Guard Times Magazine

Volume 11, Number 1     January-February 2003

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New Year Brings More Activations

Hundreds of NYARNG Troops Called Up for State and Federal Duty

By Lt. Col. Paul Fanning
Guard Times Staff
As anticipated, hundreds of New York Army Na tional Guard troops were called to federal and state active duty in January and February, thus extending the period of unprecedented mobilizations that began on September 11th, 2001.

Federal call-ups began with the expected mobilization of nearly 200 members of the 27th Brigade's 1st Battalion 108th Infantry from Auburn, Batavia, Geneseo and Dryden. The activation is the latest part of Operation Noble Eagle - Homeland Defense.

The infantry soldiers were called up under Title 10, U.S. Code for federal duty to provide increased security levels at New York Air National Guard bases statewide based on increased terrorist threat levels impacting these installations.

An Active Air Guard

Air Force-wide "War on Terror" activations since 9-11, both at home and overseas, has strained the full time and part time base security squadrons, which normally provide the needed base security. Defense officials formulated the extraordinary plan to place Army National Guard combat troops at Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve bases across the country as a means to bolster security and reinforce the normal base security team (see Guard Times story on page six). The troops deployed to Fort Drum and completed weapons qualification and other specialized training before being formed into detachments, which were subsequently sent to the state's five active flying bases.

On to Central Command

January also brought the first in a series of Presidential Selected Reserve Mobilizations as part of Operation Enduring Freedom - the overseas War on Terror. Several units of the 53rd Troop Command were activated and earmarked for service in the U.S. Central Command Area of Operation in Southwest Asia. The units included the Buffalo and Rochester- based 105th Military Police Company, the Orangeburg and Queensbased 442nd Military Police Company, the Queens-based 27th Finance Battalion headquarters, the Manhattan-based 719th Transportation Company (the first to be called up), the 27th Support Center, Rear Area Operations Center and the 7th and 37th Finance Detachments and 10th Transportation Detachments, and the Latham-based 4th Finance Detachment. More than 100 members of the 107th Military Police Company from Utica, were reactivated in February for security duty at Fort Drum. The unit was demobilized last November after a year of federal duty.

Dozens of truck drivers from the 27th Brigade's 427th Support Battalion in Rochester and Morrisonville and military police soldiers of Detachment 1, Headquarters 27th Brigade from Schenectady were called up to fall in on the 719th Transportation Company and the 105th, 107th and 442nd Military Police Companies to fill out unit rosters.

These soldiers have joined thousands of other Guard and reserve personnel from across the nation being called to duty for a potential war with Iraq, the express purpose for which is the disarming of the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. President George W. Bush has determined that military force is needed to force Iraq to give up its cache of hidden Weapons of Mass Destruction and other banned armaments proscribed under United Nations resolutions that ended the Persian Gulf War in 1991.

Guard and reserve forces are being activated as a part of the military build up. At press time, a possible invasion of Iraq by a coalition of forces led by the U.S. appears increasingly more likely in the wake of increased diplomatic efforts, deliberations within the U.N. Security Council, ongoing international arms inspections and the determination of the U.S. president.

Also during this period, the following State Active Duty operations were supported or launched: armed patrols at Grand Central and Penn Stations and bridges throughout the City; security at four nuclear power plants across the state; additional armed troops for security support in New York City's subway system and reinforced other sensitive sites in February; and, more troops were called to state active duty on 17 February to provide emergency transportation support in New York City in the wake of a blizzard, which dumped more then two feet of snow there.

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Guard Notes

DoD To Recognize Korea Vets with Medal

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Army News Service) - A new defense medal will eventually be issued to military members who served in the Republic of Korea, or adjacent waters, after July 28, 1954.

The new Korea Defense Service Medal was authorized by the Fiscal Year 2003 Defense Authorization Act.

The U.S. Korea Defense Service Medal should not be confused with the foreign service Republic of Korea War Service Medal that was authorized for U.S. military personnel who served in Korea between June 25, 1950 and July 27, 1953, officials said.

The new medal will be for those who served in Korea after the war, up to an undetermined ending date, said officials from the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

Given the volume of anticipated recipients, officials said the time it will take to award the KDSM is difficult to estimate. They said it will take time to identify, notify and award the medal to eligible former service members.

Some of the actions that must be completed are: designing the medal, obtaining necessary funding, developing policy for issuance and wear and processing to include verification of service and then award of the medal.

The first three actions should be completed in approximately four to six months, officials said. However, based on previous experiences when creating service medals the entire process can take up to a year, officials added.

Stabillization Force Reorganizes in Bosnia

EAGLE BASE, Bosnia and Herzegovina (Army News Service, Jan. 6, 2003) - The changing of the New Year brought forth a transition for soldiers serving in Operation Joint Forge, the NATO-led peacekeeping effort in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Multinational Division (North) was re-designated as Multinational Brigade (North) during an official ceremony Jan. 3. The name change was effective Jan. 1.

The name change is the result of downsizing and restructuring of the Stabilization Forces during the last year. As Bosnia and Herzegovina becomes a more safe and secure environment, officials said, the role of Stabilization Force soldiers has been modified.

Approximately 3,200 troops are currently stationed in MNB (N), including soldiers from Russia, Turkey, Denmark, Finland, Slovenia, Portugal, Poland and the United States. Despite the name change, troop numbers will remain virtually the same, officials said.

When the SFOR mission began in 1996, more than 60,000 multinational troops were involved, including approximately 20,000 from the United States. Today, the number has dropped to about 12,000 Stabilization Force soldiers, of which 1,800 are from the United States.

The U.S. contingent of SFOR is now composed nearly entirely of National Guard and Army Reserve soldiers. The Pennsylvania Army National Guard's 28th Infantry Division is the headquarters element for Multinational Brigade (North) and has contributed more than 1,200 soldiers to the cause including two maneuver task forces. Other reserve-component units from throughout the country are supplementing Task Force Eagle. The New York Army National Guard's 42nd Infantry Division Headquarters is slated for deployment to Bosnia in the fall o0f 2004.

Lt. Gen. William E. Ward, Stabilization Forces Commander, addressed the assembly of soldiers during the change over ceremony.

"The transition should be seen as a symbol of success for SFOR but more importantly for the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina," Ward said. "SFOR's successes have only been made possible by the efforts and sacrifices of its most precious resources - the soldiers, Marines, sailors, and airmen."

Mobilization of Guard and Reserve Exceeds 150,000

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Dept. of Defense News Release) -- By mid-Febbruary, the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps each announced an increase of reservists on active duty in support of the partial mobilization. The net collective result is 38,649 more reservists than last week.

The total number of reserve personnel currently on active duty in support of the partial mobilization for the Army National Guard and Army Reserve is 113,751; Naval Reserve, 6,276; Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve, 15,704; Marine Corps Reserve, 12,539; and the Coast Guard Reserve, 1,982. This brings the total Reserve and National Guard on active duty to 150,252 including both units and individual augmentees.

By mid-February more than 380 members of the New York Air National Guard and nearly 1,200 soldiers of the New York Air National Guard had mobilized for support to Operation Noble Eagle or Operation Enduring Freedom.

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TAG Talk

Maj. Gen. Thomas P. Maguire, Jr.,
The Adjutant General

What the Troops Need Now: Support, Encouragement, and Prayers
As you read these words it's a virtual certainty the U.S. and our international coalition Allies are mounting the Global War on Terrorism with an intense military action in Iraq ending the despotic rule of Saddam Hussein.

It's natural for each of us to have our own profound, private thoughts on the immensity and meaning of what we are doing in Iraq. Most importantly, let us continue to pray for the safety and lifeblood of all our troops, airmen and women, sailors and Marines, placed in combat. And prayers, also, for the millions of innocent Iraqi citizens and children of all faiths exposed to the horror of war.

May action end quickly and successfully and peace break out.

Just like the 1990-91 Persian Gulf War, a considerable number of New York Army and Air National Guard personnel and elements are deployed in various fighting, combat service, and combat service support roles.

That being said, its assuring to know that the American people and our leaders stand four-square behind our troops. If there is any doubt flip inside this issue of Guard Times. Read about Governor and state Commander-in-Chief George Pataki's proposal to safe guard National Guard members and their families during these times of the latest federal call-ups.

"Just like the 1990-91 Persian Gulf War, a considerable number of New York Army and Air National Guard personnel and elements are deployed in various fighting, combat service, and combat service support roles."

In one of the most sweeping military protection acts ever offered amongst the 50 states, the Governor's "Patriot Plan" would provide such benefits as supplemental military leave allowances for federalized troops, protection against military status discrimination, interest rate caps on installment loans, extension of health insurance, a War on Terrorism Scholarship Program, increased assistance to Guard members from county Veterans' Services Agencies, no-cost hunting and fishing licenses, and cost-free state parks' admission for Guard and reserve members.

Many of these proposals face review and approval by the State Legislature. "Its assuring to know that the American people and our leaders stand foursquare behind our troops."

Organizations such as the Militia Association of New York, the Warrant Officers' Association and the Enlisted Association of New York are expected to contact Assembly and State Senate representatives urging adoption.

Just prior to unveiling these new proposals, the Governor said during his Jan. 8, 2003 State of the Union address, before the entire legislature, "We have the protection of the finest National Guard force in the nation."

"They've served in Afghanistan, and as we speak, hundreds are deployed in such nations as Bosnia, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia, and thousands more are ready to go," "I have activated our Guard more than 30 times since becoming Governor. Each time they have responded quickly, courageously, heroically," he earnestly declared.

Turn also to the center pages of Guard Times for our Family Readiness Newsletter. It is a pullout that outlines the efforts by the National Guard's Family Assistance and Readiness Programs to nurture and shield members' families and loved ones while they are serving.

These pages contain innumerable tips and counsel during these difficult months in which force families are coping with the soldiers' absence.

