In that role, he is the principal advisor to Major General Ray Shields, the adjutant general and commander of the New York Army National Guard on enlisted Soldier training, readiness, welfare, discipline, and family issues.
Garris enlisted in the Army in 1983 and was trained as an artilleryman in 1984. He graduated as the honor graduate of his class and was assigned to Rivers Barracks in Giessen, Germany as a member of the 2nd Battalion, 92nd Field Artillery.
He went on to serve with the 24th Infantry Division at Fort Stewart, Georgia and then transferred to Air Defense Artillery, and redeployed to Germany assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 44th Air Defense Artillery Regiment.
In 1990 he deployed to Saudi Arabia with the 1st Battalion, 5th Air Defense Regiment as part of Operation Desert Shield, the response to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. He continued to serve there as Desert Shield turned into Desert Storm, the 1991 Persian Gulf War.
Garris left the Active Army in 1994, and after a break in service joined the New York Army National Guard in 1999.
He served with the 1st Battalion, 127th Armor and in January 2004 he joined the 1st Battalion, 258th Field Artillery, and trained for a military police mission in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom prior to deploying from 2004 to 2005.
He served as an operations sergeant with the 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team from 2005 to 2007, when he reclassed as an infantry Soldier and joined the 2nd Squadron, 101st Cavalry Regiment which was deploying to Afghanistan.
Garris served as the operations sergeant for the squadron during a 2008 deployment to Afghanistan and then became a troop first sergeant after returning to the United States.
In 2009 he was assigned as the division fires operations sergeant major of the 42nd Infantry Division and in 2012 he took on full-time duties as the operations sergeant major for the FEMA Region II Homeland Response Force.
In October 2013 Garris deployed to Guantanamo Bay as the command sergeant major for the 102nd Military Police Battalion as the Joint Detention Group senior enlisted leader.
Garris then served as the command sergeant major for the 1st Battalion, 258th Field Artillery from June 2015 to December 2019, when he was assigned as G-3 operations sergeant major for the 42nd Infantry Division in Kuwait. The division served as the headquarters component of Task Force Spartan, the 10,000-Soldier Army force in the Middle East during 2020.
Garris served as the command sergeant major for the 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team from 2021 until taking on his current assignment in July 2023.
Garris also served as the full-time sergeant major for the New York National Guard’s Counterdrug Task Force.
His awards and decorations include the Afghanistan Campaign Medal W/ Campaign Star, Iraqi Campaign Medal, Kuwait Liberation Medal, and the Combat Action Badge.
Garris is a retired Buffalo Police captain. He and his wife of 37 years, Cynthia, have three daughters: LeShante`, Valicity and Angelena.
As of 2023JUL12