign Policy, The Huffington Post, Sicherheit & Frieden, and the Modern War Institute.
The impetus of Col. (Ret.) Holshek’s civic work with the American Legion Riders of Orange County, NY is in his book, Travels with Harley – Journeys in Search of Personal and National Identity. With the County Youth Bureau and others, his National Service Ride project helps local schools mobilize youth to better themselves, their community, and their country through service-learning under the New York State’s Seal of Civic Readiness Program.
Another initiative, starting in 2024, will enable high school seniors and young veterans to escort senior veterans on Hudson Valley Honor Flight missions, helping to pass the baton of leadership from one generation of Americans to the next.
Col. (Ret.) Holshek and his wife, Rosa Zorzo, who works for the UN Refugee Agency, reside on the Hudson River in New Windsor, NY, not far from his birthplace in Cornwall. Through his network of veteran and service organizations, he facilitated effective response to the needs of the Highland Falls and Fort Montgomery communities during the July 2023 flood disaster. Col. Holshek’s commitment to his neighbors, other veterans, his country, and our youth is extraordinary and unwavering.