A vital, toll-free telephone number to remember is 877-715-7817, which will get you to the state Family Program Office for immediate assistance.

My fervent wish to all these family members and loved ones is that hostilities are concluded promptly and beloved husbands and wives, sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, sweethearts and best friends are returned home safely and soundly to resume normal lives.

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Morale, not Only Discipline, Wins: a Tip from History on America's Own Art of War

Dear Guard Times, Lt. Col. Robert Marchi makes a good point about absent-withoutleave (AWOL) personnel in his opinion letter ("Missing Soldiers From the Ranks Lack Discipline", Guard Times, July-August 2002). But until the powers that be take his suggestion to "develop and institute an effective disciplinary program, which includes an effective program for AWOL personnel," we as leaders must take the initiative and ask some hard questions about soldier morale.

Behind all these issues-rewards, punishments, and retention stands the primary issue: soldier readiness and morale. Let's be frank-we might be able, through discipline, to make soldiers ready. But, ideally, they must want to be ready through high morale. Have we left no stone unturned, morale-wise?

As leaders we must ask ourselves: - Are we listening to their problems?

- Have we trained them hard, and to standard, in inventive, interesting ways? Have we challenged them? Do we give them a taste of victory through difficult, but attainable goals in their missions and career endeavors?

- Have we let them lead, when time permits? Do we implement or at least address their After-Action (AAR) input, so that they can learn, and understand their contribution to the mission?

- Do we remind them with history, why we train to fight, why we fight, and the moral imperative of Americans to defend our freedom?

This last point, to me, is the most important. America's history is full of examples where morale has won the day. General George Washington, the father of our country, led an all-volunteer Army, like our present-day Army. Sure, we're paid, but as Lt. Col. Marchi so adeptly points out, some soldiers show up when they feel like it-voluntarily.

Though he once even resorted to whipping soldiers to get them to stand and fight, Washington, at his darkest hour, won the battle of morale. Days before his attack at Trenton, he had Tom Paine's essay "The American Crisis" copied out and read to his troops. Paine's essay prevails upon the greatest incentive, one that transcends money or benefits- the primal, moral obligation of Americans to fight for America:

"THESE are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated."

The soldiers marched and won at Trenton. What's more they reenlisted, and thousands more flocked to join the Continental Army, the very existence of which was in doubt before Trenton.

More than three-quarters of a century after Washington's victory at Trenton, General Ulysses Grant was, like Washington, battling for the life of his country. During the second battle of the Wilderness he chain-smoked cigars and wore out gloves whittling. He was nervous, I suppose-it was the first time he fought the legendary confederate General Robert E. Lee. Grant's army, The Army of the Potomac, was taking a beating.

But Grant's reaction to one of his officers showed his true mettle, and like Washington and Paine's stance, is worth remembering:

"I am heartily tired of hearing of what Lee is going to do...go back to your command, and try to think of what we are going to do ourselves, instead of what Lee is going to do."

Dogged on his flanks, Grant nonetheless remained engaged with Lee's army, and even moved south to try to outflank Lee. Like Washington, he refused to be a reactor. The Army of the Potomac wasn't retreating, and the soldiers were elated. "Our spirits rose...we marched free. The men began to sing," a veteran remembered. Grant had done more than turn the Army of the Potomac south-he had turned them around. They had taken a pasting, but stepped up for more, and continued to march down the road to eventual victory. Grant, arguably the second father of our country, also won the battle of morale.

That's history, and, more importantly, those are soldiers making history. Now the Army Reserve and our National Guard are again making history, deployed worldwide. Wherever we are, we will always remember America's forefathers -like Washington and Grant and hordes of untold soldiers. We've reaped the benefits of the freedom they won, and our Guard men and women have seen enough of ground zero and the impact of 9-11 to make meek needs and mean desires utterly superfluous.

Washington, Grant and their soldiers stayed in the fight. Our moral imperative to defend this country is right, and our history bears it out. We should remind our soldiers what we're training and fighting for, to win the battle of morale- America's very first fight.

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53rd Troop Command Makes Mobilization

Dear Guard Times, It started with a simple Mobilization Order, but the labor to follow is anything but simple. It is difficult, time consuming and at times chaotic work. However, despite short notice (as little as 5 days), all of our alerted units have been sent to their mobilization stations meeting required standards. All soldiers went with their full issue of individual equipment and with personal records that contained required critical documents.

Over the past two months the staff of the 53rd Troop Command has mobilized fourteen units for Title Ten service. Without the dedicated efforts of our thinly manned sections, it would not have been possible. Most Full-time manning staff members willingly gave up their off-weekends as they understood the importance of getting each mobilized unit ready to go.

Led by Lt. Col. Jacqueline Russell, Maj. William Bodt, Chief Warrant Officers Anthony Baldi and Reinaldo Sardanopoli, each staff section performed in an outstanding manner. They, along with their section Non Commissioned Officers, ensured that every mobilization problem was addressed in a timely manner and followed through until solution. The special staff also made themselves available at Soldier Readiness Checks and visited each unit at their home station. Col. Thomas Principe, JAG, Lt. Col. Joseph Likar, IG, and Lt. Col. Jerry Miller, Chaplain, were particularly helpful in providing care to needy soldiers and their families.

"With the mobilizations all coming at once, the small 53rd Troop Command Headquarters staff confronted a gargantuan task," said Col. Stephen Seiter, 53rd Troop Command Commander, "I am both proud and grateful for their roundthe- clock efforts on behalf of those great soldiers who are going away to defend our freedom."

Also providing critical assistance was the NY Guard. Their volunteer JAGs and medical personnel, especially, were instrumental in processing more than 1,400 soldiers. Their noteworthy performance was instrumental in the timely accomplishment of all Soldier Readiness Checks.

I would be remiss, however, if I did not also mention the outstanding assistance received from the Division of Military and Naval Affairs staff. Without their sincere concern for the welfare of the soldier and the readiness of their units, even the 53rd Troop Command's best efforts would not have resulted in as many successful mobilizations.

It's impossible to predict what the future holds. Additional mobilizations are very possible. However, the experience of the past two months has proven that through a united effort, the units in the 53rd Troop Command will be prepared for any active duty mission they are assigned.
Colonel Robert M. Edelman,
Chief of Staff
53rd Troop Command

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Palm Trees, Mortars and MOUT

105th Infantrymen Successful in Puerto Rico Deployment

Story by Staff Sgt. Steve Petibone
Guard Times Staff
Maintaining deployment readiness has become today's standard in the Army National Guard. 1st Battalion, 105th Light Infantry Regiment soldiers maximized the standard by deploying their Headquarters, Charlie and Delta companies and the 156th Field Artillery to Camp Santiago and back within four days in January.

The deployment catered to several training objectives the 105th will conduct this summer. "The biggest focus, tactically was to deploy the headquarters company's vehicles in lieu of their annual training in England as part of the small unit exchange program." said Lt. Col. Mark Warnecke, commander, 105th Light Infantry.

Other objectives Warnecke and his staff were able to accomplish were, "live-fire" familiarization of 60-millimeter hand-held mortars by both infantrymen and mortarmen, military operations on urban terrain (MOUT) training by Headquarters and Delta companies, a movement to contact exercise by Charlie company and finally a battalion strength maintenance exercise consisting of reconnaissance of some beach front at Roosevelt Roads Naval Air Station.

Conducting an operation with time and training restraints does not phase the 105th. This is the fourth such deployment within two years. "The secret to our success is that we have done this before, teamwork and coordinating with the Air Guard, making sure their pre-load specifications are met." stated Warnecke. "We were fortunate because of the world situation, there was a chance that the planes would have been deployed elsewhere and not available to us." The 105th used a total of three airplanes, a C-5A Galaxy and 2 C-130's to transport more than 150 soldiers. The C-5A Galaxy originated from Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh and the C-130's from Stratton Air National Guard Base in Scotia.

"Getting the HMMWVS, (the Army's High Mobility, Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicle), loaded, knowing what to put on them and then getting them to Puerto Rico and back was very essential training for us." said Sgt 1st Class Thomas Kropp, Platoon Sergeant, Delta Company Last Spring, the 105th's sister element the 2nd Battalion, 108th Infantry Regiment traveled to Hammelburg, Germany to participate in the small unit exchange program with the 761st Home Defense Battalion, a German reserve unit.

This year the 105th will be training in England with the Royal Irish Reserves.

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'Rainbow Ready' Soldiers Receive Readiness Training

By Pfc. Dennis Gravelle
Guard Times Staff
CAMP SMITH The 42nd "Rainbow" Infantry Division is taking a proactive approach to prepare soldiers for mobilization or deployment.

On numerous weekends in January and February, Rainbow soldiers from every battalion had an opportunity to attend Soldier Readiness Program (SRP). Resembling a production line, this pre-deployment SRP serves as a "check-list" for unit commanders and soldiers regarding individual readiness.

The weekend readiness checks were part of a larger, division-wide review of Rainbow soldiers to better prepare individuals and units for federal duty.

"We are not doing this because of anyone getting deployed, we are taking a proactive approach that will save time should a soldier get deployed," stated Major Patrick J. Chaisson Deputy, Personnel Officer, 42nd Infantry Division.

The objective is to provide readiness information and guidance to unit commanders, which will enable them to plan training with soldier readiness and mobilization in mind. "It will have an immediate impact on soldier and unit readiness. It all comes down to accountability," stated Chaisson.

Individual readiness is the responsibility of leaders and soldiers. All soldiers must maintain readiness standards. The SRP helps to ensure soldiers meet the standard. The SRP consists of eight stations for individual review and assistance. Soldiers are given a checklist that must be completed at each station.

"Rainbow Ready soldiers are the building block of Rainbow Ready units," said Brig. Gen. Joseph J. Taluto, the 42nd Infantry Division Commander. "Whether responding to events in New York City or preparing for mobilization, it is every soldier's responsibility to keep his focus on the basics," Taluto said.

