NY Guard Celebrates 100yrs of Service 08/05/2017
CORTLANDT MANOR, NY - On August 5th, 2017, over 250 soldiers of the New York Guard, the state's volunteer State Defense Force, began their week-long annual training at Camp Smith Training Site with a special centennial dinner celebrating 100 Years of Service to the State by the New York Guard. The speaker for the evening was Brigadier General G Michel Natali, Commanding General, NYARNG 53rd Troop Command, who also attended the event with COL Isabel Smith, Chief of Staff, 53rd Troop Command, & CSM Corey K Cush, 53rd Troop Command CSM. BG Natali and his staff were presented with a Commemorative New York Guard challenge coin and Commemorative mug, which celebrates the establishment of the New York Guard 100 years ago, by the New York Guard Acting Commander David Warager.

As part of the centennial celebration, all newly commissioned officers within the last year received their Officer rank, after completing a year of officer training. The newly commissioned officers also took the Oath of Service with all the new enlistees and all the soldiers who had re-enlisted in 2017, to commemorate their dedication to the New York Guard, and looking ahead to future leaders of the New York Guard.

The New York Guard was established August 3rd, 1917, when the 24,000 members of the New York National Guard were mobilized to fight in France in 1917, the state created the New York Guard as a state militia to replace the National Guard. National Guard Soldiers had been guarding railroad bridges, the New York City water system, and the Erie Canal to prevent sabotage by enemy agents and state officials want to replace that force. Eventually there were 10,000 New York Guard members across this state with about 2000 serving on active duty as a security force.

During World War II the New York Guard was created again, and in the 1950s the New York Guard was established as a permanent force. The New York Guard is a force of 500 uniformed volunteers, organized as a military unit, who augment the New York National Guard during state emergencies. They provide administrative and logistics support to the National Guard. Members of the New York Guard have been involved in flood control efforts along the Lake Ontario shoreline this summer.

Unlike members of the New York National Guard, New York Guard members do not have a federal military role and do not deploy outside the state. New York Guard members usually train in a volunteer status and are only paid when they are placed on state duty during emergencies.

Many members of the New York Guard are retired members of the National Guard and Reserve forces, who bring a wealth of experience to the force. Previous military membership is not a requirement for New York Guard service. - Photos by Cpt Mark Getman/New York Guard Released.
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