The division training occurred at both Camp Smith and Buffalo to provide readiness resources to every divisional unit in the state. Everything from medical and dental checks, identification tags and cards, legal requirements and soldiers skill qualifications were reviewed by soldiers from the division headquarters.

A 1940's era World War II identification tag maker, the Graphotype, looks like an old fashioned typewriter. Pfc. Michael T. Burdick, uses it to make "dog" tags at one of the readiness stations. " I made 146 identification tags this weekend - it takes me about one minute," he stated. Medical alert tags are also made here.

Another station focuses on recruiting and retention. Out of 41 soldiers fromthe 69th Infantry on site for this SRP, 27 of them reenlisted. "66 percent of soldiers in attendance extended their military careers," stated Chaisson.

"It takes a lot of work and cooperation to make this a success, we had excellent support from unit leadership and superior soldier attitude."

The intent of the SRP is to better prepare Rainbow soldiers for routine training, state active duty or federal mobilization.

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Engineers Welcome New Commander

Guard Times Staff
Lieutenant Colonel James Lettko re ceived the colors of the 152nd Engi neer Battalion of the New York Army National Guard, signifying the responsibility of a new commander.

The 152nd Engineers, with units in Niagara Falls, Lockport and a detachment at Fort Drum, is based in Buffalo.

Lettko has served in the New York Army National Guard for 15 years in the Active Guard and Reserve program. Most recently, he served as executive officer for the Engineer Brigade Headquarters.

The outgoing commander, Lt. Col. Fred Kubus led the unit since February of 2000. During his time in command, the unit has deployed soldiers to the Joint Readiness Training Center and New York City in response to the terror attacks of September 11th, 2001.

The engineer battalion is most widely recognized in upstate and western New York for their response to snow emergencies and the devastating Ice Storm of 1998.

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Lone Guardsman Supports War on Terror

Guard Times Staff
Amidst the thousands of New York National Guard members called to federal service, one Army National Guard sergeant found himself halfway across the globe.

Master Sgt. Robert Haemmerle, assigned to the 1st Battalion, 156th Field Artillery Regiment, deployed this winter to serve with Joint Task Force Horn of Africa.

The Joint Service mission has all four branches represented and operates from the USS Mount Whitney naval vessel near the African continent. The ship serves as the naval component and Haemmerle continues to support both aboard ship and at forward operational sites with land component forces in the Central Command area of responsibility.

Unlike the thousands of Army and Air National Guard units to deploy overseas, Haemmerle deployed as an individual augmentee to the joint task force headquarters.

Haemmerle serves as the Force Protection Operations Chief for Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa. His tour involves coordinating anti-terrorism and force protection requirements with the other service components as well as any host nation agencies at forward operating locations. He also conducts threat and vulnerability of those forward locations as required.

"I know that the mission experience I get here will help me to better serve in the New York Army National Guard," Haemmerle said about the ongoing short-tour program deployment.

Soldiers interested in short tour opportunities across the globe should check the National Guard public access site (http:// adsw/default.asp) for available positions.

Soldiers may contact the sponsor for additional information, but all National Guard applications must be approved and submitted through the unit chain of command to the N.Y. Army National Guard Headquarters, attention Operations and Training (MNOT). Applications must include all documents listed on the web-site and must be complete.

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Army Mobilizes to Help Secure Air Guard Bases

Guard Times Staff
As many as 200 Army National Guard soldiers from the 27th Infantry Brigade mobilized in January to provide security at Air National Guard bases worldwide.

The soldiers will reduce the strain on security forces across the Air Force, currently employing active-duty security forces across the globe. They are also giving a much-needed break to Air Force Reserve Command security forces members now in their second year of mobilization.

In a statement related to the announcement, Thomas F. Hall, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs, said the DOD is simply leveraging all of its active and reserve assets in the spirit of joint operations and inter-service cooperation.

"We intend to ensure that our Guard and reserve are assigned the right missions, fully integrated with the active component, and deployed in the right numbers required to deter adversaries and help fight and win any conflict," he said.

Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 108th Infantry Regiment mobilized at their armories in Auburn, Geneseo, Ithaca and Olean for post-mobilization training at Fort Drum. The soldiers conducted refresher training in weapons familiarization; nuclear, biological and chemical protection and some specialized training unique to the air base security mission.

Once deployed to the five air bases across the state, soldiers received additional training to catch up on Air Force rank structure, what to look for in an Identification card and car tags, the proper use of force and unique rules of engagement. Although they will not be involved in the law enforcement aspect of security forces duties, the soldiers could find themselves in intruder or riot situations.

The mobilization, which is authorized under Title 10, will effect between 8,000 and 10,000 soldiers nationwide. According to defense officials, mobilization will be gradual and the number of soldiers securing air bases may vary. The deployment of the 27th Brigade soldiers is an example of the services working together in a spirit of cooperation, said DoD officials, to ensure fairness and an equitable distribution on the duration, extent and assigned mission of the armed forces.

While not all the mobilized soldiers hold the military police Military Occupation Skill (MOS), the basic training that each of these soldiers receives coupled with their mobilization training qualifies them for the duties they will be assigned, according to officials.

In addition, many of the soldiers served in Task Force Orion, the federal mobilization for airport security during 2001 and 2002.

While the Army assists with air base security, the Air Force will continue its effort to beef up its security forces. The options the Air Force plans to pursue are the recruiting and training of about 1,400 security forces specialists and shifting personnel from other occupations.

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Enough Time for Two Careers Retiring Warrant Serves for Four Decades

Guard Times Staff
New York's senior Army National Guard Warrant Officer retires this spring on March 25, 2003. Chief Warrant Officer Five (CW5) Howard C. Haider completes nearly 40 years of military service.

Haider began his military career with his enlistment in the Army in November of 1963. His initial schooling as a wheeled vehicle mechanic would serve him throughout his career. Rising through the enlisted ranks, Haider served as a company First Sergeant and later attended the Army's Sergeant's Major Academy.

In 1974, Haider joined the full-time ranks of the New York Army National Guard as a federal technician and began his long full-time career with the state's organizational maintenance shops.

He received his appointment to Chief Warrant Officer Two in February of 1979, beginning his second military career as an Automotive Maintenance Technician. Haider served with the 1st Battalion, 105th Field Artillery in the Bronx, the 1st Battalion, 258th Field Artillery in Jamaica, and then with the New York State Area Command headquarters detachment.

Haider attended the Warrant Officer Staff Course and the Warrant Officer Senior Staff Course at Fort Rucker Alabama. In December of 1995 he was promoted the Chief Warrant Officer Five, the first-ever in the history of the New York Army National Guard.

Not only was Haider the first CW5 in the state, but he also was the first warrant officer to serve as a member of the National Guard Association executive council. He served for many years as an officer with the Militia Association of New York as well as the National Guard Association of the United States, providing representation to all the warrant officers in the Army National Guard. He also served as the Vice Chairman of the New York State Warrant Officer Advisory Committee and has an assistant Vice President for National Guard Affairs with the U.S. Army Warrant Officers Association.

Haider retires as the shop supervisor for the combined support maintenance shop on Staten Island. His retirement follows more than 29 years of service as a federal technician and forty years of service to the New York Army National Guard.

"All the warrant officers in the entire New York Army National Guard owe a debt of gratitude to Chief Warrant Officer Haider for his selfless dedication to duty," said Chief Warrant Officer Charles Amoroso, the state Command Chief Warrant Officer. "It was Howard's willingness to work that made such improvements in the management, the professionalism, and effectiveness of the Warrant Officer Corps," he said.

"New York Army National Guard soldiers will miss the contributions Howard made and owe a similar debt to his dedicated and lovely wife Christine," Amoroso said, "for her many sacrifices for Howard's long and successful military career."

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Artillery First to Pull Lanyard on Transformation

Story by Sgt. Peter K. Towse and Spc. Christopher Connelly
138th MPAD
Soldiers of Alpha Battery, 1st Battalion 156th Field Artillery Regiment, out of Kingston, have heavy hearts as they came together to find new homes in the New York Army National Guard. The Military Personnel Office (MILPO) conducted a job fair for the reorganization of the 27th Brigade.

Alpha Battery is the first unit of the 27th to go through the job fair that took place on January 6th, 2003.

"A lot of them are having a bit of a hard time deciding," said Staff Sgt. Brian Coon, Section Chief of Alpha Battery. "They came into the unit right out of basic training as privates and they've been here for three to four years. They've made a lot of friends here, a lot of people are thinking about career progression and how they will be situated in their new unit. I think it's kind of tough on them."

Some of the soldiers at the job fair expressed that changing over to a new unit may not be as easy as they thought.

"At first, it did not seem to be that appealing," said Spc. Joshua Elliot, a cannon crewmember for the 156th Field Artillery. "Everyone here enjoys being in the artillery, but a lot of people are starting to see that now there is more out there to offer us." The job fair is to give the soldiers of Alpha Battery an opportunity to choose from a wide range of Military Occupational Skills (MOS) within the state.

"Everyone will be given the opportunity to choose where they want to go, the type of unit and the type of MOS they want," said Maj. Kelly Hilland, the State Readiness Officer. "We are taking into consideration their interests as well as the New York Army National Guard's."

The 27th Brigade will officially be reorganized September 1st, 2004 when the Wisconsin National Guard will ultimately take over the 27th's mission.

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Take a Plunge into OCS

A Road Map to Army National Guard Officer Candidate School

By Capt. Dale Thurber
HQ, 106th Regional Training Institute
If you are looking for a challenging and rewarding experience with greater responsibility in your military career, the National Guard's Officer Candidate School (OCS) is for you! OCS is a fast paced, standards based program providing invaluable leadership skill that can not only help your military professional development but it will also enhance your civilian career as well; providing insights on leadership, management techniques and problem solving skills.

The New York State OCS program is broken down into four phases to commission a new second lieutenant in the spring of 2004. Phase 0 runs from May 3-4 2003 and again on June 7-8. Phase 1, at Camp Rowland, Conn. is scheduled for July 12-26th. Phase 2 training at Camp Smith and Niagara Falls occurs over drill assemblies from August 2003 until May of 2004. A two-week active duty deployment to Fort Benning makes up Phase 3 in June of 2004 and graduation occurs when individuals return from Phase 3 at Camp Smith. Phase 0 at Camp Smith, New York is the initial assessment phase. It spans two drill weekends in May and June. Candidates complete all the administrative requirements and pre-screening for the program.

Phase 1 is an annual training period in July of 2003 and provides the fundamental developments and the primary characteristics of being an Army leader.

Phase 2 is conducted at two locations; Camp Smith and Niagara Falls Air National Guard Base. This phase starts in August 2003 and ends in May 2004. The phase consists of refining and developing the leadership skills of being an Army Leader that were initially taught at phase 1. The skills, actions and attributes of each candidate are consistently assessed with the final culmination exercise being a 3 day field problem with officer candidates being evaluated in platoon leadership positions. Phase 3 is the "polishing" and final phase of OCS conducted at Fort Benning, Georgia.

Officer Candidate School is an excellent opportunity to physically and mentally challenge yourself. Some of the highlights of OCS training are Land Navigation, road marches, leadership evaluations, repelling, combat water survival training, field leadership training exercises, M-4 rifle familiarization training, Leadership Reaction Course, obstacle and confidence courses and an APFT challenge. Here is a list of criteria needed to enter OCS and become a commissioned officer: Any interested applicants should call Capt. Dale Thurber or Capt. Phillip Rumley at the OCS phone number, 914-788-7341.

- 60 college credit hours (Verified on an official college trainscript) with a following transcript indicating 90 credit hours to be commissioned.

- Letter of recommendation from your commander.

- GT score of 110 or greater (GT scores can be raised, (contact NYARNG Education Office at 518-786-4937).

- Schedule for an SAT/ACT if soldier does not have a bachelor's degree (contact NYARNG Education Office at 518-786-4937). SAT/ACT has to be current w/in 10 years from commissioning.

- Secret security clearance initiated, utilize your Unit S2 or contact Officer Procurement at 518-786-6825.
- Copy of Birth Certificate.
- Soldier preferably between the ages of 21-35. A waiver is authorized by National Guard Bureau for applicants up to 39.5 years of age.
- US Citizen Naturalization papers if applicable.
- Copy of Social Security Number Card.
- Copy of DD214 for all prior service periods.
- Qualifying Chapter 2 commissioning physical at the closest MEPS facility.
- Ensure soldier can pass an APFT.
- Ensure compliance w/height and weight standards set forth in AR 600-9.
- Interview soldier/Letter of recommendation from Commander.
- A complete set of individual soldier field equipment (TA-50) gear.

If you meet these criteria or can meet them in a reasonable amount of time please inform your unit chain of command of your desire to attend OCS. Unit training administrators can then input your application with the School code of 1006 for thei fiscal year. The course number is OCS and the class number is one.

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174th Has New Planes on the 'Block'

Guard Times Staff
The New York Air National Guard's 174th Fighter Wing is quickly moving to complete an upgrade of the wing's F-16 Fighting Falcons ahead of Air Force plans.

With Air Guard members putting in the extra hours, the 174th expects to soon field 18 Block 30 F-16C Fighting Falcons for operational duty. The Block 30 aircraft replace 17 Block 25 F-16C Falcons currently in the Syracuse based fighter wing. One of the new jets is a two-seater used primarily for training.

The Block designation refers to a specific version of the jet. Several versions have been manufactured since the first F-16 was delivered to the Air Force almost a quarter century ago.

The unit received the more advanced F-16C jets in October of last year and Air Force leaders planned for a six to nine-month transition for both pilots and ground crews to get acquainted with the newer aircraft.

The newer Block 30s were produced in the mid-1980s - about two to three years newer than Block 25s. The big difference, pilots say, is the extra engine thrust the newer jets provide: 28,984 pounds of thrust, compared with 23,770 pounds.

The modernized planes include new state-of-the-art targeting systems called Sniper pods. The targeting system, the first to be fielded in the Air National Guard, allow pilots to see targets farther away in both day and night conditions to deliver precision-guided missiles.

With the combination of the newer jets and the advanced targeting pods, the 174th's leaders say, the unit will possess capabilities every commander wants.

"Nobody has the new (pods)," said Lt. Col. Chuck Dorsey, the logistics group commander. "It'll be a tremendous capability."

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Raining Sweets on School Children

Air Force Retirees and Civil Air Patrol Re-Enact Berlin Airlift

By 2nd Lt. Bob Stronach
New York State Wing, Civil Air Patrol
Retired Air Force pilots and Civil Air Patrol members helped to bring history to life in September by reenacting the Berlin Airlift in a World War II-era DC- 4 plane and dropping hundreds of mini-parachutes loaded with candy over a school just outside Syracuse, N.Y.

Lt. Col. Myron "Mike" Tingelstad, retired Air Force pilot and member of the Central New York Group's Mohawk- Griffiss Senior Squadron, piloted the DC-4, and Maj. Gerald Marketos, Mohawk-Griffiss Squadron commander, acted as the "chocolate bombardier", as the plane flew low at 500 feet, with the drone of its four engines drowning out the cheers and applause of hundreds of pupils, teachers and parents at Manlius Pebble Hill School in DeWitt, N.Y.

Among those watching the 650 handkerchief- size parachutes shoot out of the plane and float down to the school's athletic field and tennis courts were retired Air Force Col. Gail Halvorsen and children's author Margot Theis Raven. Raven's new book, "Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot," chronicles how Halvorsen grabbed the hearts of both the American and German peoples when he found a way to rain chocolate, gum and other candies on the children of Berlin during the 1948-49 airlift to save 2.2-million Berliners from Soviet Premier Josef Stalin's blockade. Halvorsen and Raven spoke to a school assembly just prior to the candy drop.

In 1948, when Stalin blockaded access to Berlin by land, British and American forces began a non-stop 15-month airlift to bring food and supplies to Berliners. During one of his trips to Berlin, Halvorsen, then a lieutenant, hiked to the end of the airfield where he met a group of 30 children watching the planes land and take off from the other side of a barbed wire fence. He started chatting with them, and was impressed by their attitude and by their fervor for freedom. As he was about to leave, he wanted to give them something. He found two sticks of gum in his pocket. He broke the sticks of gum into several pieces for a few to share, while the rest enjoyed smelling the sweet aroma from slivers of the wrappers. In that instant, Halvorsen relates, he saw the future of Germany before him, and he impulsively told the children he would return the next day and drop candy to them. Back at his home base that night, he bought as much candy and gum as he could, and experimented with parachutes made with handkerchiefs.

Fifty-four years later, Lt. Col. Tingelstad and co-pilot Ralph Rushworth, a retired Air Force major, aimed the DC- 4 at the school barely visible in the distance, and prepared to wiggle the plane's wings just before dropping their load - because that's what Halvorsen had done to alert the German children that the "chocolate pilot" was approaching. Ground control helped guide the DC-4 to the drop zone, and gave the command, "Candy drop - NOW!" Major Marketos hefted a box of parachute treats to the open window, and they were sucked out in a flash. Across the aisle at the other open window, Crew Chief Kelly Silcox sent his load of treats soaring as well.

The DC-4 circled around for a second pass, dropping two more loads. The children below retrieved the chocolate and gum - except for a few parachutes that drifted to the school's roof.

Another World War II plane, a Stinson L-5 piloted by Andy Auchincloss, flew over the school minutes earlier to drop a few treats and test the wind.

The DC-4, which is still in service as a flying laboratory, was donated for the exercise by Aero Union Corporation. The 57-year-old plane is based at Oneida County Airport in Oriskany, N.Y., where the Mohawk-Griffiss Senior Squadron is headquartered.

In 1948 Americans responded to Halvorsen's impulsive act by supplying 250,000 candy-loaded parachutes, and more than 20 tons of chocolate and gum to Berlin's 100,000 children. Just like back then, Americans responded to this modern-day re-enactment, with Wegmans supermarket donating chocolate bars and gum, Dollar General donating the handkerchiefs, and parents and community members assembling the parachutes and tying them to the treats.

After the drop, Halvorsen and Raven autographed copies of "Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot". Proceeds benefited the school's scholarship and financial aid fund.

After the short hop back to Oneida County Airport, Lt. Col. Tingelstad said, "We're just happy to oblige and be part of history," interjected Silcox.

Added Major Marketos: "That's something we'll probably never get to do again in our lifetime - fly a piece of history."

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NY Air Guard Selects 2002 Top Sergeant

By Maj. Michael A. Messina
107th ARW Security Forces Squadron
Master Sgt. Richard D. King, from the 107th Air Refueling Wing Security Forces Squadron (SFS), was recognized in February as the New York Air National Guard's First Sergeant of the Year.

In 2001, King deployed along with 38 other members of the 107th ARW Security Forces unit. Originally deployed to Andrews Air Force Base as a secuity forces member, his skills as a 1st Sgt. quickly became evident, and he was selected as an 89th Security Forces Squadron First Sgt.

His duties included the overall care of 600 members who transited in and out of the 89th SFS. He handled members concerns with professional integrity. His work was personally recognized by two commanders from the 89th SFS.

Upon his return to the 107th ARW in August of 2002, King was selected to again lead a team to a forward location in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He personally trained and prepared them for every possible scenario. King and his team remain deployed in the Central Command Area of Responsibility.

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VP Praises Air National Guard

By Master Sgt. Bob Haskell
National Guard Bureau
Vice President Richard Cheney praised the Air Na tional Guard for all it has done during the global war against terrorism and promised that the fight will not end until the threat to the United States and the rest of the civilized world is wiped out.

That includes making sure that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is deprived of all weapons of mass destruction, Cheney told a reported 1,200 people attending the Air National Guard's Senior Leadership Conference in Denver on December 2nd.

"The only path to safety is the path of action," Cheney said. "And the United States will act. We will confront every threat from every source that could possibly bring harm to our country.

"The conflict can only end with their complete and utter destruction and a victory for the United States and the cause of freedom," said Cheney of the war against those who have little to lose.

"In the terrorists ... we have enemies who have nothing to defend," he pointed out. "A group like the al- Qaida cannot be deterred or placated or reasoned with at a conference table. For this reason, the war against terror will not end in a treaty. There will be no summit meeting or negotiations with terrorists.

"As the president has said, this is a fight to save the civilized world," Cheney said. "This is a struggle against evil, against an enemy that rejoices in the murder of innocent, unsuspecting human beings."

As for Iraq, the vice president said that "confronting the threat posed by Iraq is not a distraction from the war on terror. It is absolutely crucial to winning the war on terror."

Hussein, Cheney charged, harbors terrorists and could supply biological or chemical weapons to terrorist groups or individuals.

"The war on terror will not be won until Iraq is completely and verifiably deprived of weapons of mass destruction," he added.

Cheney, the secretary of defense during the 1991 Persian Gulf War with Iraq, brought greetings and gratitude from President Bush, "the former commander-in-chief of the Texas National Guard, and the first Air National Guard veteran ever to live in the White House."

Bush, Cheney told his audience, "asked me to please give you his personal thanks for the fantastic job you've done for all of us over the course of the last year and a half."

Cheney also acknowledged what the Air National Guard has brought to the 14-month-old war against terrorism that Bush initiated following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. "The Air National Guard's role in the aftermath of September 11th has been truly remarkable. You have assumed an astonishing portion of the military missions in Operation Noble Eagle and Operation Enduring Freedom," Cheney said.

"As members of the National Guard, you may not be full-time soldiers, but you are all full-time patriots" "Today, there are nearly 11,000 mobilized and volunteer members of the Air National Guard serving at home or overseas," he pointed out. "Air National Guard pilots fly three-quarters of the combat air patrols defending the United States mainland. You provide 40 percent of our airlift capacity in Afghanistan and 42 percent of the fighters in our air expeditionary force. Between September 11th of 2001 and September 11th of this year, Air National Guard pilots flew 46,000 sorties.

"As members of the National Guard, you may not be fulltime soldiers, but you are all full-time patriots," Cheney praised.

"You are truly dual-missioned," the vice president acknowledged about the state and federal missions that all National Guard members are sworn to take on when so ordered.

"But you have a single, overriding purpose. You live your lives for the sake of your nation and your fellow Americans."

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Members of the 107th ARW Recognized for Service, Dedication and Smarts

By Staff Sgt. Tracy Cain
HQ, 107th ARW
Members of the 107th Air Refueling Wing were presented with the New York State Liberty De fense Medal, created by Governor George E. Pataki. The medal, which is unique in that it will only be given one time and was specifically created for those who responded to the tragic events of September 11, 2001. Those who responded to "ground zero" were honored with a World Trade Center Device.

On behalf of the governor, Maj. Gen. Archie J. Berberian, II thanked the unit for its hard work and sacrifice during the massive recovery and clean-up efforts that went on for months after the attack.

During his speech, the general said he was keenly aware of the uncertainty the military faces and strongly encouraged all military professionals to be ready.

"We don't have control of what lies ahead," Berberian said, "that's why it is important to take care of the things we can control now.

The general urged the wing to, "take care of your personal readiness, medical readiness and your financial readiness." Without delay, the general moved on to congratulate the yearly award winners. Although all the winners could not attend due to duty commitments, Tech. Sgt. Don Blady, Jr., and Senior Airman Catrina Tyczka were present and were personally commended by the general, 107th ARW Wing Commander, James W. Kwiatkowski, NYANG Command Chief Master Sgt. Robert Smolen, and 107th ARW Command Chief Master Sgt. Russell Burgstahler.

The next order of business was the commencement of six 107th ARW members who received their Associates Degree from the Community College of the Air Force. Recalling how difficult it was for him while in school, the general applauded the efforts of the airmen to finish their education while continuing to serve in the 107th ARW, hold civilian jobs, and have a family life. As the graduates received their diplomas, they, too, were given special attention by the commander and command chief master sgts., with whom they shook hands and smiled for photos.

Finally, it was what most people in the formation had waited for, their medal. One by one as the names were called off, the airmen came forward to receive their award. So many members received awards that the reading of names seemed to go on forever, but, knowing how many people of the 107th ARW have made and will continue to make a difference in our community, our state, and our world made it an honorable wait.

Col. Kwiatkowski said it most eloquently, "This medal is in recognition of your hard work, dedication and service to your state, and to your country. It's an honor to be your commander."

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'Bravest of Western New York' Air Guard EMT Skills Save a Life

By Staff Sgt. Tracy Cain
HQ, 107th ARW
A member of the 107th Air Refueling Wing was re cently included in WIVBChannel 4's "Bravest of Western New York," for his participation in a rescue that saved a man's life.

Staff Sgt. Danial Guiher, from the 107th Refueling Wing's Medical Squadron, is the Emergency Medical Services chief at the Adam's Fire Company in North Tonawanda. As a group of emergency medical technicians and firefighters headed into a meeting, an emergency call came in.

"Originally, the call that we received was a 61-year-old male who was having difficulty breathing," said Guiher. "Within a minute or so, the call was upgraded to a cardiac arrest."

Fortunately, the victim lived only three houses down from the fire company, so the response time was fast, but even more fortunate, for the victim, was the fact that the company has a defibrillator. A defibrillator is used to shock the heart back into proper rhythm.

The victim's wife had already started Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), but the crew brought in the defibrillator and "shocked" the victim. After the first "shock" the victim's heart was still having problems, so they "shocked" him again. The second time, the man's heart was stabilized enough to transport him to the hospital.

Guiher, who's full-time job is with Twin City Ambulance, rode with the victim to DeGraff Hospital, where he transferred the patient along with the vital information needed for doctors to treat the victim.

"The man spent three days in the Intensive Care Unit at DeGraff, three more at Buffalo General Hospital, where doctor's successfully implanted a pacemaker and an internal defibrillator in the man's chest," Guiher said. "Today, the man is home and doing well."

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The Patriot Plan: Governor Pataki Proposes Benefits for Guard Members and Families

STATE OF NEW YORK Press Office March 4, 2003 A comprehensive package of bills and administrative measures that would provide a wide array of new benefits and protections for New York's servicemen and women was unveiled in the beginning of March by Gov. George Pataki and Assembly members. Named The "Patriot Plan" it will assist troops and their families who face potential added expenses and disruptions caused by being called to active duty in the nation's ongoing war against terrorism and possible military action in Iraq.

"New York's military servicemen and women play a vital role in keeping our nation safe, strong and free, particularly as we work to protect our homeland and fight the ongoing war against terrorism," Governor Pataki said. "The sacrifices our military men and women make while serving on active duty should not be compounded by their families having to make additional sacrifices at home. This comprehensive package will provide new and enhanced benefits to our military personnel, so that they and their families will get the support and protections they need and deserve."

Key Initiatives of the Proposed "Patriot Plan"

Supplemental Military Leave: Expands the supplemental military leave program established after September 11, 2001, to ensure that all state officers and employees called to active duty in the war against terror and possible military action in Iraq suffer no loss of salary as a result.

Educational Military Leave of Absence and Tuition Relief: Requires colleges and universities to provide an educational military leave of absence for students called to active duty, which would require the institution to restore the student to his or her previous educational status upon return from military service without any loss of credits earned, scholarships or grants, or other fees paid prior to commencement of military duty. In addition, all colleges and universities would be required to provide a tuition refund or credit for students forced to suspend their studies because of an educational military leave of absence.

Protection Against Military Status Discrimination: Expands the protections of the Human Rights Law to military personnel to ensure they are not discriminated against regarding housing, employment, education, public accommodations, and credit applications.

Termination of Vehicle Leases: Permits military personnel to terminate a car lease if he or she is called to active duty.

Interest Rate Cap on Installment Loans: Caps rates of interest on installment loans at 6 percent while the individual is engaged in State Active Duty. This provision provides the same protection for personnel called to active duty by the Governor that federal law provides to personnel called to active duty by the President.

Health Insurance Benefits: Directs the Insurance Department to protect the rights of military personnel to continue, suspend or convert health insurance benefits during times of active duty.

Professional Liability Insurance: Permits suspension of professional liability (malpractice) insurance by military personnel while serving on active duty. This provision provides protections for military personnel engaged in State Active Duty similar to the protections provided to military personnel engaged in federal active duty.

War on Terrorism Scholarship Program: Provides the children, spouses and dependents of New York military personnel killed during the war on terrorism or possible military action in Iraq, as well as severely disabled combat survivors, with undergraduate awards to cover the cost of attending institutions of the State University or City University of New York, or a commensurate amount to attend a private college or university in New York State.

Retirement Loan Repayment: Permits the suspension of loan payments for public employees who borrowed against their retirement system savings while such employees are engaged in active duty.

Veterans Services Agencies: Authorizes county-run Veterans Services Agencies to provide services to active duty Reserve, National Guard and militia troops.

License Extensions: Provides automatic extensions for emergency medical technician licenses, drivers' licenses, vehicle registration and vehicle inspections while military personnel are engaged in active duty.

Suspension of Certain Legal Requirements During Active Duty: Provides the Governor with the authority to issue Executive Orders temporarily suspending or modifying specific provisions of any statute, local law, ordinance or orders, rules or regulations, or parts thereof, relating to the obligations of military personnel called to active duty related to the war on terrorism.

Free High-Speed Internet: Provides free high-speed Internet access at places such as at State university campuses to family members of activated troops for the purpose of communicating with their loved ones.

Employer Recognition: Creates a "NY-USA Proud" employer of distinction award to recognize companies that show exceptional support for military reservists and Guard members.

Patriot Discount Program: Establishes a voluntary statesponsored program for merchants who agree to provide reduced price discounts for merchandise and services for all military personnel. Participating merchants are eligible for the proposed

Free Hunting & Fishing Licenses: Provides free hunting and fishing licenses for Guard, Reserve and state militia members.

Free "Empire Passport" to State Parks: Provides free admission for Reserve, National Guard and state militia troops and their families to the State parks and beaches.

Use of Retirees as Temporary Substitutes: Allows local governments to hire back retired workers to temporarily replace employees called to active duty. These workers would not face any loss of pension benefits as a result of this service.

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Guard Family Grows During Mobilization

By Major Richard Goldenberg
Guard Times Staff
The saying that "the Guard is Family" is often meant for families and employers of the soldiers here at home.

For more than 50 members of the 427th Support Battalion's A Company, that family meant joining the mobilization of the 719th Transportation Company

The 27th Brigade soldiers, the vast majority volunteers for the deployment, responded quickly to the need for qualified Motor Transport Operators, or 88M in the language of military occupational skills (MOS).

"We got the word on a Sunday evening to put the call out for volunteers and by Monday we pretty much had our names on a list," explained 1st Lt. Patrick Clare, the detachment commander for the group of military truck drivers in the Rochester armory.

"The rest of the week was the real challenge - getting soldiers ready for mobilization, the paperwork and the short timeline," Clare added. "Our folks have worked very hard to get themselves ready in just a few days."

"I've been in the New York Army National Guard for 16 years," said Sgt. Barbara Andres, a veteran of the first Gulf War. "We all train for this and know it can happen," she said as the detachment prepared to deploy to a staging site at Camp Smith, New York.

While many of the senior NCOs of the unit remember the mobilizations for the first Gulf War, others are far less experienced with deployments.

"This is going to be very exciting for me," said Private Jessica Toal, a soldier with less than six months in the detachment. "Scary, too, in a way," she said.

Toal, 18, only recently returned from her basic and advanced individual training to join the unit. "Maybe it was the television ads or just the impact of 9-11," she said, "but last summer I wanted to join and do something. One week later I had shipped out for basic training."

One member of the detachment is hoping the deployment turns into a family reunion. "My dad is mobilizing too," said Spc. Alexander Platz, a recent arrival in the unit. "We served together in the 1123rd Transportation Company in the Arkansas National Guard. Now we might see each other over there," Platz said.

The soldiers from the Orion Brigade deployed with the 719th Transportation Company for mobilization late in January. The remainder of the detachment is already preparing for future possible mobilizations should the need arise. No matter what happens, Sgt. Andres explained, she will keep a positive attitude. "This should be much easier the second time around," she said.

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New York Guard Doubles Up On Training

By Sgt. Dave Konig
HQ, 56th Brigade
For the volunteer soldiers of the New York Guard's 56th Brigade, one drill per month just isn't enough. So, they chose the coldest, wettest, most miserable time of year to double up on their field training exercises. Beginning in January, and extending throughout the winter, the unit will implement a program of outdoor physical fitness training (PT), land navigation and search and rescue exercises, combined with classes on radio communications, weapons of mass destruction and emergency response to terrorism.

The aggressive training schedule has been attracting a growing turnout of New York Guardsmen hungry for extra training. Soldiers from the 56th Brigade, 88th Brigade, the Army Division Headquarters and the 244th Medical Clinic have all participated, marching through the hills of Camp Smith for hours in the snow, slush and rain.

The senior non-commissioned officer in charge of the events, Sgt. 1st Class Mervin Livsey, a drill instructor for the N.Y. Guard's Basic Enlisted training during the summer, put together the winter program, dubbed 'Hardcore Training.' "I've never seen such outstanding motivation," he said. "The dedication of these troops is far beyond the call of duty."

Livsey and fellow instructors Sgt. 1st Class Mark Copeletti and 1st Sgt. Anthony Bertorelli all served on State Active Duty following the terror attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001. Each received the New York State Defense of Liberty Medal for their service in support of National Guard response and recovery operations in Manhattan.

"I am amazed with the knowledge I've gained and the confidence I have wearing this New York Guard uniform."

With the New York Guard known primarily as an augmentation force for the New York Army National Guard, tasked during the activation with armory and military base security details, the question arose - why the need for field exercises in the snow and rain?

"Our goal in the New York Guard is to be proficient in all aspects of our training, so when the National Guard needs us we are ready," Copeletti explained.

Capt. Evan Delman, a licensed chiropractor with the 244th Medical Clinic who supported the Army National Guard's recent Soldier Readiness Processing, cited the team-building focus of the training: "This type of exercise builds camaraderie and teamwork. It helps us to work as a team when called upon."

Still, what motivates a New York Guard soldier to show up on their own time for extra training in miserable weather, to learn skills that may never be called upon? Ask Marc Fineman, a 42-year-old private.

"When I first joined the New York Guard, I had no idea what to expect or what was expected of me," said Fineman, a New Rochelle businessman. "I had no prior military experience. I only knew that a couple of buildings changed my world forever and that I would dig ditches if that's what was needed. Now, after a year of training - basic, monthly drills, admin night classes, and field exercises like this - I am amazed with the knowledge I've gained and the confidence I have wearing this New York Guard uniform."

What about the snow and the rain and the slush? "The weather couldn't have been better!" exclaimed Fineman.

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Guard Members Support Deployment Preparations

By Sgt. Dave Konig
HQ, 56th Brigade
For three days in late February, volunteer New York Guard medical professionals closed up shop on their personal practices and reported for Soldier Readiness Processing duty at the Harlem Armory. They provided pre-deployment screening for 53rd Troop Command Army National Guard soldiers preparing for possible mobilization and overseas deployment from the 1569th Transportation Company.

The Army National Guard's Medical Command requested the assistance from the 88th Brigade's 1102nd Forward Medical Support Team (FMST) for the mission. Capt. Felicia Lecce, Deputy Commander of the 1102nd, had been through the drill just one month before - in January the 1102nd Medical Support Team provided similar medical support to the Army National Guard mobilized for State Active Duty at Fort Hamilton.

Within 24 hours, Lecce quickly put together a team of doctors, dentists, emergency medical technicians and Registered nurses with assistance from the NY Guard's 244th Medical Clinic. Additional records screening and command and control was provided by the military police soldiers of the 56th Brigade.

The New York Guard team vaccinated, poked, prodded and probed more than 150 Army National Guard soldiers. They scrutinized 150 medical records, checked more than 300 eyes and ears, and the dentists examined more than 4800 teeth. In the end, Maj. Gen. Thomas Maguire, The Adjutant General for the State of New York described the New York Guard's role supporting the mobilization preparations as "an excellent example of military partnership that should serve as a national model."

First Lieutenant Sophia Scarpelli, a registered nurse with the 244th Medical Clinic, summed up the weekend. "As proud members of the New York Guard we were true to our mission of providing support for the Army National Guard. Hats off to all the brave men and women of the National Guard we had the honor of screening," she said. "For each 'Go' we checked off, I said a silent prayer as we bid them the best of luck. There is no 'thank you' big enough for these soldiers and their families."

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Rainbow HQ Honors Local Veteran

By Major Richard Goldenberg
HQ, 42nd ID (M)
Almost 60 years after serving in combat in World War Two, the Rainbow Division headquarters helped close a chapter on the life of Capital District resident J. Donald Clairmont. On Wednesday, February 26th, the Division Chief of Staff, Col. Mark Heffner, presented Clairmont with the awards and honors that had been neglected since the Second World War.

Clairmont, now 81, served in Europe for five years, first as an aircraft mechanic and later, following the Battle of the Bulge, as an infantry soldier with the 2nd Division's 9th Infantry Regiment. In the winter of 1945, the Army reassigned thousands of personnel to fill in the ranks of infantry units to stem the German counteroffensive. Wounded in the spring of 1945, Clairmont was evacuated to France and finally discharged due to his injuries.

"As a fellow soldier in arms, I want to thank you for your service personally," said Heffner at a family gathering at the Troy armory.

Heffner presented Clairmont with the Purple Heart, the Combat Infantryman's Badge, the New York State Conspicuous Service Star and the New York State Conspicuous Service Cross.

Clairmont's family discovered that although the orders for his medals and awards still existed, the medals had never been presented formally during the final days of the war. Coordination with the federal and state veterans' offices led to the National Guard presentation of Clairmont's awards at the winter ceremony.

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Guardsman Gives of Himself to Help Others

Story by Staff Sgt. Steve Petibone
Guard Times Staff
"It's like standing on the edge of a pool watching someone drown, knowing you can do something about it, what are you going to do? Are you going to walk away or are you going to pull them out?"

This analogy sums up Army National Guard Spc. Andrew McClure's humanitarian decision to become a living organ donor after learning that his brother-in-law, Neil Loy, was diagnosed with less than ten percent liver function and would not survive if he didn't receive a liver transplant in the very near future.

McClure is a full-time technician in the Office of Personnel Management as well as an infantryman with 1st Battalion, 105th Infantry Regiment's scout platoon.

His supervisor, Lt. Col. Robert Rokjer, Chief, Officer Personnel Branch, discovered that McClure was not only rare individual, but also a great asset to the New York Army National Guard. "What amazed me the most was the fact that he wasn't worried about the operation at all, he was more worried about not being able to stay in the infantry after the operation. To me, that is as Hooah as it gets."

The decision to save a life as a live organ donor in some ways, perhaps, is similar to saving a life on the battlefield. "Spc. McClure's decision was a courageous act that parallels anything that we are asked to do in the service." stated Capt. Mike Murphy, Headquarters and Headquarters Company Commander, 1st Battalion, 105th Infantry Regiment. "It also reflects upon the strength of McClure's character that I have been privileged to see on a day to day basis."

His career as an infantryman may have been in jeopardy, had there been medical complications such as a slow recovery that would prevent him performing his Military Occupational Skill.

According to Maj. Floyd Burgher, Deputy State Surgeon there are regulations that govern soldiers as both donors and recipients. "Believe it or not, there are certain guidelines that a soldier should be aware of before making this type of decision. Army Regulation 40-3, Chapter 9 specifies that a soldier must be counseled in writing by his or her immediate commander, followed by counseling from a medical officer. After the operation the soldier will be evaluated and the medical report must be favorable for continued service."

Follow up medical evaluations are conducted 6 and 12 months after the operation. Also, in certain cases, a soldier may not be deployable as a result of being a recipient or donor.

Deciding to become a live organ donor ultimately comes down to an individual choice, even though family and friends may have differing opinions.

McClure's decision was met with encouragement and discouragement. "My wife (Alexandra) and I agreed that if this is what I wanted to do, then she was okay with it," stated McClure. "But my parents were not so supportive when they found out the lab results were positive. It was just that they were concerned that I might not survive the operation. I would be nervous if my child was to do it."

The recipient, Mr. Loy, a retired truck driver, was also apprehensive when he learned that McClure was a match. "At first I didn't want to do it," he stated. "I felt that I didn't have a choice in the matter, however; he did and I would never be able to repay him." In response, McClure assured him that he owed him nothing and that it was something that had to be done so they could get on with their lives.

As for McClure and his brother-in-law, both are doing well. An interesting item worth mentioning about McClure is his enrollment in the Interservice Physician Assistant Program (IPAP). This is an Army-sponsored program that results in a commissioned officer appointment. McClure is getting an entrance packet together because he has already completed the required 60 credit hours of preliminary courses, equivalent to a two-year degree. The final two years of study are completed at Fort Sam Huston, Texas. The course is accredited by the University of Oklahoma.

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Black World War I Hero Receives Due Honors

Army Presents Medal to 'Harlem Hellfighter' Henry Johnson

By Staff Sgt. Marcia Triggs
Army News Service
For one veteran's son, Black History Month will be when the Army corrected an injustice by posthu mously awarding his father the Distinguished Service Cross, 85 years after he earned it. In the Pentagon's Hall of Heroes, Herman Johnson accepted the Army's second- highest military award Feb. 13 on behalf of his father, the late Sgt. Henry Johnson, for his heroic acts during World War I.

"This has been a life-long dream. Without this type of honor, this part of history for African-Americans would soon be lost," said Herman Johnson, a former Tuskegee Airman who was a baby while his father was forced to fight alongside America's allies.

African-American soldiers were not allowed to fight on the front lines during World War I, but the late Sgt. Henry Johnson and his unit from Harlem, N.Y., were so determined to fight for their country, they did so under the French flag.

Johnson distinguished himself as a hero while a private on guard duty. He and a fellow soldier were attacked by a raiding party of 24 Germans. In a hand-to-hand encounter, Johnson stopped his comrade from being taken prisoner. He kept fighting, despite receiving 21 wounds, until the Germans were chased away.

He was promoted to sergeant and received the Croix de Guerre with Gold Palm, the French's highest military award. Although Johnson's heroic act was featured in former president Theodore Roosevelt's book, "Rank and File: True Stories of the Great War," and Johnson's name and likeness was used by the Army to recruit minorities in 1918 and 1976, he received no official recognition from his own government.

After the war he went back home and returned to his job on the railroad.

"People ask, why did my father fight in a country that didn't recognize him as an equal, and then they wonder why did I follow suit 25 years later and struggle against the same prejudices.

"The answer is simply, this is my country. I love it, I'll fight to protect it," Johnson said.

The movement to recognize Henry Johnson was a collaborative effort between the New York State Division of Military & Naval Affairs and the 369th Veteran's Association.

Herman Johnson accepted the Distinguished Service Cross in the Hall of Heroes, with the wall behind him listing the names of Medal of Honor recipients.

"This is truly an honor," Herman Johnson said referring to the Distinguished Service Cross. "But I would truly like to see him get the Medal of Honor. He should be recognized in that manner because that's how you honor your heroes."

And a hero is how Lt. Gen. Roger Schultz, the director of the Army National Guard, described Sgt. Johnson, upon presenting the award to Herman Johnson.

"He was part of the 369th Harlem Hell Fighters from New York," Schultz said. "A regiment that never lost a thread of ground, a trench or a captured soldier. The enemy gave them their name. "

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Federal Laws Give Mobilized Guardsmen Peace of Mind

By Staff Sgt. Marcia Triggs
Army News Service

Inquiries about federal laws that give financial relief to mobilized troops have doubled in recent months.

Some soldiers are discovering that debts incurred after they were mobilized, along with car leases and cell phone bills, are their personal responsibility, said an official from the Office of the Judge Advocate General.

Both the Soldiers' and Sailors' Civil Relief Act and the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act were enacted for the protection of service members, and soldiers are fully briefed on their rights and benefits during the mobilization process, said John Meixell, a JAG attorney with the Department of the Army's Legal Assistance Policy Division.

Benefits don't come automatically, Meixell said. One of the benefits of the SSCRA is an interest cap. In order to get creditors to reduce interest rates to at least 6 percent on all debts made prior to active-duty, service members must provide their lenders with a written request, Meixell said.

"The 6 percent cap was designed to protect service members whose income is less while on active duty compared to as a civilian," Meixell said.

The cap is only for charges made prior to being mobilized, Meixell said, even if the card was acquired prior to service. Federally guaranteed student loans are not protected by the interest cap. In addition to the inertest cap, SSCRA provides mobilized soldiers with the option of terminating leases for property used for dwelling, professional, business or similar purposes.

"Automobile leases and cell phone contracts are not covered under the act," Meixell said. "Some soldiers thought they could terminate those contracts, and were hit with termination costs."

The Soldiers' and Sailors' Civil Relief Act of 1940 protects Army Reserve and National Guard members who are called to active duty. It protections cover them mortgage foreclosures, and adverse court proceedings. The protection begins on the date the reservist enters active-duty service and ends upon release from active duty.

"Re-employment and financial security are family issues too," said Dorothy Ogilvy-Lee, chief of Family Programs for the National Guard Bureau in Arlington, Va. "The families, including the children, need to know that their soldiers ... can go back to their civilian jobs after they have completed their military duties."

Under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, enacted in 1994, employers must rehire service members returning from active duty, if the employees meet certain criteria.

"Before Sept. 11, we got calls from employers trying to get smart about the law and about their service members' rights," said Army Reserve Lt. Col. Paula Lorick. "After Sept. 11, we got more calls from employers asking how they can help the service members and their families.

"For every 10 employers who call, only one or two express concern about excessive orders," added Lorick about the fear that employers think their reservists are spending too much time in uniform and away from work.

For more information on Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve go to, or for the Soldiers' and Sailors Relief Civil Act go to

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They Came. They Saw. They Stomped.

Documentary Film Highlights Rainbow Division Veteran

By Maj. Richard Goldenberg
HQ, 42nd ID (Mech)
After more than 50 years of storage in an Albany basement, the story of Adolph Hitler's black top hat and its journey from Munich to New York was told on the big screen here at Lincoln Center. The premiere of "Hitler's Hat" was screened in Manhattan on January 14th after more than two years of independent filming and production.

The documentary film "Hitler's Hat" portrays the veterans of the 42nd Infantry Division during the final days of World War Two. The film follows the members of the 222nd Infantry Regiment's Intelligence and Reconnaissance Platoon at a Rainbow Division Veteran's Association reunion. The Rainbow veterans discuss their experiences together, the bonds of comradeship and of course, the liberation of Hitler's tuxedo top hat from his Munich apartment in April of 1945.

On April 29th, 1945 members of the Intel and Reconnaissance Platoon led the way for the division's liberation of the Dachau concentration camp. The Rainbow veterans had no idea what lay in store for them on that spring afternoon. At Dachau, the Rainbow men saw first hand the grim reality of the Nazi "final solution."

The next day the platoon was on the move again, this time into the deserted streets of Munich, where the Nazi Party had arisen. Hitler had a civilian apartment there and the platoon was sent in to try to gather any documents for military intelligence.

All they came up with was the black top hat. Richard Marowitz, the Rainbow veteran who came across the top hat in Hitler's residence remembers the day clearly. "'I swear to this day I could see his face in it,'' Marowitz described. "I threw it on the floor, jumped off the chair on the hat and smashed the hell out of it. That's how I got Hitler's hat."

Marowitz and his story are the centerpiece of the film. Independent filmmaker Jeff Krulik told the audience after the screening that this one Rainbow story just had to be told. "I just flipped when I heard the story," he told the hundreds of film festival attendees. "More than just this one hat, it is the story of the Rainbow's march across Europe, their liberation of Dachau and the extraordinary bond that made them closer than anyone can know," Krulik said.

It was said in the platoon that "when Hitler realized that a Jewish kid from Brooklyn had stomped on his top hat, he knew it was all over and so the F|hrer committed suicide." Motivations aside, Hitler did commit suicide at his Berlin bunker on April 30th, 1945.

Attending the world premiere of the film was Brig. Gen. Joseph Taluto, the current commander of the 42nd Infantry Division. "I am really honored to represent the thousands of men and women who proudly wear the Rainbow shoulder patch today," Taluto told the audience following the premiere. "They are the legacy of the Rainbow veterans who achieved so much so many years ago," he said.

Taluto presented unit coins from the 42nd Division to Krulik and his two assisting producers, Diane Bernard and Ann Petrone.

Marowitz made a point to the audience that the achievements of the World War II veterans are indeed carried forward. "I just want to make sure that everyone here knows of the role the Rainbow Division has even today," he told the city residents. "It was the Rainbow that went to the World Trade Center on that terrible day in 2001 and the men and women of the Rainbow who continue to serve during this War on Terror," he explained.

The film continues to debut in film festivals around the nation this winter. One of its venues in late March will be at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Krulik and Marowitz expect to deliver copies of the film to the 42nd Division Headquarters in Troy, the New York State Military History Museum and Veterans Research Center and the Rainbow Division Veteran's Association.

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Chaplain's Assistant Becomes Minister Extraordinaire

Guard Times Staff
A NYARNG chaplain's assistant has been appointed a Eucharistic Minister Extraordinaire in the Roman Catholic Church by a catholic military archbishop. Archbishop Edwin O'Brien appointed Staff Sergeant John A. Duffy following his completion of special military religious training jointly run by the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard.

The training involved enhanced spiritual counseling skills and intense work on sermon preparation. He is also now able to administer communion to Catholic military personnel, something that has previously been restricted to ordained priests and deacons. His training and new appointment mean he is now better able to serve the spiritual needs of military personnel who happen to be catholic. Chaplain (Major) Peter Daratsos of Headquarters Third Brigade, 42nd Infantry Division, arranged the training for Duffy through a family connection. Chaplain Daratsos' daughter serves in the Coast Guard and is personally aware of the special religious training program. Duffy has served the last 12 months on federal active duty as chaplain's assistant as a part of Operation Noble Eagle.

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NY Jets Salute NY National Guard

Guard Times Staff
Aircrews of the New York Army National Guard provided an overflight at the New York Jets playoff game on Saturday, January 4th, 2003 In return, the fans at a packed Meadowlands stadium offered in return a standing ovation to honor the Guard members serving in the global war on terror.

With soldiers from the 27th Brigade serving on State Active Duty to assist security operations in New York City and members of the 106th Air Rescue Wing recently redeployed from the Middle East, the salute to the Guard was a joint honor from the crowd.

The UH-60 Blackhawks were flown by soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, 142nd Aviation Regiment. The aviation units, based both in Latham and Ronkonkoma, currently has soldiers deployed to the Balkans for support to the stabilization force mission there.

The aircrews and Guard soldiers, along with Maj. Gen. Thomas P. Maguire, The Adjutant General for the State of New York, were escorted onto the field at the end of the game's third quarter.

"The whole stadium went nuts," said Staff Sgt. James Storan, from the 106th Air Wing Security Forces Squadron at Westhampton Beach. Storan recently redeployed from Oman for Operation Enduring Freedom.

"It was amazing to have 80,000 people yelling and screaming at you," he exclaimed. The Jets added to the salute to the New York National Guard with a 41-0 trouncing defeat of the Indianapolis Colts.

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Deputy Adjutant General Retires

Guard Times Staff
Following nearly eight years of service to the men and women of the New York National Guard, Brig. Gen. William C. Martin announced his retirement from military service on February 5th, 2003.

During a brief ceremony at the state headquarters, Martin, in typical fashion chose to focus on the future of the Guard and its members and shared some thoughts and ideas that reflect the very heart of his leadership approach.

"There are some real key things I want to leave with every serving member of the New York National Guard," Martin told the gathered members of the state headquarters staff in Latham in early February. "First, take the time to think. Think about where you are now, and where you want yourself to be. It sounds like the most obvious thing in the world, but it is one that we all too often fail to do.

"Second is to prioritize. Make a list of what you want to do and how you will spend your time getting there.

"Invest in your people. It is an Army creed to develop our subordinates; make it part of yours.

"Anticipate change, and more importantly, initiate change. Our organization would not be as flexible nor responsive today had we not implemented changes to our force structure and our people over the years.

And lastly, take the time to reflect. Look back on your achievements not only as milestones on your journey, but as learning tools to improve and look forward."

Martin, a Watervliet, native, has 25 years of service in the Army and Army National Guard. Commissioned in May of 1978 from Siena College, he served as an armor officer with the 3rd Armored Division and the 24th Infantry Division. He deployed with the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment for combat operations during Desert Storm. Later, Martin served with the Army's Personnel Center for Officer Assignments, Strategic Analyst for Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf at the Army Initiatives Group, and as Program Manager for the Force XXI Training Program.

In 1995, newly elected Governor George E. Pataki, state Commander-in-Chief, appointed Maj. Gen. Jack Fenimore as Adjutant General and Gen. Martin as Deputy Adjutant General, forging a leadership team that brought quantum change in the way the New York National Guard did business.

Martin concentrated primarily on the Army National Guard and after studying the situation, immediately implemented fresh approaches and innovation to address longstanding problems. He put forth new visions that were tied to emerging threats and the changing defense climate, changes that were later adopted at the national level. As Fenimore's leadership partner, Martin shared the helm when the New York National Guard was propelled from its then status as being one of the worst Guard states to becoming the very best.

When reflecting on the rejuvenated New York National Guard, Governor Pataki frequently praised Fenimore and especially Martin for his pivotal role in the Guard's resurgence in the last half of the 1990s, a re-orientation and revitalization that also brought national prominence.

Programs such as the tuition assistance benefit, the GuardHELP community assistance program, and the recruit training battalions all contributed to the state's improved ability to recruit and retain quality soldiers and airmen. Significant developments initiated by Martin led to improvements in emergency response capabilities and methods. This coincided with record levels of state emergency response mobilizations in 1998 and thereafter, and corresponding increases in federal call-ups for the NATO peacekeeping mission and the "War on Terror."

Maj. Gen.Thomas P. Maguire, The Adjutant General for the State of New York, named Col. David Sheppard to succeed Martin as Deputy Adjutant General in late February. Sheppard previously served as the Chief of Staff for the Division of Military and Naval Affairs.

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Soldiers of the Year

Army Guard Selects its Best for 2003

By Command Sgt. Major Robert Van Pelt
HQ, NY State Area Command
New York Army National Guard units from across the state sent their best representatives to the state headquarters this February to determine the top soldiers.

The 2003 Soldier and Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) of the Year Selection Board was held on February 22nd and 23rd at the Division of Military and Naval Affairs Headquarters. The board meets once each year to select candidates to represent the state at the First U.S. Army soldier competition and, if applicable, the Army's selection board for soldiers of the year.

Board members consist of some of the state's most senior enlisted soldiers, including Command Sgt. Major Robert Van Pelt, the New York State Command Sgt. Maj., Command Sgt. Maj. Walt Springhorn from the 53rd Troop Command and Command Sgt. Maj. Louis Wilson, from the 1st Battalion, 156th Field Artillery Regiment. Staff Sgt. Patricia Farrington of the 53rd Troop Command acted as the board recorder.

On Saturday, all candidates participated in a written test and a hands-on evaluation of soldier common tasks to determine their military knowledge and skills. Some of the common tasks tested included reacting to a chemical or biological hazard, tested by Command Sgt. Maj. James Harter, the maintenance of an M-16 rife, evaluated by Staff Sgt. Thomas Hart and Sgt. Javier Santana, employment of an M18A1 Claymore Mine, tested by Master Sgt. Tracy Mangels and performance of mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, evaluated by Staff Sgt. David Pratt.

The NCO candidates also were evaluated in the Army's formal request for medical evacuation of a casualty, tested by Master Sgt. Robert Comtois.

The prospective candidates returned to the Latham Armory Sunday morning and each appeared before a 20 minute interview board before the selection board met to tally the results of the weekend competition.

The Soldiers of the Year for the New York Army National Guard are:

Traditional Soldier of the Year Spc. Tammy L. Crawford - 56th Personnel Services Battalion, 53rd Troop Command. Spc. Crawford is a 96B10, Intelligence Analyst, with the 56th PSB. She joined the New York Army National Guard in November, 1999 and is employed by the NY Counterdrug Program. Crawford is single and resides in Malta, NY.

Active Guard and Reserve (AGR) Soldier of the Year Spc. Philip B. Guarno - Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 108th Infantry Regiment., 27th Infantry Brigade (Light) Spc. Guarno is a 71L10, Administrative Clerk, with the personnel section in the infantry battalion headquarters. He joined the National Guard in April, 1985 and is employed in the AGR program at the Utica Armory. Guarno is single and resides in Utica, NY.

NCO of the Year Sgt. Thomas M. Olsen - Company A (-), 1st Battalion, 105th Infantry Regiment, 27th Infantry Brigade (Light) Sgt. Thomas is an 11B20, Infantryman Squad Leader, with Company. A(-). He has been a member of the military since August, 1992 and is employed by the NY Counterdrug Program. Olsen is single and resides in Peekskill, NY.

AGR NCO of the Year Sgt. 1st Class Rolland A. Miner - Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 108th Infantry Regiment., 27th Infantry Brigade (Light)

Sgt. 1st Class Miner is an 11B40F7, Infantry Platoon Sergeant, with the Headquarters Company. He has served in the New York National Guard since July, 1986 and is employed in the AGR program as the Unit Readiness NCO. Miner is married and resides in Jordanville, NY.

In the First U.S. Army competition, each state can only send one soldier and one NCO. The selection board announced that Spc. Crawford and Sgt. Olsen will be the New York State representatives for the First Army's selection board. Spc. Guarno and Sgt. 1st Class Miner were designated by the board as the alternates.

The First Army selection board is expected to be held later this summer. Soldiers selected by the First Army will go on to the U.S. Army's Soldier of the Year selection competition to be held in early September.

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© NYS DMNA: Guard Times Magazine Jan - Feb 2003
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2003 (djk)